Bush’s Class Warfare By Peter Dreier

Dandelion Salad

By Peter Dreier
12/23/07 “Huffington Post

Just a week before Christmas, President Bush gave corporate America two big presents. On Tuesday, his Federal Communications Commission changed the rules to allow the nation’s giant conglomerates to further consolidate their grip on the media by permitting them to purchase TV and radio stations in the same local markets where they already own daily newspapers. As a gift to the country’s automobile industry, Bush’s Environmental Protection Agency ruled Wednesday, over the objections of the agency’s staff, that California, the nation’s largest and most polluted state, and 16 other states, can’t impose regulations to limit greenhouse gases from cars and trucks that are stronger than the federal government’s own weak standards.

So far, no major politicians or editorial writers have labeled these actions “class warfare,” although this is precisely what Bush is engaged in — helping the already rich and powerful at the expense of everyone else. Class warfare is, in fact, the very essence of Bush’s tenure in the White House. In thousands of ways, big and small, Bush has promoted the interests of the very rich and the largest corporations. Corporate lobbyists have the run of the White House. Their agenda – tax cuts for the rich and big business, attacks on labor unions, and the weakening of laws protecting consumers, workers and the environment from corporate abuse – is Bush’s agenda.

For example, Bush has handed the pharmaceutical industry windfall profits by restricting Medicare’s ability to negotiate for lower prices for medicine. He targeted huge no-bid federal contracts to crony companies like Haliburton to supply emergency relief, reconstruction services and materials to rebuild Katrina while attempting to slash federal wage laws for reconstruction workers. He repealed Clinton-era “ergonomics” standards, affecting more than 100 million workers, that would have forced companies to alter their work stations, redesign their facilities or change their tools and equipment if employees suffered serious work-related injuries from repetitive motions. He opposed stiffer health and safety regulations to protect mine workers and cut the budget for federal agencies that enforce mine safety laws. Not surprisingly, under Bush, we’ve seen the largest number of mine accidents and deaths in years. Bush’s Food and Drug Administration lowered product-labeling standards, allowing food makers to list health claims on labels before they have been scientifically proven. His FDA chief announced that the agency would no longer require claims to be based on “significant scientific agreement,” a change that the National Food Processors Association, the trade association of the $500 billion food processing industry, had lobbied for. Bush resisted efforts to raise the minimum wage (which had been stuck at $5.15 an hour for nine years) until the Democrats took back the Congress earlier this year.

Virtually every week since he took office, the Bush administration has made or proposed changes in our laws designed to help the rich and powerful while harming the most vulnerable people in society and putting the middle class at greater economic risk. The list of horrors can be so numbing that one can lose sight of the cumulative impact of these actions. Taken together, they add up to the most direct assault on working people, the environment and the poor that the country has seen since the presidency of William McKinley over a century ago.

Bush has been a persistent practitioner of top-down class warfare, but the media rarely characterize his actions that way. In contrast, when progressive activists, unions, environmental groups, community organizations and politicians support legislation and rules to redress the balance of power and wealth, they are inevitably described as engaging in c lass warfare. Top-down class warfare seems to be OK, but bottom-up class warfare is apparently a no-no.

The class warfare rap is now being used against John Edwards, when he talks about challenging the power of the insurance and drug corporations. In a recent speech, Edwards said that his campaign was about challenging “the powerful, the well-connected and the very wealthy.” But wary of being criticized for fueling class resentments, even Edwards felt it necessary to say “This is not class warfare. This is the truth.”

Yes, the truth is that the rich have been at war with the rest of the country. It isn’t a question of “”rich against the poor,” which is often how leftists describe things. That leaves out most Americans. Its the very rich versus everyone else.

As Robert Kuttner observes in his new book, The Squandering of America, from 1966 to 2001, the wealthiest one-tenth of all Americans captured the lion’s share of society’s productivity growth. But it was the top one tenth of 1 percent that gained the very most. Those between the 80th and 90th percentiles about held their own. Those between the 95th and 99th percentiles gained 29 percent, while those between the top 99 and 99.9 percentile, gained 73 percent.

“But,” Kuttner writes, “it was those at the very pinnacle –the top one tenth of 1 percent of the population – one American in a thousand – who gained a staggering 291 percent.”

Wealth has become even more concentrated during the Bush years. Today, the richest one percent of Americans has 22 percent of all income and about 40 percent of all wealth. This is the biggest concentration of income and wealth since 1928. In 2005, average CEO pay was 369 times that of the average worker, compared with 131 times in 1993 and 36 times in 1976. At the pinnacle of America’s economic pyramid, the nation’s 400 billionaires own 1.25 trillion dollars in total net worth – the same amount as the 56 million American families at the bottom half of wealth distribution.

Meanwhile, despite improvements in productivity, the earnings of most workers have been stagnant, while the cost of health care, housing, and other necessities has risen. The basics of the American Dream – the ability to buy a home, pay for college tuition and health insurance, take a yearly vacation, and save for retirement – have become increasingly slippery. And for the 37 million Americans living below the official poverty line – $17,170 a year for a family of three – the dream has become a nightmare.

In many ways, America today resembles the conditions in the late 1800s that was called the Gilded Age. It was an era of rampant, unregulated capitalism. It was a period of merger mania, increasing concentrations of wealth among the privileged few, and growing political influence by corporate power brokers called the Robber Barons. During the Gilded Age, new technologies made possible new industries, which generated great riches for the fortunate few, but at the expense of workers, consumers, and the environment. The gap between the rich and other Americans widened dramatically.

It was also an era of massive immigration to the US from people fleeing political persecution and economic hardship. In the growing cities of the early 20th century, there were terrible poverty, child labor, sweatshops, slums, and serious public health crises, including major epidemics of contagious diseases.

But out of that turmoil, activists created a “Progressive” movement, forging a coalition of immigrants, unionists, middle-class reformers, settlement house workers, muckraking journalists, clergy, and upper-class philanthropists. They fought for, and won, better working conditions, better housing, better schools, and better public services like sanitation and public health laws. Those reforms began at the local and state levels, but eventually laid the foundation for a wave of reform at the federal level – the New Deal.

In 1939, in the midst of the Great Depression, the balladeer Woody Guthrie wrote a song about bank robbers and outlaws. “Yes, as through this world I’ve wandered, I’ve seen lots of funny men,” Guthrie wrote, “Some will rob you with a six-gun, and some with a fountain pen.”

Throughout his Presidency, Bush has used his pen to sign regulations and laws that make the rich richer, allow big business to pollute the environment, reduce wages, and rip-off borrowers and consumers.

But Americans finally seem to have caught on. Iraq, Katrina, Enron, the current wave of foreclosures, and other events have helped wake them up to the reality that Bush’s top-down class warfare has done great damage to our country. We now may be on the brink of another progressive era. Bubbling below the surface is a new wave of social activism.

Today’s progressive movement is almost invisible to the mainstream media, but it is obvious to anyone involved in the struggle for social justice. It has many of the same elements as 100 years ago. There is a new wave of activism across America among labor unions, community organizations, environmental groups, immigrant rights activists, and grassroots housing and health care reformers. In the last decade, for example, more than 150 cities, dozens of counties, and now one state (Maryland) have adopted “living wage” laws to lift low-wage workers out of poverty, the result of solid organizing efforts by networks of unions, religious congregations, and community groups like ACORN and the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy. Environmentalists and unions – who were barely on speaking terms for many years – are now forging alliances to push for “green” jobs and waging joint campaigns, such as the coalition of Teamsters and environmental activists working together to clean up the Los Angeles/Long Beach port, the nation’s largest port and also its most polluted, and unionize the immigrant truck drivers.

Like the Progressive and New Deal eras, there is now a growing number of politicians at the local, state and national level who help give voice to this burgeoning movement. When they do, they are accused of engaging in “class warfare.” They should wear it as a badge of honor.

Peter Dreier is E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics, and director of the Urban and Environmental Policy program, at Occidental College in Los Angeles.

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.

Swanson’s Impeachment Update and Italy (audio link)

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

Dandelion Salad

by David Swanson

Sun, 2007-12-23

After Downing Street

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.


Lawyers Stepping Up by Katrina vanden Heuvel

Former CIA analyst says evidence abounds for impeachment

Italians Block Construction of U.S. Base By David Swanson

Vicenza! by Chris Capps-Schubert (includes photos of the protest)

FBI’s ‘body identity’ plan (video)

Dandelion Salad


An invasion of privacy? Or a valuable weapon in the fight against crime?

America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is embarking on a billion-dollar plan to build the world’s largest biometric database.

The scheme would see not only fingerprints and eyes scanned, but physical characteristics and even scars stored on record.

Critics say the plan will lead to people’s bodies becoming de facto identification cards.

Nick Spicer reports.

Added: December 23, 2007


FBI Prepares Vast Database Of Biometrics By Ellen Nakashima

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

Dandelion Salad


Dec. 23, 2007

h/t: Future with Ron Paul 2008


On The Issues: Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul by Lo

Noam Chomsky on Ron Paul

Just a Theory: Ron Paul Doesn’t “Accept” Evolution By Manila Ryce (video)

Stossel interviews Ron Paul – Ask ABC to air it Part IV (video)

Why Quirky Ron Paul Is Wrong About The Civil War

The Green Stick: A Voice of Clarity and Truth Resurrected by Chris Floyd

Dandelion Salad

by Chris Floyd
Empire Burlesque
Dec. 23, 2007

You open the book, you turn the page, and once again you are in that familiar drawing-room, clutching your invitation to the soiree of Anna Pavlovna Scherer and being ushered over to pay your respects to her ancient, beribboned aunt. Then you take your long-accustomed place among the guests: the pert little Princess Bolkonsky with her needlework; the suave and repulsive Prince Vasily; the celebrity exile, Viscount Mortemart; and Princess Helene, whose astonishing yet deadening beauty gleams in the shining flesh of her bare shoulders and diamond-draped bosom…then at last to the fat, bumbling bear, the bastard Pierre Bezukhov, and his sworn friend, Prince Andrei, resplendent in his dry, sharp, angry gloom.

How many times have you been here, going back almost thirty years from your first entrance? A half a dozen, maybe more. Yet here you are again; and again, from the very first you are drawn back into that world that has lived inside you as vividly as your own life. And you know you will be there again through all twelve hundred pages; you have never yet stopped and walked away…

read more | digg story

Noam Chomsky on Ron Paul

Dandelion Salad

Chomsky at the World Social Forum (Porto Alegr...

Image via Wikipedia

AnarchismToday.org (no longer available)
Posted by personman
Sun Dec 02, 2007 06:21:21

Update: I E-mailed Prof. Chomsky for confirmation. Z magazine is an official source, but some Ron Paul supporters are calling the forum comments a hoax or a fake. View Prof. Chomsky’s response here. (no longer available)

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New Orleans City Council Bars Public From Housing Vote (video)

Dandelion Salad


Despite claims that it waited until the hall had reached capacity, this video clearly shows that there were still seats available before people were kept from coming into a public meeting on the fate of 83% of all available public housing in New Orleans. Tasers abounded inside the New Orleans City council chambers when police were used to clear the room of the leaders who have challenged the legality of the demolition of the public housing. Critics of the policy have charged that the City of New Orleans has systematically taken advantage of the “opportunity” Hurricane Katrina provided to racially cleanse the city of poor and largely African American citizens from the public housing by physically installing barricades to keep residents from housing that came through the hurricane unscathed, without so much as a window broken. They charge that the projects are within easy walking distance of the French Quarter and therefore represent prime real estate that would not be available to developers unless there was collusion with government officials. And if that were not enough, they charge that Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Alphozo Jackson has awarded no bid contracts for the demolition of the projects to a contractor who owed Jackson several hundred thousand dollars from previous dealings.

Added: December 22, 2007


The Shock Doctrine in Action in New Orleans by Naomi Klein

New Orleans City Hall Protest – Dec 20, 2007 (videos)

Police Use Stun Guns on Citizens Opposed to Demolition of Houses in New Orleans By Cain Burdeau

‘It’s Madness’ by Felicity Arbuthnot

Dandelion Salad

by Felicity Arbuthnot
Global Research, December 22, 2007

If the scale of the unimaginable tragedy the British have wrought in Basra was not of the historical enormity which it is and for which the UK will never be forgotten and likely, never forgiven, world wide (only second to the Americans, of whose accountability for unspeakable atrocities, words temporarily fail) with Prime Minister Gordon Brown again trying to dress up defeat as victory, as the British ‘left’ the city last week, it would be laughable. The British actually slunk off from their illegally inhabited palace in central Basra in September, to cower in a base well outside the town, spent, redundant and now with the loss of one hundred and seventy four tragically wasted lives, for UK government lies. Ironically, Iraqi women were photographed throwing sweets at the Iraq forces on December 16th’s Sunday ‘handover’ of the Iraqi city to Iraqis. The sweets and flowers promised by the CIA backed, convicted embezzler, Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraq National Accord’s Iyad Allawi to the invaders, transpired, absolutely predictably, to be rocket propelled and hand grenades, improvised explosive devices and ambush by varied imaginative booby traps and weaponry.

Gordon Brown, of course, again announced a troop draw down on 8th October this year, after they had (also predictably) lost Basra and already left. There is something about ‘October surprises’ that herald disasters. An early spectacular British defeat was the Charge of the Light Brigade on 25th October 1854, an ill conceived maneuver at Balaclava in Russia during the Crimean war, with the losses leading the Russians to speculate that the troops must have been drunk to have contemplated such a move. It was a black day for Commanders and politicians too, the ‘Basra’ of the Eastern front, an adventure of which French Marshall Pierre Bosquet commented: ‘C’est de la folie’ (‘it’s madness’.)

In context, should anyone doubt the absolute disregard of parliamentary ‘democracies’ for the lives of their own citizens, yet alone other humanities, expendable for oil, gas pipelines, minerals, metals, gemstones, one only has to consider yet another October stunt. On the weekend of October 18-19, 1980, a former and future CIA head, met with Iranian officials in Paris. In an act of treason (US private citizens negotiating with a foreign government without official authorization) with calculated, cold, callous ruthlessness, the pair cut a deal with Ayatollah Khomeini‘s clerics, to ensure that the fifty two American hostages held in Tehran, stayed hostage until after the upcoming election between President Jimmy Carter and Republican challenger Ronald Reagan. The Americans in question were George Herbert Walker Bush, the former CIA Director and William Casey, the future one.

‘The Republicans were terrified of an October Surprise–a move by the Carter government to free the hostages before the vote. So Bush (who became) Reagan’s vice-presidential candidate–and Casey were dispatched to Paris to offer the Iranians a covert deal to keep the Americans in chains until Reagan was safely in office. The proposed payoff? A newly-elected Reagan-Bush administration would supply Khomeini’s military with a secret supply of American weapons.’ (See: ‘Speak Memory’, Chris Floyd, Counterpunch, 9th September 2002.)

Another cynically manipulated October occurrence was Iraq’s 2002 referendum, where Saddam, predictably, garnered little short of 100% of the votes, in his favor. The American and British administrations notched it up as another reason for regime change, these people needed liberation from questionable vote manipulation. No one should know better about alleged vote fixing than the Bush administration, from dimpled chads, to excluded likely Democrat voters, to accusations of eminently adjustable vote counting machines. In post-invasion Iraq they turned it in to a murderous art form, with death threats, ration coupons confiscation and no potentially murderous or otherwise, manipulation barred, to get their puppet ‘government’ voted in.

So what October surprises have the British left for the people of Basra? The ancient, battered, but still heart-wrenchingly beautiful (B.C., – Before ‘Crusade’) ‘Venice of the Middle East’? They have left rubble where homes and historic buildings nurtured and were nurtured , by successive generations. They have left broken doors, windows and walls, kicked down or blown in on raids on families sleeping in their beds. They have left broken hearts and lives.

The have left fundamentalist militias they either brought in with them, or against whom they failed to control the borders (and then blamed the Iraqis.) They have confined women to their homes at best and to death, often by beheading, for even wearing makeup, at worst. Britain’s finest have returned secular women to the equivalent of the burkha they were so keen to free them of in Afghanistan (nonsense of course, it was about strategic interests and a gas pipeline.) They have taken a town, where the worst harassment a woman walking alone, through streets, by the canals, or the beauty of the Shatt Al Arab would suffer, was small, bare foot boys, selling dates, citrus fruits, sweets, who stuck like glue until they had beguilingly somehow persuaded you to buy the whole lot (then they would be back with more.) The embargo’s children, providing for their families, instead of aiming to be top of the class. Britain and America’s victims.

‘I came to rid Basra of its enemies, and I now formally hand Basra back to its friends,’ Britain’s Major General Graham Binns said, before signing documents giving Iraqi forces operational control of the province, which holds most of Iraq’s proven petroleum reserves. Before Britain’s invasion , Basra had few ‘enemies’, just the sort of policing issues found in any city. He has handed it, in fact, also to police and security forces riddled with Basra’s enemies. The British being unable to speak the language, culturally clueless, know not from where their recruits have come -or if they are even Iraqis at all. They have ‘handed back’ their rubble and mass graves, in a city bleeding from lack of essential services, its children seeping away from malnutrition and lethal diseases resultant from the killer water supply the British army has left them with. Seldom has: ‘We gave them a wasteland and called it peace’, been more appropriate.

No better example of British depthless floundering , was fellow speaker, Muwaffaq Al Rubaie, Iraq’s ‘government security advisor’. ‘The security of Basra is one of our main responsibilities. I address, directly, the governor, the general commander of the security forces in Basra, the provincial council and the people of Basra. Will you agree with militias? Will you engage in corruption? Will you go easy on terrorism?’ Asked Rubaie. Thus under the nose of and with General Binns, was speaking the man many respected Iraqi and Middle East experts allege is actually Karim Shaboori, an Iranian, who came in with the invaders and changed his name and acquired himself an Iraqi passport to which he has, allegedly, no entitlement. If correct, stones and glasshouses, again come to mind.

So unphased by the lynching of Iraq’s legitimate President and the horrifying scenes around his body, Rubaie/Shaboori responded: ‘This is the tradition of the Iraqis – when they do something they dance around the body and they express their feelings’ – a ‘ tradition’ no Iraqi seems to be aware of. Does General Binns know that Iraqis joke that the dominant language in the ‘Iraqi Ministries’ in the Green Zone is Farsi (and indeed say many Iraqis, in their Embassies abroad, along with Kurdish, not Arabic.)

The British stole even the myths and legends from Basra. They took the city known to children world wide, as from where Sinbad left for his magical journeys and named a killing spree on the population (dressed in press briefings as a ‘security crackdown’) as: ‘Operation Sinbad’. They are now illegally inhabiting the airport, of which the city was so proud, when they had rebuilt it, opening again in 2000. Hope returned. The British and Americans of course, bombed it, but damage was repaired within days, to be bombed, repaired again … Having subsequently destroyed homes, history, lives, ‘our boys’ are now again doubles ‘restructuring’ the airport.

What else has Britain’s illegal invasion and occupation contributed to? A snapshot : 2.4 million internally displaced; 2.2 million fled (UNHCR) 1.1 million dead (Just Foreign Policy) 3 million wounded (‘a conservative estimate’) 4 million in need of emergency aid (ICRC) 5 million orphans (Iraqi ‘government’ figures.) As the tireless Dahr Jamail writes: ‘Iraq’s population at the time of the US invasion in March 2003 was roughly 27 million and today it is approximately 23 million. Elementary arithmetic indicates that currently over half the population of Iraq are either refugees, in need of emergency aid, wounded, or dead.’ Is this genocide, a holocaust, deliberate de-population, or will the usual suspects just mess around with semantics? ‘What we have done in Iraq, are tears in the fabric of history’, comments Hussein Al Alak of the (UK) Iraq Solidarity Campaign.

Basra’s dead have been hard to enumerate (but then the British, historically, were always better at keeping the lid on atrocities for a while. Not ‘Perfidious Albion’ for nothing.) However, Iraq ‘government’ figures, in a rare glimpse, revealed in May 2006, that the previous month, under British Army watch, one person had died violently every hour. The killing after April 2006, certainly did not miraculously stop. How many have the British disappeared, how many are still in British custody, how many have died in British custody – and how many, in the ‘hardback’, have been handed over to those who will drill their heads and chuck them in to the garbage? Figures are, to say the least, elusive.

There have been a number of kidnappings (including ones the West noticed, like Margaret Hassan and Ken Bigley. Iraqi ones, shamefully, rarely are, in their uncountable numbers) where the request has been to release Iraqi women prisoners (usually held by the occupiers as a bargaining chip for men in the family – totally illegally.) The word was that, as the US denied they held any women , they had in fact transferred them to British custody in Basra. Still, as yet, impossible to prove or disprove. When I heard the story denied by Anthony Charles Lyndon Blair QC., however, I thought again of MP George Galloway, who recounted, as a little boy in Glasgow, running home to tell his Father excitedly: ‘Dad, Dad, my teacher says “the sun will never set on the British Empire”. ‘

‘Aye, son’, said his father: ‘That’s because God would never trust the British in the dark’.

Meanwhile, Ann Clywd MP (who for years has been dubbed ‘Mrs. Talabani’ by many) Blair’s formerly silent ‘human rights’ advisor on Iraq, said this week that she was ‘right to support the war’ to rid the country of brutality. Is she psychologically challenged., or just delusional.? However, as founder of the CIA funded INDICT (launched in the House of Parliament) and a close friend of the embezzler Ahmed Chalabi, who fed fairy tales of non-existent weapons of mass destruction to the British government, the words culpability and duplicity come to mind regarding Ms Clywd.

As George Orwell (real name : Eric Arthur Blair) spins in his grave, the other Blair is reinvented as ‘Middle East Peace Envoy’ and reiterates he has no regrets. He knows ‘it was the right thing to do,’ and ‘I’d do the same thing again’. The terminal patients that are Gaza and Iraq, the threats to the rest of the region, the misery and torment heaped on the region’s humanity, have taken second place to his finding time to appear in a Christmas video with Barney, George Bush‘s dog, once described as the only sane being in the White House. It shouldn’t happen to a dog. And sorry for the pun, but is – as many have speculated for a long while – Blair truly ‘barking’?

The joys of Eid Al Adha escaped Basra and Gaza. The Chaldean Bishop of Basra has ‘cancelled’ Christmas, as has happened throughout Iraq (with the Eids) for many years now. How can we celebrate amid such death, destruction, deprivation, misery, fear and poverty? he asked.

In a BBC Panorama programme, aired on 17th December, the night before Eid Al Ahda, presenter Jane Corbyn asked a woman in Basra, who had returned to Iraq after thirty years, after the fall of Saddam Hussein: ‘What have the British left you?’

‘Nothing’, she replied : ‘Just misery.’

And in a December surprise, three days before Christmas and little over a week to the anniversary of the lynching of Iraq’s legitimate President, Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, QC., has announced his conversion to Catholicism. He was received into the Church by the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O-Connor. Having morally bankrupted the Palace of Westminster, he has now done the same to its Cathedral. Hope they have enough cleaning staff to wipe the blood from his hands off the church furniture after his visits. As former Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray remarked: ‘Perhaps the Catholic church has a dearth of mass murderers in their congregation.’ It is all ‘madness’.

The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: crgeditor@yahoo.com

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Felicity Arbuthnot, Global Research, 2007
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7671


Blair’s chameleonic path to divinity by Trevor Murphy

Lawyers Stepping Up by Katrina vanden Heuvel

Dandelion Salad

by Katrina vanden Heuvel
Global Research, December 22, 2007
The Nation – 2007-12-21

We are lawyers in the United States of America. As such, we have all taken an oath obligating us to defend the Constitution and the rule of law…. We believe the Bush administration has committed numerous offenses against the Constitution and may have violated federal laws…. Moreover, the administration has blatantly defied congressional subpoenas, obstructing constitutional oversight …. Thus, we call on House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers and Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy to launch hearings into the possibility that crimes have been committed by this administration in violation of the Constitution…. We call for the investigations to go where they must, including into the offices of the President and the Vice President. American Lawyers Defending the Constitution

Over one thousand lawyers – including former Governor Mario Cuomo and former Reagan administration official Bruce Fein – have signed onto the above statement demanding wide-ranging investigative hearings into unconstitutional and potentially criminal activity by the Bush administration.

In a conference call with reporters yesterday, Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights and winner of the 2007 Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship, said: “The majority of lawyers in this country understand that the Bush administration has really gone off the page of constitutional rights and off the page of fundamental rights, and is willing to push the Congress to restore those rights.” Ratner said he was “dismayed” that a Democratic majority has failed “to push on key illegalities… the torture program, and now the destruction of the tapes involving the torture program; the warrantless wiretapping, the denial of habeas corpus, the secret sites/rendition program, special trials, and of course what we now know is the firing of US Attorneys scandal…. The minimal that absolutely is needed to get us back on the page of law is to have serious investigative hearings that go up the chain of command and figure out who is responsible for what.”

Ratner noted that even with regard to the US attorney’s investigations, where Congressional committees held Harriet Miers, Josh Bolten, and Karl Rove in contempt, leadership has failed to enforce these actions by bringing the resolutions to a vote. “Just announcing that investigations will be held and subpoenas will be issued is terribly insufficient unless Congress is willing to enforce the subpoenas by issuing contempt citations,” Ratner said. “Congress has a constitutional duty to oversee the activities of the executive branch and our entire system of government is threatened when Congress simply folds before an obstinate executive. Issuing contempt citations against Bolten, Miers, and Rove should be Congress’s first order of business in 2008.”

Marjorie Cohn, president of the National Lawyers Guild, discussed the administration’s torture program violating three US-ratified treaties and the US torture statute; the illegal War in Iraq violating the US-ratified UN Charter as a war of aggression; and Attorney General Michael Mukasey‘s conflict of interest in overseeing investigations into the torture program and the destruction of the CIA interrogations tapes.

Also speaking with reporters was Jesselyn Raddack, a former Justice Department ethics lawyer who served as an advisor during the interrogation of John Walker Lindh (the “American Taliban”). Raddack said, “My e-mails documented my advice against interrogating Lindh without a lawyer, and concluded that the FBI committed an ethics violation when it did so anyway. Both the CIA videotapes and my e-mails were destroyed, in part, because officials were concerned that they documented controversial interrogation methods that could put agency officials in legal jeopardy…. ” Raddack pointed to the Department of Justice’s investigations of Enron and Arthur Anderson for obstruction of justice and destruction of evidence, and the need for the same aggressive oversight and legal proceedings in these scandals.

This is a vital effort by those charged with defending our constitution, as Ratner said, “This lawyers’ letter and the growing number of signatures we’ll have on it, and prominent people – it’s a way of saying to Congress, ‘You need some backbone. You need to have a serious investigation, wherever it might go, on these issues that really have taken the United States out of the mainstream of human rights.’ It’s absolutely critical… We’ve opened up the door to illegality…. Unless we have accountability on those illegalities, we’re going to be facing a very bleak future in which fundamental rights will not really be obeyed.”

Global Research Articles by Katrina vanden Heuvel

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation, 2007
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7672


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

The World is passing through a Critical Phase in Human History

Dandelion Salad

Global Research, December 22, 2007

Anti Imperialist Conference 2007 Declaration


Delegates from USA, Russia, Lebanon, Palestine, Turkey, Bahrain, Canada, Germany, France, Bangladesh, Nepal and India adopted the following document as the Declaration of the International Anti-imperialist Conference held at Calcutta on November 27-29, 2007.

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The Most IMPORTANT Video You’ll Ever See (Parts 1-4)

Dandelion Salad

Updated: Nov. 27, 2012 added full length video.

on Jan 26, 2012

Arithmetic, Population and Energy

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Zapatista Code Red by Naomi Klein

Dandelion Salad

by Naomi Klein
Global Research, December 23, 2007
The Nation

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas

Nativity scenes are plentiful in San Cristóbal de las Casas, a colonial city in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico. But the one that greets visitors at the entrance to the TierrAdentro cultural center has a local twist: figurines on donkeys wear miniature ski masks and carry wooden guns.

It is high season for “Zapatourism,” the industry of international travelers that has sprung up around the indigenous uprising here, and TierrAdentro is ground zero. Zapatista-made weavings, posters and jewelry are selling briskly. In the courtyard restaurant, where the mood at 10 pm is festive verging on fuzzy, college students drink Sol beer. A young man holds up a photograph of Subcomandante Marcos, as always in mask with pipe, and kisses it. His friends snap yet another picture of this most documented of movements.

I am taken through the revelers to a room in the back of the center, closed to the public. The somber mood here seems a world away. Ernesto Ledesma Arronte, a 40-year-old ponytailed researcher, is hunched over military maps and human rights incident reports. “Did you understand what Marcos said?” he asks me. “It was very strong. He hasn’t said anything like that in many years.”

Arronte is referring to a speech Marcos made the night before at a conference outside San Cristóbal. The speech was titled “Feeling Red: The Calendar and the Geography of War.” Because it was Marcos, it was poetic and slightly elliptical. But to Arronte’s ears, it was a code-red alert. “Those of us who have made war know how to recognize the paths by which it is prepared and brought near,” Marcos said. “The signs of war on the horizon are clear. War, like fear, also has a smell. And now we are starting to breathe its fetid odor in our lands.”

Marcos’s assessment supports what Arronte and his fellow researchers at the Center of Political Analysis and Social and Economic Investigations have been tracking with their maps and charts. On the fifty-six permanent military bases that the Mexican state runs on indigenous land in Chiapas, there has been a marked increase in activity. Weapons and equipment are being dramatically upgraded, new battalions are moving in, including special forces–all signs of escalation.

As the Zapatistas became a global symbol for a new model of resistance, it was possible to forget that the war in Chiapas never actually ended. For his part, Marcos–despite his clandestine identity–has been playing a defiantly open role in Mexican politics, most notably during the fiercely contested 2006 presidential elections. Rather than endorsing the center-left candidate, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, he spearheaded a parallel “Other Campaign,” holding rallies that called attention to issues ignored by the major candidates.

In this period, Marcos’s role as military leader of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) seemed to fade into the background. He was Delegate Zero–the anti-candidate. Last night, Marcos had announced that the conference would be his last such appearance for some time. “Look, the EZLN is an army,” he reminded his audience, and he is its “military chief.”

That army faces a grave new threat–one that cuts to the heart of the Zapatistas’ struggle. During the 1994 uprising, the EZLN claimed large stretches of land and collectivized them, its most tangible victory. In the San Andrés Accords, the right to territory was recognized, but the Mexican government has refused to fully ratify the accords. After failing to enshrine these rights, the Zapatistas decided to turn them into facts on the ground. They formed their own government structures–called good-government councils–and stepped up the building of autonomous schools and clinics. As the Zapatistas expand their role as the de facto government in large areas of Chiapas, the federal and state governments’ determination to undermine them is intensifying.

“Now,” says Arronte, “they have their method.” The method is to use the deep desire for land among all peasants in Chiapas against the Zapatistas. Arronte’s organization has documented that, in just one region, the government has spent approximately $16 million expropriating land and giving it to many families linked to the notoriously corrupt Institutional Revolutionary Party. Often, the land is already occupied by Zapatista families. Most ominously, many of the new “owners” are linked to thuggish paramilitary groups, which are trying to force the Zapatistas from the newly titled land. Since September there has been a marked escalation of violence: shots fired into the air, brutal beatings, Zapatista families reporting being threatened with death, rape and dismemberment. Soon the soldiers in their barracks may well have the excuse they need to descend: restoring “peace” among feuding indigenous groups. For months the Zapatistas have been resisting violence and trying to expose these provocations. But by choosing not to line up behind Obrador in the 2006 election, the movement made powerful enemies. And now, says Marcos, their calls for help are being met with a deafening silence.

Exactly ten years ago, on December 22, 1997, the Acteal massacre took place. As part of the anti-Zapatista campaign, a paramilitary gang opened fire in a small church in the village of Acteal, killing forty-five indigenous people, sixteen of them children and adolescents. Some bodies were hacked with machetes. The state police heard the gunfire and did nothing. For weeks now, Mexico’s newspapers have been filled with articles marking the tragic ten-year anniversary of the massacre.In Chiapas, however, many people point out that conditions today feel eerily familiar: the paramilitaries, the rising tensions, the mysterious activities of the soldiers, the renewed isolation from the rest of the country. And they have a plea to those who supported them in the past: don’t just look back. Look forward, and prevent another Acteal massacre before it happens.

Please visit www.naomiklein.org to see photos from Naomi’s visit to Chiapas.

Naomi Klein is the author of many books, including her most recent, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, which will be published in September.Visit Naomi’s website at www.naomiklein.org, or to learn more about her new book, visit www.shockdoctrine.com .

Global Research Articles by Naomi Klein

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Winter Wonderland (wake up, this winter, take a stand!) by Davis Fleetwood (music video)

Dandelion Salad


Dec. 22, 2007

Comment by FactsjustFacts

“I will give your people’s movement the same reccomendation I have given mine-At all polling places have your supporters outside with signs such as “Did you vote DK, stop here”-and have them sign an exit poll type paper-then it is undeniable as to how many votes were cast for your candidate. Good Luck DK supporters! The song was excellent Davis!”


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