Disenfranchisement, The New American Way? by Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan for Congress

Cindy Sheehan

by Cindy Sheehan
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Cindy Sheehan for Congress

Aug. 4, 2008

I knew it was not going to be easy to challenge the two party duopoly (that is brought to us by the US Military Industrial Media Complex), but I did not realize how hard this same system would make it to obtain ballot access.

In California, if one has the audacity to actually want to represent the voice of the people and not represent the corporate parties, then you have to obtain signatures amounting to 3% of EVERYONE who voted in the last election, no matter what party, to get on the ballot.

Here in San Francisco, for the November general election that number is: 10,198.

Now, in a city where there are approximately 467,000 registered voters it would seem that getting 10,198 signatures would not be that hard. But, counter to what one would think, it is very hard. My campaign and some dedicated volunteers have given up every single weekend and work non-stop during the week to be out in the community collecting every last signature that is available. In a town that is famous for being one of the most beautiful cities in the world, over half of the people we talk to don’t even live in San Francisco, which is unfortunate, because most of those people would have signed.

We hired paid signature gatherers for the last few weeks and we have been garnering anywhere from 100 to 1000 signatures a day and dozens of disgusted (with Pelosi) people walk in off the streets to our office on Mission to sign for us.

The first batch of signatures we turned in was for the 3000 “signatures in lieu” of filing fee. We couldn’t pay the filing fee; we had to collect those signatures. For that round, we turned in over 3300 and 22% were invalidated, so we could count 2504 of those. We had to pay for 496 (at .55 per signature) and STILL collect those signatures. So that left us with 7694 to collect by August 8th. If we didn’t pay the filing fee, they would not give us our nomination papers.

On July 30, Cindy for Congress turned in 10873 signatures, which were 40% over what we needed to qualify for the ballot—our staff, and the volunteers were jubilant because we hit the hurdle easily and with what we thought was a good margin of error. That euphoria lasted until Friday, August 1st, when we got the preliminary call from the Department of Elections in the bowels of SF City Hall (the staff there are actually very helpful and professional). The preliminary analysis was that 41% would be challenged!

Today we got the final bad news: the DOE sampled 531 signatures, allowed 300 and challenged 231: 120 of those because the signers weren’t “registered.” In a city where the population is so fluid, and homeless citizens are the most educated about how the system fails people, this is a huge problem. Many of our homeless are vets that have had the system fail them more profoundly.

I don’t understand why in a “democracy” the powers that be make it so difficult to run for office. A healthy system of government demands more choices and should hear even more voices. There are three qualifications listed in the Constitution to be in Congress:

1)    Have attained 25 years of age
2)    Live in the USA for 7 years
3)    Live in the same state you wish to represent at the time of the elections.

I more than meet and exceed all of these qualifications and besides the Constitutional issues, I have a burning desire to right the wrongs of the excesses of the last few decades; make this world more peaceful and healthy; and transform this country into the one that they say my son, Casey, died for.

I understand that there should be some signatures required, but to disqualify almost 5000 of my signatures from a sampling of 531 is ludicrous. And to require so many is oppressive to democracy, not conducive.

When I am in Congress, I will work extremely hard to make sure that everyone who is qualified is not only enfranchised, but that those enfranchised feel like they have a voice in what happens in their country and community!

No matter how many obstacles “they” throw in our way, we will persist and persevere. We need 1694 more valid signatures by Friday and we will get them. We already have 1926 and will work every day to squeeze every last signature out of the district. So many people are counting on us. The harder “they” make it, the tougher we get!

Cindy Sheehan for Congress


Know Your Place? by Cindy Sheehan + More signatures needed

Time for Pelosi to go – Vote Independent Cindy Sheehan

The Most Important Election In The United States of America in 2008

Money Bomb For The Peace Mom Aug 6th! + Help Cindy Sheehan Get On The Ballot

Cindy Sheehan: Impeachment

Dear world, please confront America By Naomi Wolf

Dandelion Salad

By Naomi Wolf
August 1, 2008

Is it possible to fall out of love with your own country? For two years, I, like many Americans, have been focused intently on documenting, exposing, and alerting the nation to the Bush administration’s criminality and its assault on the Constitution and the rule of law — a story often marginalized at home. I was certain that when Americans knew what was being done in their name, they would react with horror and outrage.

Three months ago, the Bush administration still clung to its devil’s sound bite, “We don’t torture.” Now, Doctors Without Borders has issued its report documenting American-held detainees’ traumas, and even lie detector tests confirm they have been tortured. The Red Cross report has leaked: torture and war crimes. Jane Mayer’s impeccably researched exposé “The Dark Side” just hit the stores: torture, crafted and directed from the top.

The Washington Post gave readers actual video footage of the abusive interrogation of a Canadian minor, Omar Khadr, who was seen showing his still-bleeding abdominal wounds, weeping and pleading with his captors.

So the truth is out and freely available. And America is still napping, worrying about its weight, and hanging out at the mall.

I had thought that after so much exposure, thousands of Americans would be holding vigils on Capitol Hill, that religious leaders would be asking God’s forgiveness, and that a popular groundswell of revulsion, similar to the nineteenth-century anti-slavery movement, would emerge. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, if torture is not wrong, nothing is wrong.


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.


Has America become Fascist? by Sherwood Ross

Bill Moyers Journal: Torture Hearings + Jane Mayer + Fritz Hollings

Friendly fire killed soldier: Khadr defence – Testimony points to U.S. grenade

First Guantanamo Bay Video Released

ACLU Obtains Key Memos Authorizing CIA Torture Methods

Tell Congress: Reject Endless War and a Torture Cover-Up + video




Know Your Place? by Cindy Sheehan + More signatures needed

Updated: added video.

Latest news from the campaign: On The Ballot, Officially

Time to take Pelosi out of office!  ~ Lo

Cindy Sheehan for Congress

Cindy Sheehan

by Cindy Sheehan
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Cindy Sheehan for Congress

Aug. 4, 2008

My opponent for Congress, Nancy Pelosi is using her month long summer recess from doing nothing positive in Congress to promote her new book: Know Your Power. This book is supposedly a (xenophobic?) screed for “America’s daughters.” Admittedly, Ms. Pelosi broke some kind of invisible “glass ceiling” when she became the first female Speaker of the House, but many of us are wondering if she really knows her “Power?”

I did not know my Power before my son was tragically, prematurely and unnecessarily killed in Iraq in April of 2004. I unfortunately believed that one person could not make a difference, and even though I dutifully never missed an election to go out and vote for progressive causes and against regressive measures, (and, yes, for Democrats), I really did not think my vote counted. My suspicions about electoral politics were reinforced in 2000 when the “Supreme” Beings crowned George Bush as leader of the free world. I was incensed, but like many I thought: “Oh well, how much damage can this idiot do in four years?” I was convinced he would not see a second term and I had no idea how much damage he would do to our nation, our world and personally to my family.

I believe that in the summer of 2005, our encampment outside of George Bush’s “Flying Photo-Op Ranch” changed the perception that one person cannot make a difference, and even though Bush/Cheney remain and the occupations remain, tens of thousands of people were em-Powered to work in grass roots movements that peaked with the election of a majority of Democrats in both Houses of Congress. It is not the movement’s fault that things have not improved because most of the wind has been taken out of the sails of that movement due to the betrayal of the House leadership…including Ms. Pelosi.

In this piece, I would like to remind Ms. Pelosi of her “Power.”

The tripartite formulation of our government was supposed to guarantee that not one of the three branches (Executive, Legislative or Judiciary) was to gain more “Power” over the other. The Constitution clearly “enumerates” the responsibilities of the Legislative Branch (the one Ms. Pelosi belongs to, not the Executive Branch, which she has made Congress subservient to) in Article I, Section 8. This is Civics 101, people.

Ms. Pelosi has the “Power” to “raise and support Armies” (but not for longer than two years) or to withdraw that support when the mission is clearly psychotic and does not promote national security.

Ms. Pelosi has the “Power” to make “Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;” when she has allowed the inhumane and immoral practice of rendition and torture to continue (after having been briefed on these practices in 2002).

Ms. Pelosi has the “Power” to “Declare war,” and since the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan were un-Constitutionally (never mind the legal or moral questions) waged, she has the “Power” to withdraw the consent of Congress to allow Bush to continue his doctrine of “preventive” warfare before it is to late for Iran or Pakistan or (?).

As the price of a gallon of gas, and every other consumer good is skyrocketing, and as our delicate ecology is degrading at a faster pace every day, did you know Ms. Pelosi has the “Power” “To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States” by imposing large taxes on the record profits of the oil companies (and other pigs of war) to enhance research and development of alternatives to halt our over-usage and disordered dependence on fossil fuels (foreign and domestic)?

And, finally, does Ms. Pelosi know that Article II, Section 4 of the US Constitution gives Congress the power to impeach the President and Vice President for “bribery, treason and other high crimes and misdemeanors?” Since she has taken this valuable clause off the table and recently mis-informed viewers of The View that she is not aware of any crimes that Bush has committed that would warrant Impeachment and she recently told another interviewer that she hasn’t exercised her Constitutionally mandated authority to hold the Executive Branch accountable, because George Bush would not “cooperate” with such an investigation. All I can say to that one is: LOL! That’s a new one and I would dare anyone to use that one in a criminal investigation.

For all of you “pragmatists” out there who think that Ms. Pelosi does not have “the votes” to accomplish anything healthy, just think of the things that she has used her “Power” for: funding the occupations to the cha-ching (music to the ears of the war profiteers) of billions of dollars and granting the Bush regime and their accomplices, the telecoms, immunity from being prosecuted under the now deceased 4th Amendment and FISA laws. To the people of this nation who are suffering under a global recession she tossed us a few crumbs off her infamous “table” while she bailed out the corrupt mortgage bankers to the cha-ching of billions more of OUR tax dollars. That’s not a “stimulus” package that is socializing the losses of capital while piling more burden on the people and our descendants.

Ms. Pelosi also likes to use her “Power” to whine about a laundry list of things that are out of her control that thwart her “Power:” The Senate, The Iraqis, The Blue Dog Democrats (the new enemy du jour), and even incredibly: The Executive Branch which should be under her thumb and under her control and subject to Congressional oversight and accountability.

A true leader knows his/her “Power” and would vigorously use it to improve the conditions of working class and other oppressed people and not to rigorously defend the establishment status quo.

There’s a thankfully now anachronistic adage that says: A woman’s place is in the home. Well, I would like to believe that as a nation and people we are now enlightened enough to know that a woman’s place is anywhere she wants to be but how we long for female leadership that is not compliant to the patriarchal constraints that have been forced on us like psychological rape. A female’s “Power” lies in a matriarchal resistance to a paradigm of mostly male domination by violence and greed not to be subsumed by it.

If Ms. Pelosi knew her “Power” this nation would not be on the fast track to ruin but on its way to recovery.

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SF Department Of Elections Hanky-Panky? SOS Pt II

by Cindy Sheehan

We just got an official report from the Department of Election here in San Francisco.

They “randomly” sampled 531 of the 10,856 signatures that we turned in.

They are “challenging” 231 and “allowing” 300. That means, after posting a 22% failure rate when we turned in our signatures in “lieu” of a filing fee (which Independents have to get anyway, there is no “filing fee” allowed, in lieu of anything), we have posted an INCREDIBLY hard to believe 43.5 percent failure rate and we need 2116 more valid signatures by Friday at 5pm.

We can do it but we need help.

Please forward this around so people can help us, or donate so we can pay professionals (signature gatherers/lawyers) to help get the voice of the people on the ballot.




Asher sent me this a while ago but I had trouble seeing the pics he was holding up so I didn’t post it then.  What he says is very important so here it is:

Nancy Pelosi Must Be Held Accountable!


August 6th, Donate to Cindy Sheehan’s Campaign!

This video has been banned from DemocraticUnderground.com !!!

Yay for censorship!


On The Ballot, Officially

Bambi vs. Godzilla: Bambi Needs Your Help! by Josh Sidman

“This is Horsesh**” by Cindy Sheehan

Disenfranchisement, The New American Way? by Cindy Sheehan

Bush’s Gitmo Guilt + Kucinich: We did it!

Time for Pelosi to go – Vote Independent Cindy Sheehan

The Most Important Election In The United States of America in 2008

Money Bomb For The Peace Mom Aug 6th! + Help Cindy Sheehan Get On The Ballot

Cindy Sheehan: Impeachment


Impeach Pelosi Petition



Thanks to http://bgalrstate.blogspot.com/ for linking to this blog post: http://www.crooksandliars.com/2008/08/10/pelosi-says-she-hasnt-read-articles-of-impeachment/

Who’s Really Running Iraq? By Patrick Cockburn

Dandelion Salad

By Patrick Cockburn
08/04/08 “Counterpunch

Home Truths You’ll Never Read in the Press

American politicians and journalists have repeatedly made the same mistake in Iraq over the past five years. This is to assume that the US is far more in control of events in the country than has ever truly been the case. This was true after the fall of Saddam Hussein when President Bush and his viceroy in Baghdad Paul Bremer believed that what Iraqis thought and did could safely be ignored. Within months guerrilla war against American forces was raging across central Iraq.

The ability of America to make unilateral decisions in Iraq is diminishing by the month, but the White House was still horrified to hear the Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki appearing to endorse Barack Obama’s plan for the withdrawal of American combat troops over 16 months. This cut the ground from under the feet of  John McCain who has repeatedly declared that ‘victory’ is at last within America’s grasp because of the great achievements of ‘the Surge’, the American reinforcements sent to Iraq in 2007 to regain control of Baghdad.

The success of ‘the Surge’ is becoming almost received wisdom in the US. This is strange since, if the US strategy did win such an important victory, why do America generals need more soldiers, currently 147,000 of them, in Iraq than they did before ‘the  Surge’ started? But belief in this so-called victory is in keeping with the American tradition of seeing everything that happens in Iraq as being the result of actions by the US alone. The complex political landscape of Iraq is ignored. US commentators have never quite taken on board that there are not one but three wars being fought out in the country since 2003: the first is the war of resistance against the American occupation by insurgents from the Sunni Arab community. The second is the battle between the Sunni and Shia communities as to who should rule the Iraqi state in succession to Saddam Hussein. The third conflict is a proxy war between the US and Iran to decide who should be the predominant foreign power in Iraq. The real, though exaggerated, fall in violence in Iraq over the last year is a consequence of developments in all three of these wars, but they do not necessarily have much to do with ‘the Surge’.

The reduction in violence is in any case only in comparison to the bloodbath of 2005-7 when Baghdad and central Iraq was ravaged by a sectarian civil war. There were 554 Iraqis killed in the fighting in June 2008, which is only a third of the figure for the same month a year earlier. This is progress, but it still makes Baghdad the most dangerous city in the world. Asked on television about the security situation, Iraqis often respond that ‘things are getting better’ and so they undoubtedly are, but people usually mean that things are better than the terror of two years ago. Foreign television correspondents laud the improved security in the Iraqi capital and are pictured apparently strolling down a peaceful and busy street. What the television viewer does not see are the armed guards standing behind the cameraman, without whom the correspondents would not dare set foot outside their heavily guarded offices.

I do drive around Baghdad without armed guards and have always done so. But I sit in the back of a car with an Arabic newspaper and a jacket or shirt on a hanger masking the window next to me. I have a second car behind me in contact with us by field radios to make sure that we are not being followed. It is true that security is better, but this can be overstated. Each district iin Baghdad is sealed off by concrete walls. There are checkpoints every few hundred yards. Sunni and Shia do not visit each other areas unless they have to. The best barometer for the real state of security in Baghdad is the attitude of Iraqi refugees, particularly the 2.4 million people who fled to Jordan and Syria. Though often living in miserable conditions and with their money running out, the refugees are generally not coming home to Iraq and, when they do, they seldom return to houses from which they have been forced to flee. If they do try to do so the results are often fatal. Baghdad has few mixed areas left and today is 75-80 per cent a Shia city. The demographic balance in the capital has shifted against the Sunni and this is unlikely to change. The battle for Baghdad was won by the Shia and was ending even before ‘the Surge’ began in February 2007.

It was the outcome of the struggle for the capital that caused a large part of the anti-American resistance to make a dramatic change of sides, switching suddenly from fighting to supporting US troops. The attempt by al-Qa’ida in Iraq to take over the whole of the anti-occupation resistance in late 2006 was important in forcing other insurgent groups to ally themselves with the US as al-Sahwa or the Awakening movement. But perhaps a more important reason for the rise of al-Sahwa was that there was no point in the Sunni insurgents attacking the Americans if they were being driven from Iraq by the Shia. There are now some 90,000 former Sunni resistance fighters on the American payroll, but they happily express open hatred and contempt for the Iraqi government. Sectarian divisions in the country remain very deep. In the Fallujah area, for instance, it is very dangerous for either the Sunni chief of police or the al-Sahwa commander (they are brothers) to enter Baghdad. This is because Abu Ghraib at the entrance to the city is controlled by the much-feared and heavily-Shia al-Muthana Brigade, who might kill either of them on sight.

Another reason why violence has fallen in Iraq over the last eighteen months has little to do with ‘the Surge’, but is the consequence of the Shia militiamen of the Mehdi Army being stood down by its leader Muqtada al-Sadr. The one constant theme in his strategy, ever since he fought the US Marines in Najaf in 2004, has been to avoid direct military conflict with the US armed forces or his Shia rivals when backed by US firepower. This was true at the start of ‘the Surge’ in February 2007 and Muqtada has sought truces and ceasefires ever since. He did so after fighting with the Iraqi police in Kerbala in August 2007 and he renewed the truce six months later. In March this year the Iraqi army launched a military offensive to take Basra from the Mehdi Army, an attack which at first failed to make headway until backed by US airpower. But in Basra and later in Sadr City in Baghdad, Muqtada agreed to ceasefires which allowed his former bastions to be taken over by the Iraqi army. Muqtada did not fight because he knew his men must lose at the end of the day. For a military confrontation with the Iraqi army and the US he would need the support of Iran and this was not forthcoming.

McCain and other American politicians who believe that ‘the Surge’ has brought them close to victory, seldom understand the role Iran has played in Iraq in the last two years. Paradoxically, Iran and the US together are the two main supporters of the present Iraqi government. For Iran, Nouri al-Maliki in power in Baghdad leading a coalition of Shia religious parties allied to the Kurds is as good as it is going to get. The Iranians may vie with the US for influence over this government, but both want it to stay in power. “People fail to realise that the success of ‘the Surge’ was the result of a tacit agreement between the US and Iran,” one Iraqi leader told me. “There really is an Iranian-American condominium ruling Iraq these days,” said another.

Suppose McCain is elected US president in November and acts as if the US is the only decision maker in Iraq then he will face a renewed war. Iraqis will not accept the occupation continuing indefinitely and Iran will not allow itself to be marginalized. If McCain were to try to win a military victory in Iraq he could find the supposed achievements of ‘the Surge’ rapidly evaporating.

Patrick Cockburn is the Ihe author of “Muqtada: Muqtada Al-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq.” A version of this piece appeared in The National (http://www.thenational.ae), published in Abu Dhabi.

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.


The Ticking Iraqi Clock By John Bruhns

Civilians in Warfare (music video with artwork)

The Stealing Of America – The Unethics Of America’s New Undemocracy

Defeated in Iraq? By Mike Whitney

Baghdad: City of walls + Death, destruction & fear + Shabby, tired & scared


Mullen warns against USS Liberty redux

Dandelion Salad

By Press TV
08/04/08 “Press TV

The top American military officer has warned Israel against orchestrating ‘USS Liberty Part II’ to provoke a US-led war against Iran.

In early July, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen visited Israel to discuss the Iranian nuclear program with his Israeli counterpart, Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, and other Israeli officials.

During the talks, Adm. Mullen cautioned that the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in 1967 is the type of incident that should be ‘avoided in any future military actions’ in the Middle East, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The USS Liberty, a $40m state-of-the-art surveillance ship, was ‘inadvertently’ attacked by Israeli fighter jets and torpedo boats in international waters north of the northern Sinai Peninsula coast.

The attack, which lasted at least 40 minutes, claimed the lives of 34 American soldiers and wounded at least 170 crewmembers.

Although there are many conspiracy theories as to why Israel committed such a ‘mistake’ against its closest ally, former US seamen who served on Liberty claim authorities are guilty of a cover-up.

American Free Press quoted Adm. Mullen as saying that it is very ‘important’ at this time that ‘history not repeat itself’, referring to increasing speculation that Israel might stage another such scenario to push the US into a war with Iran.

Israel, the sole possessor of a nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, accuses Iran, a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), of pursuing a nuclear weapons program and threatens to take military action against the country should Tehran continue uranium enrichment.

While Washington echelons are said to agree with the views of Tel Aviv on Tehran, the release of a Dec. 3 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) has rapidly weakened the prospects of the US participating in an attack on Iran.

This is while, according to US and Israeli intelligence services, an Israeli strike would only ‘cripple’ the Iranian nuclear drive and not destroy it.

Israel is reportedly lobbying the Bush administration to launch a joint attack on Iran before President George W. Bush leaves office in January 2009.

In an Aug. 2 interview with the USS Liberty radio show, former army intelligence officer and CIA analyst Ray McGovern claimed Israel is planning a scenario similar to that of the 67 Liberty incident.

“It is obviously something bigger. The name of the game is to ‘decapitate the Iranian nuclear program’ whether it is aimed at a weapon or not,” said McGovern.

The war threats and speculation come despite the UN nuclear watchdog declaring that Iran is enriching uranium to 3 percent, a rate consistent with electricity generation.

The most recent International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report conceded that there is no link between the use of nuclear material and the ‘alleged studies’ of weaponization attributed to Iran.

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.


Philip Giraldi: Israeli “False Flag” operation in Iraq to frame Iran

If Iran is Attacking It Might Really be Israel By Philip Giraldi

To Provoke War: Cheney Considered Proposal To Dress Up Navy Seals As Iranians & Shoot At Them + Worst Person

A Vote For Military Force Against Iran? AIPAC’s House Resolution, H. Con. Res. 362

Ron Paul: US would back Israeli strike on Iran

Everybody Knows! By Jim Kirwan

USS Liberty


The Ticking Iraqi Clock By John Bruhns

Dandelion Salad

By John Bruhns
08/04/08 “Huffington Post

As an Iraq veteran it’s very hard for me to grip the strong possibility that the troop surge in Iraq was all for naught. So recently I have been focusing on the successes of the surge in Iraq without political or ideological blinders. I recently wrote a piece to touch on a different angle than my usual argument that the war is unjustified and illegal in the eyes of millions of Americans and the world community. However, this was all based on a hypothetical scenario that we actually had a compelling reason to invade and occupy Iraq in the first place.

This underscores the genesis of this disaster when we forgot about Osama bin Laden and refocused the war on terror to Saddam Hussein who didn’t have WMDs, did not want war with us, and posed no threat to the United States. So while recognizing the success that the surge had from tactical military standpoint, I remain strongly opposed to the war.

I will never dismiss the falsehoods of why we went to Iraq as a moot point. Too many people have suffered and died for the sane and rational to have the cavalier opinion of “to hell with it, forget why we are there, we just need to win.”


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.

Time for Pelosi to go – Vote Independent Cindy Sheehan

Dandelion Salad


This ad is not affiliated w/the Campaign. Produced by:
CINDY- http://www.cindyforcongress.org/
operation itch titles by:


The Most Important Election In The United States of America in 2008

Money Bomb For The Peace Mom Aug 6th! + Help Cindy Sheehan Get On The Ballot

Cindy Sheehan: Impeachment

Mosaic News – 8/1/08: World News from the Middle East

Dandelion Salad



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


For more: http://www.linktv.org/originalseries
“Taliban Ready to Launch New Offensive,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Fatah Releases 200 Hamas Prisoners,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Arab League Extends Hand to Sudan,” Nile TV, Egypt
“Lebanon Demands Return of Occupied Territories,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Acre: Not For Sale,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Junk Food Under Scrutiny,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“The ‘Have-Oil’ and the ‘Have-Nots’,” Link TV, USA
Produced for Link TV By Jamal Dajani.

Cooling a fevered planet: economics, policy and vision for fighting global warming

Dandelion Salad

Posted with permission from:

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal at http://links.org.au

By Gar Lipow

July 1 2008 — Nobody, except for a small lunatic fringe, still disputes that human-caused climate chaos endangers all of us. Further, most serious scientific and technical groups that have looked at the question have concluded that we have the technological capability today to replace greenhouse gas emitting fossil fuels with efficiency improvements and clean energy — usually at a maximum cost of around the current worldwide military budget, probably much less. The question therefore is: what’s stopping us?

To answer that we need to look at the causes of global warming — not the physical causes, but the economic and political flaws in our system that have prevented solutions from being implemented long after the problem was known.

One driver is inequality and the maintenance of power that keeps inequality in place produces perverse incentives in resource use. An example of this is a usual economic suspect behind global warming, the lack of full social pricing. Fossil fuel use imposes all sorts of costs on others. A tax that recovered some of these costs would reduce emissions, though how much is arguable. Arthur Cecil Pigou invented the idea of this type of taxation back in 1912. Since most of the direct cost would fall on consumers, it is puzzling at first glance that big corporations and the very rich have never had any great enthusiasm for the idea. The answer lies in inequality. Lack of social pricing means we all pay some of the expenses generated by others. But due to inequality, the very rich and the big corporations are able to impose many times the costs on others that others can impose on them—an advantage they don’t want to lose.

A second obstacle is deliberate obstruction by various bad guys in both business and government. These are not trivial. Ross Gelbspan has spent most of the past decade documenting the successful efforts of coal, oil and automakers to thwart regulation of greenhouse gases.

But the flaws that cause continuing resource waste extend far beyond low prices and bad guys. While a portion of the clean replacement technology would cost more than our current system (if you don’t count human life), much of it is less expensive. Experts widely agree that substantial savings are available at lower costs than fossil fuels. A majority of these same experts agree that efficiency improvements using existing technology could reduce consumption by at least 40 per cent, at a cost less than the price of fossil fuels. Similarly there is widespread agreement that existing renewable sources, such as wind power and solar space and water heating, could replace 20 to 30 per cent of remaining demand at a similar savings. That means that over half of emissions could have been eliminated at a profit. A substantial minority, including Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute and Dr. Friedrich Schmidt-Bleek of the Factor 10 Institute, believe that potential efficiency improvements are much greater than 40 per cent, substantial enough to pay the remaining cost of all other emissions reduction.

But even the lower number forces us to look beyond too-low pricing and deliberate obstruction. Why does a market-based system ignore chances to make large profits? The answer is that there are other side effects of inequality that also lead to resource waste.

One of those side-effects is the three way tug-of-war between owners, workers and managers. This type of conflict leads to missed opportunities for increased labour productivity, opportunities that don’t require additional resource inputs. Thus, they represent lost resource efficiency as well.

An especially cruel example of worker/owner conflict is the case of the short-handled hoe. The book Fight in the Fields describes the struggle against what was sometimes called the Devil’s Hoe: “El Cortito, ‘the short one,’ was a hoe that was only 24 inches long, forcing the farmworkers who used it to bend and stoop all day long—a position that often led to lifelong, debilitating back injuries…. Growers argued that without the control the short hoe offered, thinning and weeding would be mishandled, crop losses would mount and some farmers would go bankrupt.” Yet when farmworkers won a seven-year battle to outlaw this instrument of torture: “The head of…one of the California’s largest lettuce growers and a critic of the ban…admitted that his crews had adjusted quickly to long-handled hoes, gained stamina and raised productivity by 5 per cent to 10 per cent on the very first day they eliminated short-handled hoes.”

Shoshana Zuboff documented a case of conflict between workers and owners on one side versus middle managers on another in her study of the paper producer she called Tiger Creek Mill. In one of the earliest introductions of computers into business, all expense and production information was made available to line workers. They used this innovation to massively reduce expenses. Middle management then cut off access to much of this information and used the computer to perform automated supervision instead. This change slowed cost reductions tremendously. In interviews with Zuboff, some middle managers expressed probably sincere security concerns, while others explicitly said that cutting expenses was their job. Why does the company need middle management, they worried, if the workers can do our job?

Economic inequality is not the only hierarchy that increases waste. One well known method of increasing industrial efficiency is to improve industrial housekeeping. Major corporations have saved large sums of money by keeping cleaning supplies close to where accidents are likely to happen, by emptying loose gunk out of containers before cleaning and by soaking before rinsing, along with many other procedures. Those factories would have run better all these years if they had been designed by people who both understood housework and understood that housework is a skill. Male and upper class dominance of the design professions probably ensured most designers lacked housekeeping skills, but it is unlikely that this was the whole story. Surely some of the men and occasional women designers had experience taking care of themselves. My guess is that when men or women doing such design work had those skills, they still lacked respect for their value and did not apply them in their design work.

Waste also arises as a side effect of positive things that we don’t want to lose. For instance, division of design labour leads to optimising system components in isolation from one another, resulting in sub-optimal systems. Many energy saving technologies end up not being deployed because they pay for themselves through capital or maintenance saving rather simply through reduced energy use and the experts don’t talk to each other enough for all saving to be counted. Yet, we depend on the division of labour, even though it is an obstacle to whole systems thinking. In the 1984 cult film Buckaroo Banzai, the title character was simultaneously a neurosurgeon, a particle physicist, a race car driver, a rock star and an adventurer. We can’t expect that skill range from real people. We have to find ways to compensate for the side effects of specialisation because we don’t want to eliminate it.

Just as the dark side of specialisation is information scattering, the dark side of price-driven decision making is information aggregation. Advanced energy efficiency features are typically offered only in models with other advanced features the customer may not want. For example, the most efficient washing machines may only be available in models with decorator features that add hundreds to the cost. This is sometimes referred to in the energy field as “gold plating,” and in general economics as “lumpiness.” As with the division of labour, aggregation of information in prices is more a feature than a bug. Imagine trying to shop without some sort of price to let us compare grocery costs. Apples and oranges are often offered as an example of things we can’t compare; but the fact that both have prices lets us do exactly that.

Each of us affects all of us and all of us affect each of us. The social divisions and power hierarchies that prevent us from understanding and acting on that are root causes of global warming. The battle against climate chaos is part of the battle for social justice and cannot succeed separately from that fight. The best policies to tackle climate chaos need to increase equality and strengthen social solidarity.


Physically the problem is one of infrastructure. Replace dirty fossil fuels, dirty biofuels, dirty nuclear and dirty big hydro plants with clean renewable energy infrastructure. Transform or replace energy gulping factories, buildings and transportation with thrifty energy sippers.

The global North has historically built major infrastructure through public investment via ownership, public/private partnership or subsidies. Utilities, communications and transportation all depend on public rights of way and often are constructed with public money. The same makes sense for a clean energy infrastructure. Build or subsidise renewable energy generation and storage plants. Publicly fund more walking and bike paths; fund light rail to reduce automobile dependence; fund heavy rail to reduce dependence on freight trucks. Subsidise improvements in existing buildings and factories. Public investments would fund new construction and help pay for efficiency improvements in existing infrastructure. The US$150-$240 billion this would cost annually would provide benefits to all of us: electricity, heat and improved transportation for everybody, green jobs for those trained and hired to build and modify infrastructure and—thanks to increased demand for labour—a better bargaining position for all working people. This could easily be funded from cuts in the US war budget, given that most military spending is directed at bullying rather than defence.

Large-scale public investment can help transform our infrastructure, but we need rule-based regulation too. We need to restrict emissions if we want them to drop.

For one thing, rule-based regulation is needed to measure whether a subsidy or public project meets its goal. For another, old infrastructure tends to hang around. Telex services still fill a niche market decades after fax and email have made most uses for them obsolete. Regulation as a means of reducing pollution is often slandered as “command and control.” Historically in the global north, standards achieved substantial success. Sulfur rules in Europe produced better results than sulfur trading in the US. Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards in the US nearly doubled US fleet efficiency, until crippled by the Reagan administration and unfavourable World Trade Organisation (WTO) rulings. In spite of failures and limitations, safety and health regulations in the global north have saved millions of lives.

Waterstone’s, a major UK bookselling chain, is a concrete example of regulatory benefits. They had to drastically reduce cardboard use in response to new general solid waste requirements. The chain and their major distributor decided that books would be delivered in permanent reusable plastic crates, to be returned with the next shipment. Over the life of each plastic crate it replaces at least 192 cardboard boxes. Plastic crates reduce damage to books and labour associated with returns; they also take less time to pack and unpack. labour saving to both Waterstone’s and their distributor paid back the costs of the new crates in a matter of weeks—providing both with a handsome profit. Yet neither considered this until regulations forced them to.

Regulations work best when we can easily measure results. For example, we can set building standards per square foot, per person, or both. We can set transportation standards per passenger-mile and per ton-mile. For appliances we can use Japan-style dynamic scoring where the best product one year becomes the minimum standard the next. Similarly, we can require that increasing per centages of electricity production are generated from renewable sources via Renewable Portfolio Standards and mandatory feed-in tariffs.

In spite of the virtues of rule-based regulation, the battle against climate chaos requires putting a price on emissions. The sheer variety of industrial equipment and processes makes it impossible to create clear measurable standards for the industrial sector, except in limited cases. The increase in prices will also reinforce the effects of public investment and regulation in all sectors, reducing the need for micro-management and enforcement. If we want to levy emissions taxes, we have to do so in a way that does not hurt poor and working people. Someone who can afford a $50,000 SUV is not going to be hurt all that much by higher gas prices. Someone driving an 11-year-old Ford Escort may have trouble affording a full tank at $5 per gallon.

Peter Barnes, former CEO of Working Assets, has proposed a solution for these problems. Take the revenue from a carbon tax (or an auctioned permit system very like a carbon tax) and rebate it back to the public on an equal per capita basis, as we rebate some revenue from the Alaska Pipeline back to Alaskan residents. This rebated carbon price would be progressive because of how emission taxes or fees relate to income. The smaller people’s income the higher per centage an emission tax takes. But the higher people’s income, the more dollars they pay, even as the tax represents a smaller per cent of their income. Under this system the very poor would get back more in rebates than they would pay (directly and indirectly) in emission taxes. Prosperous workers and the middle class would mostly break even, the majority receiving a refund trivially higher than their payments, a minority receiving a refund trivially lower. But the rich would pay many times more in direct and indirect emissions taxes than they get back. They would help subsidise everyone else.

Public investment

So far we’ve looked at three types of policies to prevent as much global warming as we can: public investment, regulation and putting a price on emissions. One of those three policies, public investment, will also help us survive and thrive in spite of the global warming already locked in.

Challenges we face include loss of some of the most densely populated coastal cities in the world, decreased agricultural production from various side effects of warming and increased risk of disease from many of those same effects. Thriving will require aid for climate refugees. It will require levees, dams and so forth to protect those areas we can. We will need improved disaster response, as well as healthcare for all and improved public health to catch and treat epidemics while they are small. We will also need to invest in conversion to low input agriculture which not only reduces emissions, but can also survive the unavoidable decreased climate stability. We will need to invest in water efficiency and probably in desalinisation as well.

Quite a number of other social justice issues contribute to human impacts on climate. For example unequal access to education, lack of affordable urban housing and racism all contribute to scattering the population to resource inefficient suburbs. Similarly, many trade agreements weaken the ability of governments to fight global warming; one WTO ruling that undermined CAFE regulations in the US in 1990s undermines Japanese auto efficiency standards today.

This does not touch on other international issues, such as the obligation of rich nations to pay the cost of poor nations choosing a clean development path, plus compensation for the damage that climate chaos has already caused and will continue to cause them. This probably could be paid for from cuts in military budgets, just as we could pay for internal public investment. Similarly, there are serious climate justice issues within the global North where the poor have borne many of the social costs of extracting and refining fossil fuels and now suffer many of the climate consequences that follow.

Obviously, an agenda for fighting global warming blends into a general social justice agenda. By the time we start supporting large public works programs, regulation to improve human wellbeing, huge cuts in military spending, massive international economic aid and begin opposing corporate globalisation it makes sense to support others who work on the same and related issues. In this context, helping to build a larger progressive movement is practical environmental politics.

Practical politics

Thanks to things like the bankruptcy bill and a labour relations process that favors owners over workers, workers are losing rights off and on the job. Unions are losing membership and power. Women still don’t earn equal pay for equal work, let alone get real social support when pregnant. Women’s access to abortion and contraception is also threatened. The glass ceiling isn’t exactly kind to women who make it into the corridors of power. Wal-Mart is not exactly kind to the women outside those corridors. African Americans, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders still face discrimination in hiring, education, home rental or purchase. They also face discrimination by the police and unequal justice in the courts. As do gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered (GLBT)—and Muslims. Muslims in the US not charged with terror-related offences still face, not just discrimination, but deportation and torture. (GLBT and Muslims are probably the only folks in the US you can get away with admitting hate for.) The disabled still face pervasive denial of their rights that most people are completely unaware of.

A climate justice coalition would have a lot to offer a general movement for freedom and equality—including a massive green jobs program and strong secondary reasons to support most types of equal rights. Climate chaos also offers a concrete example of the destructive failures and inefficiencies markets can produce. On the practical level, the environmental movement has a large existing base of volunteers and staff and a fair degree of ability to attract more.

Offering these assets to other movements will show that we seek an alliance of equals, one place among many at the table. If we pay attention to other movements and try to advance our agenda in ways that also advances theirs, we can ask the same in return. That, rather than trying to make our issue the centre of everything, will build grassroots strength.

To put it mildly, calls for this type of unity are not new. So what is different that makes success possible this time? I think you are starting to see two types of awareness seep into left and progressive political consciousness.

One, after a long period of downplaying and denigrating class, we are starting to see real awareness of class issues. Even mainstream mildly liberal politicians are starting to mention that there is such thing as a working class and most of us are members of it.

Second, there is even awareness of a middle class, a class between labour and capital, roughly identifiable by having made above the $84,000 income bracket in 2000. On a lot of issues such households have experienced life differently than the overwhelming majority. The majority of people have not had a raise since 1972 (in real hourly terms). Most of those in the upper 20 per cent income bracket have only seen their income stagnate since 2001. The tax breaks that mainly benefited the rich and cost most people money, when reduced services are counted, did modestly benefit almost all of the top 20 per cent of households. (Since Bush took office, the per cent benefiting is more like the top 1 to 5 per cent.)

Middle class is not a matter of income. That is merely a key indicator. Just as capital is defined by ownership, the middle class is defined by relationship to work. The middle class tends to work in technical, managerial, or bureaucratic jobs, to have more control over their work life than ordinary workers, to have more pleasant, less rote jobs. Being a manager or lawyer or even an artist is no constant round of joy. There is still labour involved, but a lawyer lives a very different life from a grocery clerk. Ask a lawyer who puts in 60 hours a week if she would rather put that same 60 hours in as a grocery clerk for the same money. Owners are still the dominant force in our society. But there is a real separation in interests and way of life between the middle class and the working class.

Progressive movements have largely been led by people with different experiences of the world and different short-term interests than the majority of the population. Even most unions tend to pay their presidents, business agents and other top staff many times what the workers they represent earn, giving them more in common with the corporate foes they are supposed to fight than their membership. If groups really intend to be open to working class people, they have to understand that the effort and intelligence needed to overcome the barriers placed before those from a working-class background may not be reflected in either formal education or easily documented experience. Someone from a professional family may appear more qualified, even if the working-class person is better suited to the job. Just as a woman or a disabled or GLBT person or a person of colour may have had to work twice as hard, be twice as smart to get to the same place, so may someone from the working class, compared to someone with a middle class background.

For the most part middle-class dominance of progressive movements is not deliberate. But the very unawareness of differences between the groups is similar to the way some white people “don’t see colour.” In organisations with paid staff or boards of directors, those boards and that staff overwhelmingly come from high-income families. In volunteer groups, the most influential volunteers, those who can donate more than ten hours a week, come from such backgrounds. This is quite natural in a way. When it comes to paid staff and board members, who will most likely have obvious qualifications? Among volunteers, who is likely to have spare time to donate?

So the problem is not how the environmental movement gains support for technical and political solutions to global warming, but how some sort of alliance or coalition or informal network between labour, feminists, GLBT, anti-racists, peace activists, the disability rights movement and environmentalists can combine with others to win a larger agenda. This problem then divides into three questions. Can we really come together? Can we move beyond upper middle-class leadership? Can we win if we do?

No single issue can motivate the kind of unity we need, but the common simultaneous emergencies may. More and more, varying groups are trying to reach out to one another. In the long run the question is not just one of building a coalition, but a movement—one with a core of shared values, programs and strategies that is more than just a laundry list of multiple single-issue viewpoints. We need to find common visions.

Building alliances

It is also argued that dominance of progressive movements by middle class leadership is part of what has stood in the way of their growth. Converting middle-class movements into working-class ones is an effective way to expand active membership and gain resources. Some examples: those of us who are part of an organisation that has paid staff, or even multiple volunteers who put in more than ten hours a week (i.e., unpaid staff), need to look at how jobs have been put together. Could the work be rethought so that the decision making and grunt work were both divided more evenly? The “balanced job complexes” referred to on the Z Communications Parecon website may be useful, where practical. Even if not, the differences often can be made less extreme via job enrichment.

People from middle-class backgrounds often bring to the table historical knowledge, research skills, ability to work the system, a feel for the mind of the opponent, along with more specific skills related to whatever particular training we have. It is critical that such organisers struggle alongside people from working-class backgrounds and avoid dominating groups.

Middle-class activists should be culturally sensitive. They need to avoid cultural self-righteousness in general and not condemn television watching, meat eating, sports, entire music genres and entire religious denominations. People who call or host meetings should not take for granted that consensus or round-robin “everybody gets a turn” is the best discussion style. A lot of working people prefer “chaired” meetings to facilitated ones because things get done more quickly and it respects their time.

In general, more loosely structured organisations tend to threaten working-class people. With such structures it is too easy for fringe types to come along, raise hell for the fun of it rather than for a concrete purpose, then leave people who live in the community to take the consequences. Those who choose civil disobedience/direct action as their preferred tactic usually come from a position of middle or upper class privilege. Poor and working people pay a high price when they engage in such tactics. While such means are sometimes—even often—necessary, they should be a last resort.

One thing that will help working- and middle-class activists work together is vision. A common dream is a great unifier. Besides, progress is easier if we have at least some idea of which direction we wish to travel. In addition, vision is important in organising. Even when people have not thought deeply about it, they understand that radical reforms go against the grain of the system. A larger vision of a different future makes it easier for new members to consider both fundamental criticism and fundamental changes. Sooner or later the question occurs to anybody working in a movement: if we could win everything, what would “everything” be?

This is especially important for environmentalism because I suspect that just about all environmental goals could be accomplished either as side effects of winning other battles, or by incorporating environmental goals into new institutions needed for solving those other social problems.

Two of many possible progressive economic visions include Michael Albert and Robin Hahnel’s Parecon and a revived “New Deal” — most recently envisioned in the April 7, 2008 issue of the Nation.

Parecon envisions a truly classless society where the means of production is socialised. Just as importantly, Parecon rethinks the idea that some people should monopolise decision making, or creative, pleasant and empowering work, while others are stuck with the rote and unpleasant jobs. Instead it says, since jobs consist of multiple tasks in any case, why not distribute both the empowering and the rote tasks, both the pleasant and unpleasant ones roughly equally among various jobs? This eliminates class differences between jobs. Production is managed via iterative planning, where workers and consumers propose work and consumption plans based on indicative prices. The prices are adjusted up or down in response to excess or slack demand. Plans are submitted and proposals rejected until supply and demand come into balance.

What are the environmental implications of this? Given the economic egalitarianism of the proposal, resistance to green taxes vanishes. Parecon does not produce large powerful cliques of owners who benefit from pollution without bearing its consequences. And in a society with roughly equal incomes the distinction between regressive and progressive taxation vanishes. Similarly the lack of class conflict would eliminate a major cause of efficiency opportunities falling through the cracks.

However we will still face experts failing to talk to one another and information lost in price aggregation. To some extent this can be compensated for by regulations (just as under capitalism) and by public spending (in Parecon called collective consumption). The planning system, which spans many levels of production and consumption, also provides an alternative means of overcoming these tendencies, reducing the need for interventions from outside the production system. Most of these costs, though external to individual firms are internal to the production system as whole. Once the tendency of experts to not talk to each other is known, or of information to be hidden inside prices, plans which don’t contain procedures to avoid and compensate for these are likely to be rejected.

The alternative revived “New Deal” envisions restoring taxation of the rich to a reasonable level, reducing US aggression and military spending and providing large-scale public works and regulation to make the market work more effectively and serve people better—as the original New Deal did, but on a larger scale and without the concessions to racism and sexism the original New Deal made. Solutions to environmental problems fit very well into this—public investment, regulation and so on. Most supporters of a revived New Deal consider green jobs one core of their program.

While we consider these economic examples, it is important to understand that economic visions are not the only ones that could contribute to reducing environmental degradation. Many toxins disproportionately impact women compared to men. Much toxic pollution occurs in communities of colour, because they have less power to fight back. Environmental racism and environmental sexism are both cases of injustice. I doubt a society that managed to eliminate or greatly reduce racism and sexism would accept a redistribution of poisons. Industry would find they couldn’t force anyone to tolerate current levels.

Lastly there are unexpected ways ending non-economic hierarchies would reduce pollution as a side effect. At the beginning of this article, I gave the example of how industry missed chances to save resources at a huge profit for years. They ignored basic housekeeping principles which work as well in industrial processes as in the home, because it did not occur to industrial designers that housework was a skill worthy of respect. I suspect there are very many other cases like this we simply don’t know about.

Maybe housework is the only case where skill, knowledge and wisdom are lost by the dominant culture and maintained by oppressed cultures. But I doubt it and thus strongly suspect that victories for women, people of colour, GLBT, the disabled or any oppressed group are also victories for the environment. Any vision of a better world is also a vision of a more environmentally sustainable world, either as a side effect of improvements, or by creating institutions with more room to deal with environmental issues.

[Gar Lipow is a long-time environmental activist and sometime journalist with a strong technical background from the United States. This article first appeared at Z Magazine. Posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author’s permission.]


Global Warming


What is Socialism? (archive of posts)

Now the People Have Awoken: Exploring Venezuela’s Revolution (2007)

Dandelion Salad

Posted with permission by:

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal at http://links.org.au

Aug. 2, 2008

For a limited time only! Full screening of `Now the People Have Awoken: Exploring Venezuela’s Revolution’

Venezuela’s new assertiveness has brought it to the centre of international controversy: to some it has been stolen by populist dictator, while for others, it is the centre of a continent-wide democratic revolution.

There is much at stake. Venezuela sits atop huge oil reserves, which are being used to foment a new order. President Hugo Chávez, who survived a military coup in 2002, has supported a number of controversial social programs that have pushed Venezuela onto the United States government’s and media’s radar screens.

What makes Venezuela tick? Who is behind the movement and what does it seek? Filmed through the 2006 presidential elections, this is a documentary about the people building a new Venezuela.

Click here to watch this amazing documentary in full (55 minutes) for a very limited time.


NO VOLVERAN – The Venezuelan Revolution Now (2007)



Stratus Blue: Church of Cliches (Nader; depleted uranium)

Dandelion Salad



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


Church of Cliches“, posted with vodpod

h/t: Stratus Blue

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Nader for President 2008


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Apocalypse? by Omna Last

Posted with permission by the author.

Dandelion Salad

by Omna Last

The singer Donovan once said: “The book you are reading is one man’s opinion of moonlight.”

Opinions about what may happen in the future are tenuous to say the least. There are so many imponderables at work in the fabric of the world at any time, particularly now in this time of transition, that any prophet can only guess at what lies in the future. But one does not need to be a genius to know the world is screaming in anguish and is completely out of balance. Before any new dispensation can occur, some sanity and balance must be restored.

Continue reading

Mounting questions over US anthrax probe and scientist’s alleged suicide

Dandelion Salad

By Patrick Martin
4 August 2008

One week after an Army germ warfare scientist apparently committed suicide, there are mounting questions over the government’s handling of the investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks and expressions of skepticism regarding the sensationalized media coverage of the past four days.

Colleagues and friends of Dr. Bruce Ivins, who died Tuesday from an overdose of prescription Tylenol he had taken two days earlier, have cast doubt on the claims by the FBI and Justice Department that Ivins perpetrated the anthrax attacks. They have also debunked many of the claims made in initial news reports about Ivins’ death.

Ivins’ lawyer, Paul Kemp, sent an email to news organizations Saturday denouncing reports that his client was considering a plea bargain to avoid a death sentence for the anthrax mailings, calling such reports “entirely spurious.” Kemp had been contacted by federal investigators—the FBI interviewed Ivins several times over the past year as well as searching his home—but there was no discussion of a possible plea.


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.


Journalists, their lying sources, and the anthrax investigation

Vital unresolved anthrax questions and ABC News by Glenn Greenwald + McCain video

Countdown: Anthrax Attacks Inside Job? + The Long Road + Wal-Mart

Speculation behind global commodity price rise

Dandelion Salad

by Ramgopal Agarwala
Economic Times
2 Aug, 2008

There is now a growing discomfort about the role of speculative finance in the US, the capital of global finance. In an open letter addressed to all airline customers, leaders of airlines in the US have recently requested the passengers to join them in pushing legislation to add more transparency and disclosure in the oil markets.


Other factors such as drought in Australia and switch of corn to biofuels can explain part of the increase in food prices but none of them can explain increases of more than 100% in many commodity prices in a single year as it has happened in 2007 and 2008. There is little doubt that speculative finance is a key factor in sudden price increases in oil, food and metals in the last two years. Amartya Sen in his classical work on famines pointed out that even when supply situation for food is healthy, famines can occur because of collapse of purchasing power of the common man. Today we are witnessing a phenomenon of food riots caused by food price increases due not to demand-supply imbalance but to greed of speculators facilitated by lax regulatory system in the key trading centre of the world.


h/t: ICH

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.


The Economy Sucks and or Collapse