Ralph Nader: We, the People, Will Decide: The Meaning of Freedom

Dandelion Salad

replaced videos Oct. 5, 2012

Here is a 10 minute clip plus the 2 hour video. This man is my hero! ~ Lo

pdxjustice

Speech on May 13, 2008

Added: May 25, 2008
Consumer advocate, author and Presidential candidate, Ralph Nader, discusses his candidacy and the true meaning of freedom in the United States today.

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Ralph Nader – We, the People, Will Decide: The Meaning of Freedom

67 min – May 13, 2008
pdxjustice Media Productions – www.pdxjustice.org

on Apr 24, 2011

Consumer advocate, author and Presidential candidate, Ralph Nader, discusses his candidacy and the true meaning of freedom in the United States today.

pdxjustice Media Productions
Producer: William Seaman

Ralph Nader – We, the People, Will Decide: The Meaning of Freedom, Part 1 (2008)

58 min – May 13, 2008
pdxjustice Media Productions – www.pdxjustice.org

see

Ralph Nader posts

Nader for President 2008

Will “Dirt Energy” Power the Future of Africa?

Dandelion Salad

Thanks to Mariné

by Rebecca Sato
The Daily Galaxy
May 23, 2008

Ironically, dirt might be the new clean. What started as a simple student design to light up a display at the London Olympics, “dirt energy” will soon be powering 10 households in Tanzania. If the pilot program succeeds, dirt energy tech will be distributed across the country. A team from Harvard led by Hugo Van Vuuren was among the winners of the recent World Bank’s Lighting Africa 2008 Development Competition. They are developing a series of dirt-based fuel cells that are capable of lighting high efficiency LED lamps. Their goal is simple: Light up Africa. But eventually this “dirty” technology could help clean up the whole world.

“The technology will be practical for the developed world in the not too distant future,” Van Vuuren tells The Daily Galaxy. “It is already being considered as a energy solution for remote sensors, deep sea devices, and of course renewable outdoor lighting. We are looking specifically at Africa because given the technology’s current stage, we believe it is best suited for emerging world energy demands and economies.”

…continued on Marine’s blog post

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 Youth Volunteers For Combat: The Price Of Innocence by Mickey Walker

Dandelion Salad

by Mickey Walker
http://www.thepoliticaljunkies.net
May 25, 2008

Shopping the Humble, Texas Kroger’s late on Sunday night is a pleasure because there are no lines and no rolling shopping carts with bodies attached to avoid. But, even after 10 p.m., there always seems to be something of interest in these remote suburban places.

Down the pet food and birdseed aisle a lanky figure called out to me, “Hey Mister Walker, is that you?” As he slinked closer, I began to recognize him, but not his name. His thin, football face, seemed hauntingly familiar. Perhaps 6’2”, this gangly, dark-haired youth sported a small silver spike tacked like a nail, just under his lower lip. Two silver rings perched high on his left ear, and a dangly piece of nondescript silver chain hung from his right ear lobe.

Loose-fitting gray tank top and pair of black cutoff jeans trimmed out his jumping jack form, and narrow white sneakers with dirty laces protruded from the bottoms of toothpick legs. I knew this boy. He was the tag-along kid brother of Michael Peña (pronounced Pen-ya), a high school friend of my son Scott. These boys when barely teenagers came down to my old house in the woods at the dead end of a gravel road in old Humble. They came to play in the woods, to finger video game controllers, and to just hang out at my old single-dad bachelor shack. It was their place away from home. Their own parent’s eye could not watch them there, but the parents came to visit me just to see what the attraction was. Immediately, they knew the boys would be all right.

See, I had rules, too. If you broke something you fixed it. Cash would not get the crime dismissed. You had to fix it. There was an unspoken code. No hitting allowed. You had to behave like young gentlemen and show respect for each other, property, and for me. The payoff was that you could be wild and free if you chose to live in the world in good faith. Nobody broke the rules, I surmised, because the boys did not want to get sent home from such a fun-filled gathering place in the woods. Scott and his friends were all born around the mid-1970s, but this youngster who hailed me in the pet food aisle was much younger.

Dustin. That was his name, I remembered, as he told me of his life of just 26 years. I had known him before when he must have been scarcely 12. At community college, he said, he had earned an associate degree in science. It took him three years, he said, to get 60 accredited hours. Associate degree, he called it. He needed at least sixty more for a diploma. But he had it all planned, marvelously. He was going to LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, after his hitch Army, and would become a petroleum engineer.

“Army? What army?” I asked.

“I joined the Army.” he told me.

“The Regular Army?” I asked.

“No sir. The Army Reserves.” he said, looking at his shoes.

Dustin had lived with his schoolteacher mother, but in the last decade or more, he had worked hard at many jobs and managed to get his own place. A forklift operator, Dustin had a tight budget. Proudly, he said he had managed to pay his own way after moving out on his own. He beamed when bragging about how he had skimped to pay for his own books and tuition at Harris County Community College in North Houston. I liked Dustin. His drive moved me. My faith in youth came back for a moment. It was good.“

I couldn’t pass it up.” Dustin sighed. “They gave me a 20 thousand dollar bonus flat out for signing up.”

“Twenty thousand just for signing up in the Army Reserves?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he said, excited, “And another twenty thousand to pay for my college at LSU.”

I congratulated him. Even though these young innocents had grown into young men, they still liked to hear “Atta boys,” it was certain. With gusto, I heaped them on.

“I got Reserve drills once a month for six years,” Dustin continued, “but heck, I get $850.00 for each drill.”

“Wow!” I blurted. “I was a lieutenant commander in the Naval Reserve and got only $50.00 a drill for one weekend a month. But that was a long time ago.”

Indeed, the 1970s was a long time ago. There was a military draft back then. But you could avoid it if you had connections. Thanks to Sid Ager, Ben Barnes, and General Rose, commanding general of the Texas Air Guard when the war raged in Viet Nam, George W. Bush never saw combat. Bush got a direct commission from General Rose and was assigned to the Texas Air Guard in Houston where there was a zero chance of seeing active duty or combat. But as for the rest of us, you had to go. You had no choice. I had a college diploma just like Bush, and got drafted, but I had to attend months of Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I. to earn a commission as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy. Direct commission, my ass.

Then Dustin told me the bad news.

“I will have to go to Iraq,” he said, pausing to study my eye. “Maybe two times in all, Mr. Walker.” His tone had grown a little solemn and muted. I could feel the momentary shadow pass over us both.

“Two times in combat? Twice?” I asked. “But you’re in the Reserves.”

“Yeah, but that’s the deal I signed up for, Mr. Walker.” Dustin replied. “One, maybe two full combat tours of duty in Iraq on active duty.” He was going, alright.

In Colin Powell’s autobiographical book, My American Journey Powell protested strongly the drafting (conscription) of less fortunate ethnic groups like blacks and Hispanics, conscripted to fight in wars while rich kids could slide and get out of combat by joining a Reserve unit. Then the Reserves did not go to war; today they do. But while there is no longer a draft, economic hard times do weigh heavily on poor kids with a dead end job, no health insurance, nor the income to keep up with the spiking prices of gas at the pump. Colin Powell words were those of a true champion of the common man. But that was before he joined Bush and disowned his own high principles of which he wrote in his own autobiography.

All a young Hispanic male like Dustin with no one to help him pursue his dreams or to give him a leg up on life’s mountains, is himself. He’s it. He has no health insurance, no savings, nor the ability or resources to go to college full time. He works in addition to going to school. So here comes the Army waving 20 thousand dollars as a signing bonus, another 20 thousand to pay his college, and then $850.00/month X 12 months/year X 6 years obligation (if he makes it through) = $61,000.00. Such a deal.

Dustin had to join the Army. There were no good alternatives. And our president, devoted to protecting us from terrorists, is really saving us a bundle by paying Dustin to join the Army Reserves. You see, the total cost of a RESERVE soldier like Dustin is chicken feed compared to what a Blackwater private mercenary soldier would cost the taxpayers. You’re talking $600,000. So Bush is saving us money, don’t you see?

I wished Dustin good luck, and as I wheeled my groceries through the parking lot, I fought back a tear. Perhaps it was the wind, I thought. I had known this boy and had seen him grow up. All things considered, the deal he had struck with our government was the absolute best opportunity he had.

On that same day, May 18th, NBC Evening News had interviewed two Army Reservists who had been stop-gapped in the Iraq War. Stop-gapped is where right before your Army contract is up, the Army recaptures you to serve on active duty indefinitely to combat duty in Iraq, again and again. It’s arbitrary. Our leaders say it’s for the good of America, maintaining continuity in the same conflict, or other such horse shit. It’s like being trapped in a recurring nightmare, only it’s real. So are the bullets and roadside bombs. The soldiers interviewed on NBC spoke with disbelief and glazed eyes as they clutched their young sons, daughters, and wives, one last time.

Their time had run out. Again. Surprise, surprise. How cruel can we be?

We just don’t get it, do we? So how much is a 26-year old American Reservist soldier worth? Looks like Dustin can make upwards of $100 thousand dollars for bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq. Free room, meals, and burial (if necessary), of course. Quite a business.

Bush’s War, I thought. Today, May 22, 2008 Congress gave Bush another 165 BILLION DOLLARS OFF BUDGET for his Iraq War, based upon Saddam Hussein having Weapons of Mass Destruction trained on the United States of America. That was 5 years ago. Still, no WMD. Now we know where the big money is going, to lure young innocents like Dustin to fight for their country. And because our national debt approaches 10 TRILLION DOLLARS, the Chinese will loan us the money. Is that a lose-lose proposition or what?

Dustin, I salute you. At 26, you have managed to display more courage than our Commander-In-Chief ever did. He never had the guts to volunteer for combat as you did. He checked the ‘Do Not Volunteer’ for overseas duty box on his application when the Viet Nam War raged. But hold the phone. Let’s be fair. To do his part in the Iraq War, Bush did volunteer to give up golf.

Well……………… almost.

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Q&A: Lack of Food Is a “Persistent Myth”

Dandelion Salad

Interview with IIED scientist Michel Pimbert
http://www.ipsnews.net

LONDON, May 24 (Tierramérica) – The current food crisis has revived the myth that the world doesn’t produce enough food for its six billion people, according to Michel Pimbert, author of a new study that highlights local production as a potential solution.

Continue reading

US residents in military brigs? Govt says it’s war

Dandelion Salad

By MATT APUZZO
Associated Press Writer
Sat May 24,

…continued

h/t: CLG

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 Glimpse of the Future.

Dandelion Salad

Posted with permission by Richard.

by Richard
Richard’s blog post
May 25, 2008

Iceland’s economy is a glimpse of things to come for our own economy. The once booming and prosperous Icelandic economy that was bolstered by an international lending boom and real estate mania has given way to a financial and economic nightmare that threatens to undo years of prosperity and growth. The economic boom of the early and mid-2000’s transformed the island nation into a beacon of wealth. The Goldilocks economy was made possible by a strong financial system that managed to maintain full-employment, price stability and sustained moderate growth.

How did this isolated island nation ascend to the world’s sixth most prosperous country? The privatization of the financial system and the hefty reduction of business and corporate taxes made Iceland an attractive location for foreign investors and businesses. The top three financial institutions borrowed massive sums of money from foreigners and reinvested that money in the international real estate and lending bubble. The Icelandic economy continued to boom as international housing appreciated and surplus savings could easily and affordably be borrowed from emerging markets in Southeast Asia.

However, once the real estate and lending bubble peaked, markets soured and Iceland is now facing an unprecedented crisis that threatens to undermine the role model economy of the new millennium. The three leading financial firms are now facing an unbelievable run on cash. Foreign investors and hedge funds have bid the Icelandic Krona down 30% against the Euro since January of this year. Inflation is running at an 18-year high as the price of food, energy, transportation and medication is skyrocketing. Prices are rising way faster than wages and Icelanders are troubled by a declining lifestyle.

The current crisis didn’t materialize from nowhere. There were signs of crisis during the boom years. Iceland had an unsustainable current account deficit of 16%. That means the Icelandic economy was borrowing an unprecedented sum of cash from foreigners and importing an unprecedented % of goods and services sold to consumers. Even with a balanced fiscal budget, such an enormous national trade and capital imbalance can spell a severe crisis. While the financial system surged, it was rooted in borrowed money. Borrowing money from foreigners and reinvesting that money can’t last forever. Once the real estate bubble ended, there was no hope for sustaining that source of prosperity. The same reasons that drove their stock exchange from 1,000 to 9,000 in a few short years led to a 50% loss in a single year.

So how does Iceland’s economy relate to America’s economy?

Our economy is based on a financial boom. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 are composed of financial firms, businesses, trusts and corporations. Without financial companies, our national market capitalization would dwindle to near nothing. Citigroup, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs create the New York Stock Exchange. Without financial companies, there’s nothing. George Soros and Warren Buffet are among the wealthiest Americans. George Soros and Warren Buffet are both financiers and financial speculators.

Our economy is suffering from the triplet deficits of fiscal, trade and capital imbalances. Our government is borrowing money from foreigners. We’re buying more from foreigners than we’re selling to them. We’re borrowing money from foreign investors and financial institutions. American companies are being purchased by foreigners with American dollars that were obtained from our trade deficits. Japan, China, Korea and Saudi Arabia own trillions of $’s in U.S. stocks, real estate and Treasury bonds.

Free market ideology has governed America since the early 1990’s. Bill Clinton deregulated markets, negotiated Trade Agreements and slashed taxes on businesses and investors. George Bush has continued this ideology by reducing taxes on millionaires and billionaires. In addition, Bush has launched aggressive conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq to fatten the profits of defense, aerospace and energy companies. Free market ideology translates into boom and bust cycles. The late 90’s boom resulted in the 2001 – 2003 recession. The 2005 – 2007 prosperity will translate into a horrible and deepened crisis.

Unlike Iceland’s economy, America’s is dealing with trillions of dollars. Fiscal deficits alone have calculated into the trillions of $’s since the turn of the millennium. While an economy like Iceland can weather small sums, America’s economy is handling trillions of dollars. Our trade, capital and governmental imbalances are unbelievable, unprecedented and unsustainable. Even a historical global Empire couldn’t survive our imbalances.

Our economy is just beginning to suffer the pitfalls of Iceland’s economy. Inflation is rising to a Post-Gulf War high. Prices are just beginning to rise faster than wages. Our banking and financial system is just beginning to suffer losses. Our employment market is just beginning to loose jobs. Our trade deficit is just beginning to narrow. Americans are just beginning to save more of their money. Gas prices are just starting to approach the European average. Food is just starting to reach the unsubsidized average. Joblessness is just beginning to reach the European Union’s average.

So what can we do? We’re not an island economy. If we want to provide full-time jobs for everybody and low prices for everybody, we have to mass produce consumer goods. From automobiles to bread, we have to provide cheap and affordable goods to everyone. From rich to poor, we have to create an economy that benefits everybody. We need to nationalize the banks and financial firms to reduce interest rates on loans and mortgages. We need to nationalize the energy sector to curtail profits and provide the American people with affordable and renewable energy. We need to provide incentives to farmers to encourage them to grow and sell more produce. What we need is democratic socialism.

Free markets caused this crisis. Free markets can’t solve this crisis.

Iran’s role as a regional power (video; Porter)

Dandelion Salad

TheRealNews

More at http://therealnews.com/c.ph…
The Real News Network’s Paul Jay talks to Gareth Porter about Iran’s goals in supporting Hamas and Hezbollah. Hezbollah may have started with the help of Iran but it has evolved into something that is quite independent. Iran’s position in relation to Hamas and Hezbollah are as “bargaining chips” in a negotiated settlement with the US to be recognized as a regional power in the Middle East.

see

Washington’s conflicting strategies on Iran (video; Porter) Part I

Iran, US and the possibility of war (video; Porter) Part II

An Appeal to Admiral Fallon on Iran By Ray McGovern

Where Are Those Iranian Weapons in Iraq? by Gareth Porter

Israeli press reports US pledge of war on Iran—is Bush preparing an October Surprise?

Report: U.S. Will Attack Iran

Porter-Gareth

Iran

The Continuing Catastrophe (videos)

Dandelion Salad

AlJazeeraEnglish

To conclude Al Jazeera’s special coverage of the 60th anniversary of the creation of Israel – an event known to Palestinians as ‘al Nakba’ (the catastrophe) – senior political analyst Marwan Bishara hosts a debate examining why the events of 1948 still have wide-ranging political ramifications today.

Rove’s Non-Denial on Siegelman (video)

Dandelion Salad

videocafeblog

During an interview on This Week with George Stephanopoulos Karl Rove is asked about his involvement in the Don Siegelman case and he claims he found out about it by reading the newspapers but does not deny that he talked to anyone in the Justice Department about the case.

see

Q&A with Don Siegelman: I think this will make Watergate look like child’s play

Outer Darkness: The Gulag Cancer Grows, State Terror Intensifies by Chris Floyd + Secret prisons (vids)

Dandelion Salad

by Chris Floyd

Empire Burlesque

24 May 2008

I.

The United States government is holding some 27,000 human beings in secret prisons around the world. The overwhelming majority of them are being held indefinitely, without charges, without rights, cut off from the outside world, and subject to “harsh interrogation techniques” (to use the prim locution for “torture” used by the Bush Administration and universally adopted by the American media).

Many of these captives are stuffed into holding pens in Iraq, including Abu Ghraib, which is still in operations despite the momentary torture-photo scandal of 2004 — and despite Bush’s earnest promise to Iraqis to tear down that hated symbol of Saddam’s torture. Other captives are crammed into the holds of prison ships floating around the world. Still others languish in the torture chambers of the Bush Administration’s Terror War allies — despotisms, tyrannies, brutal kingdoms — having been “renditioned” there by American agents, sometimes after being kidnapped, or sold into captivity by bounty hunters, or snatched up in mass sweeps or random grabs or simply for having the wrong name, the wrong face, the wrong color, the wrong religion.

In any civilized country, such facts would provoke banner headlines, marathon television debates, investigations, prosecutions and widespread public revulsion. It might have done so even in the United States not all that long ago. But the most recent encapsulation of these horrors — from Clive Stafford Smith of Reprieve, speaking earlier this week on Democracy Now — has caused scarcely a ripple. Even that is putting it too strongly; in the mainstream media, the news has been greeted with the usual iron curtain of silence.

…continued

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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US holding 27 thousand in secret prisons

IWantDemocracyNow

see

The rest of the Democracy Now! program: Democracy Now! Spies for Hire + Secret Overseas Prisons + Malcolm X

FBI agents created “war crimes file” documenting US torture

For His Treatment of Children in the ‘War on Terror,’ Bush Is a War Criminal