On Being Indicted For Lying About Receiving Gifts, Senator Stevens Says: I Thought We Legalized Bribes

Satire

Robert

by R J Shulman
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Robert’s blog post

July 29, 2008

WASHINGTON – Longtime Republican Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska was indicted today for failing to disclose that he received gifts worth $250,000 from an energy company on whose behalf he intervened in Congress. Steven said he was surprised by the indictment saying, “I was sure we made it legal for those of us in Congress to take gifts and money from people we wanted to help out with our votes.”

Stevens is accused of lying on his Senate disclosure form by failing to disclose that he had received over $250,000 in gifts and services from Veco, an Alaskan oil company. Most of the gifts were in the form of renovations to Stevens home.

Senator John Warner, a Virginia Republican said, “Stevens is a true American who wanted to help the oil company which could help with our energy crisis. What’s wrong with that?”

“If Stevens loses his ability to vote in Congress, it will be a big disaster for the bridge construction industry,” said Wayne Strong, of KBR Construction. Strong was referring to Stevens’ support of a $400 million dollar bridge to Gavinia Island in Alaska, a project that became known as the “Bridge to Nowhere.”

At first, Stevens denied that there were any improvements in his home by saying all he noticed that it looked a little cleaner. However, he finally admitted there was extensive work done which was paid for by Veco. Stevens, who is 84 years-old, is the oldest Republican in the Senate. “We are losing our American Values,” Stevens said, “just how socialist have we become when you can’t even take a fair and square bribe?”

see

YOU ARE Qualified to Run for Congress (video)

NOW: Oil, Politics and Bribes (video)

CREW Releases Third Annual Most Corrupt Members Of Congress Report

Olbermann: FBI & IRS Raid Home of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) (video)

FBI & IRS Raid Home of Sen. Ted Stevens (video)

TPMtv: Rep. Don Young’s Plot Against the Constitution (video)

Bill Moyers Journal: Why Earmarks Matter by Ryan Alexander

Ron Paul on Glenn Beck 07.29.08 (audio)

Dandelion Salad

marcaeld

http://libertymaven.com/
http://campaignforliberty.org/

Vodpod videos no longer available.

see

Ron Paul: US would back Israeli strike on Iran

Ron Paul: End of The Dollar

Spreading the pain and pocketing the gain

Socialism for Speculators by Ralph Nader

Thar She Blows – The Last Hurrah for the Banking System

Ron Paul to Bernanke: Federal Reserve is a Predatory Lender

Ron Paul: Something Big is Happening

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Impeachment Petition Deadline Wednesday at Midnight (Action Alert)

Dandelion Salad

by Dennis Kucinich
Kucinich2008
July 29, 2008

URGENT: need your help – Impeachment Petition Deadline Wednesday at Midnight

Dear Friends,

This week I will present members of Congress with Impeachment petitions submitted by those of you who have signed the on-line impeachment form.

I need your help. In the next few days we must redouble our efforts to get more signatures on the online petition at kucinich.us. I’m asking each of you to please contact at least ten of your friends to go to http://www.Kucinich.us now and sign the Impeachment petition that will be delivered by me. Wednesday night is the deadline.

Please send out an email to all your friends and family, post this link, http://kucinich.us to your blogs and make this effort count as this is the only petition that I will deliver.

Thank you so very much.

Dennis

see

Take Action – Sign the Petition for Impeachment

Kucinich gets his day

Countdown: The In-House Network + Judiciary Hearing + Worst

Kucinich Testifies on Abuses of Executive Power (text)

Hearing on Limits of Executive Power: Vincent Bugliosi

Executive Power & the Bush Administration (hearing)

Impeach

Plain Facts About Iran’s Military By Eric Margolis

Dandelion Salad

By Eric Margolis
ICH
07/29/08

The intensifying saber rattling and war of words between the US and Israel, on one hand, and Iran have generated a great deal of hysteria, war fever and confusion.

Senior Israeli cabinet members have threatened nuclear war against Iran. The western media has given the erroneous impression that Iran is poised to wipe Israel off the map. Some understanding of the military issues involved is badly needed.

First, missiles. Iran announced its Shahab-III missile is ready to retaliate against any Israeli attack on its nuclear facilities. This missile is not long-ranged, as media wrongly claims, but a medium-ranged. Iran says it can deliver a two ton warhead over 2,000 km. But Israeli and US sources say Shahab’s maximum range is around 1,200 km, which puts much of Israel out of its range.

This obsolescent missile is highly inaccurate, particularly at maximum range. It is liquid fueled, meaning it is very vulnerable to air and missile strikes while being prepared to fire. Israel has developed tactics using aircraft, missiles and drones to attack enemy missiles in pre-launch phase. Iran has an estimated 24 Shabab-III’s.

The other missiles Iran fired this week were short ranged models of no strategic value. Tehran was even caught doctoring the pictures it issued of the multiple missile launch to cover up the failure of one of the missiles to fly. This embarrassment reinforced the view that Tehran is trying to hide its military weakness behind a lot of chest-pounding and missile theatrics.

Israel, by contrast, has around 50 Jericho-II nuclear-armed missiles with a range from 900-2,700 miles, putting every Mideast capital and parts of Russia, Pakistan, and Europe within range. Each Jericho-II carries a warhead that can destroy a major city.

Medium-ranged missiles are almost useless without nuclear warheads. Iran has no nuclear weapons, and even if it did manage to develop them, it would be many years before a compact warhead could be developed that could be carried atop a missiles and withstand heavy G-forces. Until Iran has nuclear warheads, Iran’s Shabab’s will be more for show than military utility.

*Other systems – Israel has an indestructible nuclear triad. In addition to the Jerichos, which are housed in caves and mobile, Israel has one of the world’s top air forces with long-ranged US-supplied F-15I’s and F-16’s that can deliver nuclear weapons to Iran. Germany provided Israel with three Dolphin-class subs that are said to be armed with nuclear cruise missiles. At least one sub is always on station off Iran’s coast. In addition, Israel new Ofek-3 military satellite provides full coverage of Iran and surrounding region. Israel also shares US satellite and other sensor data in real time.

Israel has probably the world’s second or third most potent air force, with around 400 state of the art, US-supplied combat aircraft and among the world’s most skilled pilots. The IAF is supported by a galaxy of electronic warfare systems, drones, and long-range recon. Israel’s Arrow is the world’s most advanced operational anti-ballistic missiles system and is expected to down over 85% of any incoming missiles.

Iran’s Air Force has only about 165 airworthy combat aircraft, mostly of 1960’s and 70’s vintage. The only aircraft it has that can reach Israel are 18-20 Soviet-era SU-24’s, and a handful of decrepit 40-year old, US-supplied F-4 Phantoms and F-14’s dating from the Shah’s day.

Thanks to unlimited US support, Israel is two full military generations ahead of its enemies, and even further advanced in electronic warfare and command and control.

A single nuclear weapon would destroy Israel, as its partisans warn. But this is also true of Egypt, where a single nuke on the Aswan Dam would inundate the nation and kill millions. It also applies to the Syria, Lebanon, the Gulf Emirates, Jordan, and Iraq. Only Saudi Arabia and Iran have strategic space. Even so, one nuclear strike on Tehran would cripple Iran for years.

Thanks to its strategic triad, Israel’s nuclear forces are indestructible, hence capable of devastating retaliation against any enemy nuclear strike. The Bush administration has vowed nuclear retaliation against any nation that attacks Israel with nuclear weapons.

Given these facts, we can see how false are claims trumpeted by the west that Iran is a dangerous military power that is about to eradicate Israel. The facts are quite the reverse.

see

Acts of War By Scott Ritter

Call on AP to retract false reporting on Iran

Ahmadinejad: U.S. & Iran Not That Different!

Quotes on Iran by Obama, Brown, Sarkozy and Merkel

The possibility of a retaliatory attack by Iran on US bases in the region

Francis Boyle: Iran Should Sue to Stop US Attack

Iran

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Acts of War By Scott Ritter

Dandelion Salad

By Scott Ritter
07/29/08  TruthDig

The war between the United States and Iran is on. American taxpayer dollars are being used, with the permission of Congress, to fund activities which result in Iranians being killed and wounded, and Iranian property destroyed. This wanton violation of a nation’s sovereignty would not be tolerated if the tables were turned and Americans were being subjected to Iranian-funded covert actions which took the lives of Americans, on American soil, and destroyed American property and livelihood. Many Americans remain unaware of what is transpiring abroad in their name. Many of those who are cognizant of these activities are supportive of them, an outgrowth of misguided sentiment which holds Iran accountable for a list of grievances used by the U.S. government to justify the ongoing global war on terror. Iran, we are told, is not just a nation pursuing nuclear weapons, but is the largest state sponsor of terror in the world today.

Continue reading

Mosaic News – 7/28/08: World News from the Middle East

Dandelion Salad

Warning

.

This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

linktv

For more: http://www.linktv.org/originalseries
“Istanbul Rocked by Twin Bombings,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Suicide Attacks in Baghdad Executed by Women,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“The Division Between Iraqi Kurds And Other Iraqis Widens,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“The Tombs of the Unknowns in Iraq,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
“Olmert Doubts Peace Deal in 2008,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Olmert Lowers Expectations,” IBA TV, Israel
“Showdown Between Hamas & Fateh,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“Israel Builds More Settlements in the Jordan Valley,” Jordan TV, Jordan
“Iran-US Breaking the Ice?” Press TV, Iran
“Facebook: A Threat to Egypt’s Security,” New TV, Lebanon
“Algeria’s National Hero,” Algeria TV, Algeria
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Carbon-Free & Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for US Energy Policy

Dandelion Salad

talkingsticktv

July 25, 2008

Interview with Arjun Makhijani, President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research and author of “Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy”.

Continue reading

Neuroscience, National Security & the “War on Terror” by Tom Burghardt

Dandelion Salad

by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, July 29, 2008
Antifascist Calling…

Operating with little ethical oversight, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been tapping cutting-edge advances in neuroscience, computers and robotics in a quest to build the “perfect warfighter.”

Continue reading

Call on AP to retract false reporting on Iran

Dandelion Salad

(source: CASMII)
Tuesday, July 29, 2008

CASMII Press Release
28 July 2008

On July 25, the Associated Press published a report by journalist George Jahn titled “Iran ends cooperation with UN nuclear arms probe”. [1] The story claimed to be based on comments by Gholamreza Aghazadeh, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation in a press conference after meeting with the Director General of the IAEA, Mohamed Elbaradei.

Several news agencies immediately republished the AP’s report without questioning its authenticity and credibility. Yet a simple analysis of the contents of this item reveals repeated distortions of facts.

George Jahn writes in his report:

“Iran signaled Thursday that it will no longer cooperate with U.N. experts probing for signs of clandestine nuclear weapons work, confirming the investigation is at a dead end a year after it began.”

The transcript of Aghazadeh’s comments in Persian was partly published by Iran’s state media as well as Radio Farda funded by the US Congress. He said:

“The two sides were conscious that the so-called alleged studies is a side issue and does not affect our ongoing and bilateral cooperation with the Agency. Iran has done whatever it could in connection with the alleged studies case and the IAEA will draw necessary conclusion on the issue at an appropriate time.” [2] [3]

Speaking about Iran’s response to the US allegations of weaponization studies, Iran’s representative to the IAEA, Dr Aliasghar Soltanieh in an interview in late June 2008, revealed:

“…after the documents [on alleged studies] were shown to us, we explained comprehensively why these papers are forged and baseless. We had many meetings, over 200 pages of explanation have been given in a confidential manner to the IAEA and unfortunately the Americans are still trying to keep this file open by continuing to make ceaseless allegations.” [4]

Jahn not only misrepresented Aghazadeh’s comments, but he also conveniently overlooked the prolonged and consistently positive cooperation between Iran and the IAEA. He writes in another part that “[Iran] dismisses as fabricated the evidence supplied by the U.S. and other members of the IAEA’s governing board.” Yet he ignores the fact that Iran has indeed studied the documents in detail and responded to Agency inquiries well beyond its legal obligations.

Reports of the IAEA confirming the non-diversion of declared nuclear material and repeated statements by Iranian officials on their commitment to work within the framework of the NPT, which does not restrict Iran in any way in enriching uranium for civilian purposes, do not seem to have slowed down AP’s rush to sensational reporting or tempered their temptation for portraying the false image of an Iran not cooperating with the IAEA as the US and its allies allege.

In a similar manner, John Bolton the Neocon warmonger and former US Ambassador to the UN, in January 2007, speaking to AIPAC members about Iran’s nuclear file said:

“… they have not done anything more dramatic, such as withdrawing from the nonproliferation treaty, or throwing out inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which I actually hoped they would do – that that kind of reaction would produce a counter-reaction that actually would be more beneficial to us.” (emphasis added) [5]

In the same interview referred to above, Soltanieh says:

“…despite those [sanctions] resolutions we continue our cooperation with the IAEA within our legal obligations under the Comprehensive Safeguards of the NPT agreement and therefore we neither suspended enrichment nor we suspended our cooperation with the IAEA. That is exactly the policy which has upset the US administration. Because they love to hear the news that Iran has decided either to stop or reduce the inspections or to withdraw from NPT and we have not done either.” [4]

Unlike what the Associated Press suggests, rigorous investigations by the IAEA into Iran’s nuclear programme did not start in 2007 but in 2002. After six years of intrusive inspections, during which Iran voluntarily implemented the Additional Protocol for two years, to date not a single allegation made by the US or its allies against Iran’s nuclear programme has been proven truthful.

Furthermore the Safeguard’s agreement between the IAEA and Iran is limited to verifying non-diversion of declared nuclear material for military purposes. If such a violation is ever detected, the IAEA could consider referring Iran’s file to the UN Security Council.

Iran however has never had such a violation as confirmed in all IAEA reports so far, which is why the reporting of Iran’s nuclear file to the UNSC in February 2006 a decision which was in fact coerced by the US [6], has no legal or legitimate basis. Any concerns expressed or clarifications requested that are not related to the declared nuclear material in Iran including conventional military experimentations (non-nuclear material,) is an unwarranted expansion of the IAEA’s jurisdiction under the NPT, against the statute of the IAEA and therefore illegal.

The AP’s George Jahn goes on to make even more outrageous claims:

“[Iran] admitted in 2002 that it had run a secret atomic weapons program for nearly two decades in violation of its commitment. The Tehran regime insists it halted such work and is now only trying to produce fuel for nuclear reactors to generate electricity.”

This is an unfounded statement which serves to discredit Jahn and the AP. Iran has consistently maintained that it has never had an atomic weapons programme. What the author seems to refer to is the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report of December 2007 in which it was claimed without substantiation that Iran has had a nuclear weapons programme until 2003 when the programme was halted prematurely. Iran has always denied these allegations and has challenged the US to provide the evidence. The IAEA in its latest report has also criticised the US for failing to back up its claims and refusing to cooperate with the Agency in its investigations. [7]

Iran accepted the modified code 3.1 of the Subsidiary Arrangement only in 2003, therefore it had no obligation to inform the IAEA about the existence of nuclear installations prior to that date. The Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (INFCIRC/153) at the time only obliged Iran to inform the IAEA 180 days prior to feeding nuclear material into the facilities. [8]

On the so-called work plan agreed between the IAEA and Iran in August 2007 [9], the AP report says:

“The investigation ran into trouble just months after being launched. Deadline after deadline was extended because of Iranian foot-dragging. The probe, originally meant to be completed late last year, spilled into the first months of 2008, and beyond.”

In fact all the “Outstanding Issues” mentioned in the work plan have been answered by Iran. The IAEA’s investigations as confirmed in its latest report have concluded Iran’s statements to be truthful and consistent. Traces of highly enriched uranium, the source of the uranium metal document, Plutonium experiments, links between Defence and Civilian sectors have all been investigated and none have produced any evidence of a nuclear weapons programme.

Within a matter of hours, to the surprise and confusion of many, George Jahn published another story this time titled “Iran to increase cooperation with IAEA” [10] He tried in vain to retract his earlier statements in light of denials by the Iranian officials. Yet he still failed to present the case correctly, what amounts to misrepresentation by omission of essential facts . Quoting Aliasghar Soltanieh, Jahn writes:

“He questioned the right of the IAEA to push Iran for answers on the weapons allegations, which he described as “fabricated and forged … by the United States.” Such a probe was “beyond the domain of the IAEA,” he said.”

The fact that part of the Agency’s probe is “beyond the domain of the IAEA” is because the matter concerns conventional military capabilities and Iran as a sovereign state has the right to keep its military installations secret from the outside world. Without this explanation, the reader once again may get the impression that Iran is seeking to conceal a nuclear weapons programme.

The AP’s first report has been published in several media outlets and has not been retracted yet. It is a telling example to illustrate how the Western media rushes to distort news on Iran’s nuclear programme to fit into the frame of discourse propagated by the US and its allies that demonizes and accuses Iran baselessly of illicit activities. CASMII calls on AP to come clean and issue a retraction on their false report.

For more information or to contact CASMII visit http://www.campaigniran.org

References

[1] http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jHz-Bz3Pa0Ivga_oNIvTbrBoIN7QD924BQ5O0

[2] http://www2.irna.ir/en/news/view/line-17/0807250120110047.htm

[3] http://radiofarda.org/Article/2008/07/24/o2_iran_end_cooperation_iaea.html

[4] http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/index.php?q=node/5439

[5] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/did-the-us-try-to-provo_b_46377.html

[6] http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/index.php?q=node/1545

[7] http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2008/gov2008-15.pdf

[8] http://www.pmiran.at/sts-2008/facts_on_iran%20nuclear%20issue.htm

[9] http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Infcircs/2007/infcirc711.pdf

[10] http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jHz-Bz3Pa0Ivga_oNIvTbrBoIN7QD924P3HO0

see

Ahmadinejad: U.S. & Iran Not That Different!

Quotes on Iran by Obama, Brown, Sarkozy and Merkel

The possibility of a retaliatory attack by Iran on US bases in the region

Francis Boyle: Iran Should Sue to Stop US Attack

Iran

Spreading the pain and pocketing the gain

Dandelion Salad

by
http://socialistworker.org
July 29, 2008

AFTER MONTHS of wrangling, Congress finally rushed through a housing bill–legislation, its Democratic sponsors say, that will provide some relief for people whose mortgage payments have increased while the value of their homes declined.

But the real reason for the scramble to pass the long-delayed bill was a bailout for the shareholders of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the so-called “government-sponsored enterprises” that own or guarantee half the mortgages in the country–some $5.1 trillion worth. According to some estimates, the rescue could cost taxpayers up to $25 billion–but given that the new law gives the Treasury Department an unlimited ability to fund Fannie and Freddie, the final bill for this rescue could run even higher.

Call it socialism, Wall Street style: Taxpayers get saddled with the risks and the costs of the bailout, while private shareholders reap the gains.

“Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are only the most recent and extreme version of Wall Street socialism,” wrote liberal commentator Robert Borosage.

“The Federal Reserve has now traded more than $500 billion in federal bonds for the toxic paper of private banks and investment houses, some $200 billion of it in mortgage-backed securities, worth dimes on the dollar. This massive subsidy–justified as necessary to keep the banking system afloat–is not accompanied by limits on what gambles the speculators can make, how much debt they can take on, what rewards they can pocket. They are playing with house money–not exactly an incentive for prudence.”

The bill does provide some aid for homeowners who owe more on their mortgages than their houses are worth. But for homeowners to actually get relief, their lenders have to agree to reduce the amount of principle owed on the loan. And since most mortgages are packaged into securities owned by investors, it’s often almost impossible for homeowners to even know who to try to negotiate with.

According to the Center for Responsible Lending, the bill will provide relief for about 500,000 families. “That’s not enough,” the organization said in a press release. “The economy will continue to take a beating if we don’t do more to stop 6.5 million foreclosures Wall Street analysts expect over the next few years.”

Contrast this short shrift for homeowners to the bailout for Fannie and Freddie, which will boost the companies’ stock prices, to the benefit of investors. That measure, along with the endless supply of loans from the Federal Reserve for investment banks, means that the biggest beneficiaries of the government rescue are the same Wall Street investment banks that ran the economy off a cliff in the first place.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

HOW DID it happen? By pumping up the housing market with sub-prime mortgages at low teaser interest rates and packaging homeowners’ debt into complex mortgage-backed securities, the big banks turned a cyclical economic downturn into the biggest world financial crisis in decades. Bad housing-related debt has already led to bank losses of an estimated $400 billion.

The result: Banks are increasingly reluctant to lend, whether to students seeking money to attend community colleges or businesses seeking new capital to expand.

“The scarcity of credit has intensified the strains on the economy by withholding capital from many companies, just as joblessness grows and consumers pull back from spending in the face of high gas prices, plummeting home values and mounting debt,” the New York Times observed.

The government’s response to the crisis has been emergency lending to banks and an improvised, but vast, expansion of regulatory power. Leading the charge is the supposedly pro-free market Bush administration, fronted by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, the former CEO of the investment bank Goldman Sachs, who just weeks ago was warning against the expansion of government regulation.

The new law gives Paulson the ability to provide an unlimited line of credit to Fannie and Freddie, much as Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke is making loans available to Wall Street investment banks under an emergency program last used in the Great Depression of the 1930s.

“Financial capitalism is crashing,” wrote independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader. “So the lights are on late in Washington’s Federal Reserve, SEC and Treasury Department trying to figure out how socialism (your tax dollars and credits) can once again bail out these big time gamblers with our money…Reckless, self-enriching capitalists get on your knees and thank the rescuing Washington socialists, for without them, you would surely be in chains.”

Despite this government rescue of the rich, things could get worse again–in a hurry. “This bill is the latest in a series of temporary fixes to the financial system–attempts to hold the thing together with bungee cords and masking tape–that have, at least so far, succeeded in staving off complete collapse,” New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote of the legislation. “But those fixes have done nothing to resolve the system’s underlying flaws. In fact, they set the stage for even bigger future disasters–unless they’re followed up with fundamental reforms.”

Such dire warnings–along with complaints in the business press about Wall Street socialism–underscore the way in which the declining economy is creating not only political disaster for Bush and the Republicans, but a profound ideological crisis as well.

The pro-market, or neoliberal, economic doctrine of the last 30 years, embraced by Republicans and Democrats alike, has been discredited. Working-class living standards are declining suddenly and sharply due to inflation and lost wealth through housing. And with joblessness on the rise, things will certainly get worse for workers.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

ALL THIS means that working people will be more open than they have been in decades to listen to a critique of the capitalist system.

In the last two recessions–1990-91 and 2001–propaganda about the so-called “triumph of capitalism” hung on during the slump. Margaret Thatcher’s notorious statement, “there is no alternative,” has been accepted internationally by labor and social democratic parties as well as conservatives, since the early 1980s.

Things are very different now. According to a Time magazine/Rockefeller Foundation poll, 85 percent of respondents believe the country is on the wrong track–what Time called “an unprecedented downer from an optimistic nation.”

Of those surveyed, 82 percent support public works projects to create jobs, and 70 percent favor government assistance to those facing hard times. “It is a shocking shift in sentiment, a counterreformation of sorts in a Republican-led era that emphasizes deregulation and self-reliance,” a Time reporter wrote.

Yet even as the world financial system threatens to come apart at the seams and oil prices hit previously unimaginable levels, the Barack Obama presidential campaign is recycling Clinton-era neoliberal economic orthodoxy. Obama does call for high-income individuals to pay taxes at the rates that applied prior to Bush’s tax cuts. But that wouldn’t even put a dent in inequality, which has reached the highest levels since the 1920s.

So far, virtually no mainstream politicians have dared to call for even the most obvious government measures to help to hard-pressed workers–anti-poverty spending, government-funded job programs and a genuine national health care program. And no one in Washington is advocating longer-term measures–major investments in mass transit, conversion to renewable power or a program to rebuild crumbling public schools, for example.

Such reforms are badly needed and worth fighting for. They would improve the lives of millions of people. Yet even this wouldn’t overcome the chaotic scramble for profit that is central to capitalism–and at the heart of the current economic crisis.

Which leads back to a discussion of socialism–not for Wall Street and the wealthy, but for working people. A planned economy, under the democratic control of the majority in society, is the only way to avoid the damaging effects of the capitalist cycle–booms in which the lion’s share of the gains go to the rich, and slumps in which millions of people are tossed out of work and left to rot.

But now that we’ve entered a long-term period of economic crisis, a debate about alternatives is inevitable. It’s time to make the case for socialism.

see

Socialism for Speculators by Ralph Nader

Thar She Blows – The Last Hurrah for the Banking System

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Nader for President 2008

www.votenader.org/

The Termi-Nader

Ralph Nader Posts & Videos

What is Socialism? (archive of posts)

With Success Of His German Restaurant Speech, McCain Will Unveil His Immigration Policy At Taco Bell

Satire

Robert

by R J Shulman
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Robert’s blog post

July 29, 2008

NEW MILFORD, Connecticut – Flush from his well received speech about his European policy at a German restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, Senator John McCain will unveil his latest immigration policy at a Taco Bell in this western Connecticut town.

“John will show he is a man of the people,” said Rick Davis, a senior member of the McCain campaign, “unlike Obama who will talk about coddling illegal immigrants when he speaks to thousands, John will be doing essentially a one-on-one with customers who come for a Gordita or new cheese roll-up.” McCain strategists note that while many in Obama’s audience will be illegal aliens, McCain will be speaking to real American citizens only, as illegal aliens wouldn’t be caught dead eating Taco Bell food.

McCain’s “What America Eats and What’s Eating America” tour will then move to the Golden Palace Chinese Restaurant in Decatur, Illinois where the Arizona Senator will talk about his proposed trade policies with China. He will then unveil his plan to bomb Iran at Kasra, a Persian Restaurant in Richardson, Texas. “While the kitchen will be preparing me a Zereshk Polo with Chicken,” McCain said, “I’ll be preparing a few daisy cutters for their countrymen.”

McCain will discuss his Southern Strategy at a Kentucky Fried Chicken in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and his energy policy on alternative fuels at The Greasy Spoon Restaurant in San Diego. “Eat your heart out Obama, I’m taking a bite out of your lead in the polls,” McCain said from a Long John Silvers in Joplin, Missouri. “Obama will be wasting his time talking about world relations at the United Nations,” McCain said, “but, my friends, I’ll be straight talking to you, about America’s place in the world right here at this International House of Pancakes in beautiful downtown Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

Time for Action Against Monsanto By Siv O’Neall

Dandelion Salad

Updated: July 30, 2008: Correction made to the beginning quote and endnote.

By Siv O’Neall
axisoflogic.com
Jul 26, 2008

“Its [Monsanto’s] objective is to control all the world’s food production.”- Attributed to anti-GMO activist in Paraguay**:

The French documentary that pulls the covers off all the Monsanto lies, The World According to Monsanto, is now available for sale in English. This long-awaited film by French filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin is now available in the US!

Go to Seeds Of Deception and you will get further information at the Institute for Responsible Technology.

The moment has come when we might finally be able to deliver a deadly blow to the biotech industry. The giant Monsanto corporation is in the lead when it comes to selling and making huge profits from GMO seeds, pesticides and fertilizers.

These are toxic products that are right now in the process of ruining the earth’s ecosystems. They are also in the food we eat, since we are the unknowing guinea pigs for this catastrophic experiment, callously engineered by the biotech companies. We are kept ignorant because GM food is sold without proper labelling. GM cultures are replacing biological and small-scale farming by giant monocultures of genetically modified crops that have clearly verified health hazards, from cancer to skin diseases.

Only through infiltration of agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) by high-level Monsanto employees has this gigantic corporation managed to make its way unhindered to an already well-on-the-way take-over of the world’s agriculture.

While the biotech corporations make billions, small farmers are forced to leave their land, move to city slums where they slowly starve to death with their families. Many commit suicide when they are so deeply in debt to these biotech sharks that they see no way out of their misery.

Read ‘The Monoculture of the Mind about Dr Vandana Shiva, based in Delhi, India.

The moment for action has arrived. Movements are afoot in the world, and not just in India, such as Letter From Langdon: Talking Seeds and Freedom at Mark Twain State Park

Also see Linn Cohen-Cole: “During a world food crisis, Monsanto just raised the price of its corn seed $100 a bag.”

The right to food is one of the most basic human rights. Former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Jean Ziegler, says:

In a world overflowing with riches, it is an outrageous scandal that more than 852 million people suffer hunger and malnutrition and that every year over 6 million children die of starvation and related causes. We must take urgent action now.

Jean Ziegler, April 2008

** At the time of publication, this quote was attributed to a high-level Monsanto spokesman. We have since learned this is incorrect; the words were those of an anti-GMO activist in Paraguay speaking about Monsanto. We cannot verify that this is Monsanto’s policy. Siv O’Neall and Axis of Logic regret the error. – Editor, Axis of Logic – July 29, 2008

Siv O’Neall is an Axis of Logic columnist, based in France. She can be reached at siv@axisoflogic.com

Read the Biography and Additional Articles by Axis Columnist, Siv O’Neall.

Copyright 2008 by AxisofLogic.com

This material is available for republication as long as reprints include verbatim copy of the article in its entirety, respecting its integrity. Reprints must cite the author and Axis of Logic as the original source including a “live link” to the article. Thank you!

see

The World According to Monsanto – A documentary that Americans won’t ever see (video)

The Real News Network: The World According to Monsanto

Will the World Survive GM Cultures and the Damage to the Earth’s Eco-Systems?

The Corporations – Killers of Democracy By Siv O’Neall

Patent For a Pig (vid) + Monsanto files patent for new invention: the pig (2005)

William Clinton & Monsanto – a Team for Mutual Profit

Letter to Hillary about Monsanto connections (02.03.08)

How to Address Humanity’s Global Crises? By Vandana Shiva

Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear

The World According to Monsanto – A documentary that Americans won’t ever see (article + vid clip)

GMO

Monsanto

STRATCOM Cancels Controversial Preemption Strike Plan

Dandelion Salad

By Hans M. Kristensen
http://www.fas.org/
July 25, 2008

The U.S. military has canceled a controversial war plan designed to strike adversaries promptly – even preemptively – with conventional and nuclear weapons. The strike plan was known as Concept Plan (CONPLAN) 8022 and first entered into effect in the summer of 2004 to provide the president with a prompt, global strike capability against time-urgent and mobile targets.

CONPLAN 8022 was the first attempt to operationalize the “Global Strike” mission assigned to U.S. Strategic Command in January 2003. The mission was triggered by new White House guidance following the terrorist attacks in September 2001 and fear of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

…continued

h/t: CLG

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