More Than a Two-Person Race

Dandelion Salad
More Than a Two-Person Race

Corporate media largely ignore other presidential candidates

While the major-party race for the White House has been the subject of broad media attention for more than a year, the corporate media have mostly ignored at least four substantial third-party and independent candidates for the presidency.

Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney and Libertarian candidate Bob Barr are both former congressmembers from the state of Georgia. Their presence in the White House race, along with independent candidate Ralph Nader and Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin, would seem to present an interesting counterpoint to the major-party race between Barack Obama and John McCain. While the corporate press has apparently decided that the differences between Obama and McCain are more or less the only political opinions worth exploring this election season, the third-party and independent candidates take positions on issues like drug war policy, Israel-Palestine, civil liberties and military intervention that differ markedly from the views of either major-party candidate.

According to a Nexis news database search of the major network newscasts, McKinney’s name has never been mentioned this year on the networks’ news programs, while Barr and Nader’s candidacies have garnered a total of only 31 mentions between them (15 times on ABC, 12 times on NBC and 4 on CBS). Including the Fox network– which airs Fox News Sunday on its broadcast affiliates–yields one passing mention of Nader, and an interview with Barr (6/29/08). PBS‘s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer offered passing mentions of Nader and Barr when they announcements as candidates (2/25/08, 5/12/08); more recently, the show has interviewed each of them one-on-one (10/14/08, 10/20/08).

The context in which Barr and Nader have been covered is worth examining; by FAIR’s count, many of the references to the candidates dealt primarily with the potential effect on the fortunes of the major-party candidates–i.e., whether a third-party candidate would be a “spoiler.” That accounted for 11 mentions of Barr and Nader.

Passing mentions of Nader or Barr accounted for another 13 mentions; four of these were joking or mocking references to Nader. (ABC‘s This Week includes humor clips from late-night talkshows, two of which included Nader as a punch line.)

A March 4 report on ABC‘s Good Morning America discussed the presidential election with a panel of children, one of whom asked, “There’s like another thing, there’s a guy named something Nader…. I think he’s either running for the Green Party or the independents.” ABC correspondent Chris Cuomo misinformed the children by saying “Green Party.”

Actual interviews with the candidates were somewhat rare, but Nader has appeared on NBC‘s Meet the Press (2/24/08) and Nightly News (10/20/08), ABC‘s This Week (6/29/08) and the CBS Early Show (2/25/08). Barr has appeared on ABC‘s This Week (7/16/08).

The main question media tend to pose about third-party candidates is whether or not they will impact the outcome of the election. This is not at all surprising, given corporate media’s preference for focusing on the horserace aspect of politics. The lesser-known candidates’ generally low standing in the polls appears to make it less likely that they will play a decisive role on Election Day, but the media’s refusal to open up the political conversation makes this outcome more or less a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But besides being a process for choosing officials, elections are also an opportunity to discuss ideas. By ignoring independent and third party candidates, the corporate media are also helping keep a range of policy options about key issues that are not espoused by either major party candidate off the table–including single payer healthcare, a full withdrawal from Iraq, ending the war in Afghanistan and ending the death penalty. Democracy Now! (10/16/08) allowed Nader and McKinney an opportunity to respond to the debate questions posed to Obama and McCain– a rare opportunity for such candidates to let voters hear them alongside major-party nominees.

Numerous policies that are now seen as integral to American life were first proposed by third-party candidates; Socialist Eugene Debs, for example, promoted the idea of Social Security in his repeated runs for the presidency in the early 20th century, and Progressive Henry Wallace advocated desegregation in his 1948 race.

It’s possible that the minor-party candidates in the 2008 election are suggesting programs that will one day seem as indispensable as Debs and Wallace’s ideas. If so, you won’t hear about them from the corporate media.


How Should You Vote? By Jeremy R. Hammond

Debatable Debates by Ralph Nader

Breaking the Sound Barrier: Third-Party Candidates Ralph Nader & Cynthia McKinney Respond

If McCain Wins, Obama’s Policies Get Implemented by Joel S. Hirschhorn

Sunday’s Debate Postponed + Rescheduled Debate: Oct 23

Ralph Nader on NBC Extra: Democrats will have no excuses!

Three Way Presidential Debate – Obama, McCain, and Nader

Noam Chomsky: The United States Has Essentially a One-Party System

Voter Suppression Voting Rights

Ralph Nader Posts & Videos


You may not like Obama’s tax plan, but it’s not socialism

Dandelion Salad

By David Lightman and William Douglas
McClatchy Newspapers

ST. CHARLES, Mo. — “Make no mistake,” Republican activist John Hancock told a John McCain rally in this St. Louis suburb, “this campaign is a referendum on socialism.”

Republicans have been pounding that theme in recent days, even though Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama doesn’t fit the definition of a socialist.

Critics point to Obama’s plan to raise the top two tax rates on the wealthy as clear evidence of his socialist bent. However, Len Burman, the director of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, said that while Obama “would make the tax system more progressive overall, it would not be a radical shift.”

Favoring higher tax rates for the wealthy than for the less fortunate isn’t socialism, and if it is, then the U.S. has been a socialist country for nearly a century, under both Democrats and Republicans.


Key Bush administration tax cuts are due to expire on Jan. 1, 2011. Obama wants to end breaks for most individuals who earn more than $200,000 and for families that make more than $250,000; McCain does not. Obama’s position would restore the top rates to what they were under President Clinton, when the economy boomed.


via McClatchy Washington Bureau | 10/21/2008 | You may not like Obama’s tax plan, but it’s not socialism

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Socialists say Barack Obama is not

Is Obama a socialist?

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse




How Should You Vote? By Jeremy R. Hammond

By Jeremy R. Hammond
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Foreign Policy Journal
October 21, 2008

Defining a new framework for electoral strategy in America.

With the U.S. presidential election fast approaching, Americans are settling on their decision for who would best take their country in the right direction and serve their interests. Most view the political system with cynicism. Most see the two dominant political parties, Democratic and Republican, as serving the interests of corporations and the financial elite, but not their own. Many feel disenfranchised. Many feel that to participate in a system that merely perpetuates the status quo without offering any hope for real change is to grant it legitimacy when it deserves none. And, if past trends are any indication, most won’t vote.

Among those who will cast their ballot, most, even those who will vote along party lines, view both Barack Obama and John McCain with skepticism. They are both seen negatively, both representing the established order. But one or the other of them is viewed as the lesser evil. To keep the greater evil out of power, a vote for the lesser one becomes necessary.

This remains true even when there are alternatives to the Democratic and Republican candidates, and even when the alternative candidates are seen far more as representing American interests and far less as being corrupted. A great many voters will vote for who they see as a lesser evil rather than who they see as actually being a good candidate because they so greatly fear the possibility of the greater evil gaining power.

This voting strategy is deeply ingrained. During the 2000 election, Ralph Nader was an extraordinarily popular candidate, particularly among the left. He was seen as far more worthy than the Democratic candidate Al Gore. And yet many liberals who shared that view chastised their fellow leftists for casting their vote for Nader, particularly when it came down to the Florida election.

The reasoning is straightforward: voting for Nader meant not voting for Gore, which meant George W. Bush, the Republican candidate, had a better chance of winning. Voting for Nader helped ensure a Bush win, the argument goes, because liberals might swing their vote away from Gore, but conservatives were less likely to do so. Nader didn’t have nearly as good a chance as winning as Gore, and so the strategic goal of keeping Bush from power meant voting for Gore even if Nader was the better candidate.

While this appears to be a perfectly logical argument and pragmatic voting strategy, it is rooted upon a number of fallacies. First and foremost is the deeply ingrained belief that alternative candidates don’t have a chance of winning, and so to vote for one would mean “wasting” your vote.

This year, the most extraordinary candidate was, hands down, Ron Paul. He was extremely popular, and remains so after having withdrawn his candidacy. He made waves in America, and, despite being old enough to be their grandfather, spoke to a whole new generation of voters that are disillusioned with business as usual in Washington. His position on the issues make sense and Americans recognized that he represented real change. The fact that he was even in the running gave hope to many that the U.S. political system might actually be able to function as the founding fathers intended, that a restoration of the American Republic based upon the U.S. Constitution as the supreme law of the land might be possible.

Still, one could turn on the TV and watch news reports where people on the street are interviewed about their preference of candidates and see people saying things like, “I really like Ron Paul. I think he’s the best candidate. I like his position on the issues, and he makes sense. But he doesn’t have much chance of winning, so I’m probably going to vote for Barack Obama.”

Therein lies another fallacy. People don’t vote for who they actually like for the presidency based upon their opinion of whether or not they think it is likely that they will win. The “we have to ensure the greater evil doesn’t gain power” mindset wins out over “we have to ensure the best candidate wins”. But, of course, strict adherence to this electoral strategy can only result in the self-perpetuation of the same political process they they are so disillusioned with in the first place.

The truth is that the only reason a candidate like Ron Paul is “unlikely” to win an election is because people won’t vote for him. And they won’t vote for him because they think he’s unlikely to win, which of course results in the self-fulfillment of that reality.

The American people need to recognize that an alternate reality exists, and that the way to bring it about requires merely a shift in paradigm. American voters should shift their electoral strategy from seeking to put the lesser of evils into power to seeking to elect the force for the greatest good.

There are, of course, those who already adhere to this alternative framework. If there were a few more among their numbers, alternative candidates like Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, and Ralph Nader would gain more votes. They might still lose. But does voting for a losing candidate mean one’s vote has been wasted? How much more wasted is a vote that goes towards the lesser evil? You’ve still voted for the perpetuation of evil.

Far more worthy alternative candidates might still lose, but it wouldn’t mean votes were wasted. The increased percentage of the votes that went towards them would send a powerful message to Washington. It would encourage more people in the next election to do the same and vote their conscience, rather than adhering to a voting strategy that virtually guarantees nothing will ever substantially change.

Eventually, the number of votes being cast towards alternative candidates would be enough that the message from the American public could no longer be ignored. Even if still resulting in a loss for the worthiest candidate, it would remain a win for the American public, because whichever evil from whichever party did win the election would be under far greater pressure to implement real reform.

And for Americans who don’t believe their voice is heard in Washington or that public pressure has any effect, simple refresher course in history could remind them that advancements in society are not made at the behest of government or the ruling class, but only by pressure from the masses reaching a tipping point. Politicians don’t go out on a limb to promote radical change on their own accord. They have to be pushed out there under massive public pressure and under the fear that one’s constituency might very well vote one out of power if one doesn’t do precisely what they are publicly demanding.

One of the most effective means by which the American people could send a message to Washington would be by voting. There’s every reason to be cynical of the political system in the U.S. But there’s no reason for despair. There is hope. And there are individuals working within the system representing real hope and real change. More Americans need to take the time to stay informed and get engaged in the political process. And of those Americans who do vote each election, more need to recognize that the “lesser of evil” strategy only perpetuates the framework wherein it remains a choice between evils.

The only real voting strategy that can offer real hope for change is the one wherein Americans vote their conscience and cast their ballot for the candidate they think is truly the most worthy to be called by the title of President of the United States of America.

Until Americans realize this, then there will indeed remain little hope for the future.

Jeremy R. Hammond is the editor and principle writer for Foreign Policy Journal, an online publication dedicated to providing news, critical analysis, and commentary on U.S. foreign policy, particularly with regard to the “war on terrorism” and events in the Middle East, from outside of the standard framework offered by government officials and the mainstream corporate media. He has also written for numerous other online publications. You can contact him here.


If McCain Wins, Obama’s Policies Get Implemented by Joel S. Hirschhorn

Three Way Presidential Debate – Obama, McCain, and Nader

Noam Chomsky: The United States Has Essentially a One-Party System

Voter Suppression Voting Rights

Ralph Nader Posts & Videos


Kucinich-Dennis J.




The vicious attacks are starting again by Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan for Congress

Cindy Sheehan

by Cindy Sheehan
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Cindy Sheehan for Congress

Oct 21, 2008

When I was in Crawford, Tx at Camp Casey in the Summer of ’05, I would receive hundreds per day. Of course, I am dishonoring my son’s memory and I am un-patriotic and even a “whacko” “nut job” “bat shit crazy” and their favorite: “mama moonbat.” I dared to question their President and the lies that led to my son’s death. I refused to be an appreciative Gold Star Mother wearing a wilted carnation at the Memorial Day observances and accepting my grief in patriotic silence.

At least when I was in Texas, I had some support from some people who agreed with me on the war and about George Bush. Back then it was not too popular to protest the Emperor, but it made me very popular with the “left” and with the “peace” movement. I knew when the right attacked me with such hateful vigor, I was on the right track. Now, most of the country realizes that the war was/is wrong and that George Bush is a dangerous moron.

Now, the “left” is attacking me with the same hateful vigor and personal attacks as the right did back in 2005 because I dare to hold the Democrats to the same standard as I hold the Republicans. Does this mean that I am now a Republican lover? Hell no! I think when we get to the very top of the political food chain the Democrats and Republicans collaborate to steal our money and our freedoms.

Former SF Mayor, Willie Brown who lionized me before, recently called me a “loonie-tune” in his blog on SF Gate and I have been pronounced “insane and delusional” by Markos Moulitsas the editor of the Democratic apologist blog “The Daily Kos.” I am sure that Markos and Willie both have MDs in psychology and are fully qualified to diagnose my mental health without an examination.

Why does Markos think that I am “insane and delusional?” Because my campaign has had a series of coincidences or a run of bad luck that I said might be attributed to the opposition. I never accused Pelosi of anything or said that the attacks were definitely hanky-panky.

Gee, I must be crazy if I could even think that Democrats would tamper with elections like Republicans. It has never happened in the entire history of our country and I am sure that my campaign would be the first. My friends who still work in Democratic politics here in California have been warned not to work on my campaign or they would be “finished” in the party. A former Congressional candidate (D) came to my office and gave me a fund raising list but told me to never say his name because he wants to run for Supervisor as a Democrat here in town. Top Democrats here whisper to me that they will “vote” for me, but they can’t publicly endorse me. At least one very top Democrat is lying about me on the record. I can’t make this stuff up.

To all of you who attack me personally and question my mental health and my motherhood, or whatever, all I can say is “get some perspective.” I buried my son and if you all think that anything you can say or do to me is going to make me stop working for peace and accountability, you are seriously mistaken.

If you (left, right, center or wherever) think that it is okay to support wars, spying, torture, bankster bailouts, environmental degradation and taking away our civil rights; then by all means, live in your world where you think that your political party are the saints and the others are the sinners. It’s all about party loyalty, isn’t it? Tell that to the people who are being killed, tortured or impoverished in your names.

We are back to hundreds of attacks per day.

We must be on the right track, again.

Thank you.

To all of you who have stuck by me and to the thousands of people who have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours to my campaign, I say a big “THANK YOU.” You know that a true representative democracy demands more voices and more choices, not the two-party monopoly that exists today.

Donate to Cindy for Congress

A McCain “Win” Will Be Theft, Resistance Is Planned

Dandelion Salad

Updated: added video; see below

by David Swanson
Global Research, October 20, 2008

If your television declares John McCain the president elect on the evening of November 4th, your television will be lying. You should immediately pick up your pre-packed bags and head straight to the White House in Washington, D.C., which we will surround and shut down until this attempt at a third illegitimate presidency is reversed.

A McCain “win” will not be illegitimate because I disagree with his policies, but because he himself has rendered it illegitimate. He and his campaign and allied supporters have sought to illegally remove hundreds of thousands of voters from the rolls, fraudulently registered people as Republicans without their knowledge and against their will, obstructed voter registration drives, falsely warned students against voting where they attend school, falsely accused community groups of voter registration fraud, falsely alleged the widespread existence of voter fraud, and encouraged supporters to falsely believe McCain’s opponent is a foreign terrorist through speeches, recorded phone messages, and flyers. Already in early voting in a number of states there have been cases of votes on electronic machines visibly flipping to McCain or McKinney when intended for Obama. We will see McCain supporters on November 4th challenging people’s right to vote, seeking to force people to vote on provisional ballots, and seeking to have provisional ballots discarded. And we will see electronic vote counts wildly out of step with the most recent polls, although not with exit polls — which we will be denied any access to unless they have been “adjusted” to match the official counts.

Inciting your supporters to violence with racist and religious lies about your opponent, effectively alleging treason on absolutely no basis, should be enough, alone, to disqualify a campaign for the presidency of the United States. Working to block voters from registering should be enough on its own. Any of the dozens of creative forms of vote suppression currently being used by the Republicans should be enough. And allowing votes to be counted on completely unverifiable machines owned and controlled by corporations allied with your party should make the results illegitimate even if plausible. If McCain is declared the “winner,” it will not be plausible, but at this point he has so disgraced himself and our electoral system that he is no longer a legitimate candidate for president regardless of what the polls (themselves fallible, but all we’ve got) say just before election day. Too many people have already been denied the opportunity to even push the buttons and have their votes miscounted. Too much incendiary slander has been let loose. Too much visible vote flipping has already been documented.

If Obama officially wins, McCain is likely to challenge it, charging the Obama campaign with some of the very crimes engaged in by McCain himself. Our reaction should be exactly the same in the event of a McCain challenge as in the event of a McCain “victory.” We should not sit back for even a split second and wonder how it will work out. We should not try to organize a plan on the spur of the moment to travel to key battleground states. We should be prepared already to immediately travel to Washington, D.C., head straight for the White House, occupy Lafayette Square Park, the Ellipse, and surrounding streets, block entrances, and shut the place down until Obama is recognized as the president elect or we are guaranteed a credible election with universal registration and hand-counted paper ballots.

We may be there for days or weeks or months. But we must be there. We must be there by the millions. We must show each other, and the nation, and the world that we have had enough, that we will not stand for one more stolen election, that we will not give in to fear, lies, theft, and intimidation. If they choose to attack our nonviolent gathering of citizens, let them do it right in front of George W. Bush’s White House with the world’s media watching. We will not back down.

I’m not hoping it comes to this, of course. If it doesn’t because the official election results are credible and just, we should celebrate and prepare to lobby our government for real change. But if resistance does not develop because people are too scared and obedient to act, then you’ll still be glad you packed ahead of time, and you might want to look into tickets to Canada.

© Copyright David Swanson,, 2008

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TPMtv: Running the Table


Your Daily Politics Video Blog: As we’ll do from now until Election Day, our daily update on the state of the race.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “TPMtv: Running the Table“, posted with vodpod


Rationales for Theft and Missing Exit Polls

The Republicans Couldn’t Steal the Election Again, Right? Right?

Voter Suppression Voting Rights




Mosaic News – 10/20/08: 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.


Mosaic needs your help! Donate here:

“Concrete Barriers Change Iraq’s Landscape,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Sudan dismisses UN report on Darfur displacement,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Livni Asks for Extension to Form Government,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Israel removes wildcat settlements in West Bank,” IBA TV, Israel
“Egypt Invites Fatah, Hamas to Reconciliation Summit,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“Palestinian Children Express Their Attachement to Jerusalem,” Palestine TV, Ramallah
“Egyptians File Suit Against Israel for Torture,” New TV, Lebanon
“Chaos mars trial of 86 accused in Turkey coup plot,” Press TV, Iran
“Demands to Increase Real Estate Values in Jordan,” Jordan TV, Jordan
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

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Chomsky: Current crisis demonstrates anti-democratic nature of financial system

Dandelion Salad


Noam Chomsky: Current crisis demonstrates anti-democratic nature of financial system

Continue reading

Big Brother: Radio frequency (RF) “Geolocation” of “Opponents” of the New World Order

Dandelion Salad

excerpt on current

by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, October 20, 2008
Antifascist Calling…

‘Tying the room together’: DARPA’s Project Gandalf

In the 1998 Coen brothers cult film The Big Lebowski, southern California slacker Jeffrey Lebowski aka “The Dude,” bemoans the desecration of his living room rug by criminals out to collect a debt in a hilariously absurd case of mistaken identity. After the thugs urinate on his prized possession, The Dude is crestfallen because that rug “really tied the room together.”

Fast forward to 2008, only there’s no mistaking either the identities or what’s being “tied together” here. DARPA’s Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO) is seeking solicitations for “Project Gandalf,” according to an October 7 “Industry Day” announcement on the Federal Business Opportunities website.

In a bid to “tie the room together,” DARPA is developing a demonstration project that will provide “counterterrorist” special operators and spies, aka state terrorists, with

solutions to … radio frequency (RF) geolocation and emitter identification using specific emitter identification (SEI) for specific signals of interest. The ultimate goal of the Gandalf program is to enable a set of handheld devices to be utilized to perform RF geolocation and SEI on RF signals of interest to the Gandalf program. The specific goals and performance objectives associated with RF geolocation and SEI for the Gandalf system are classified. (“Gandalf Program, DARPA Industry Day Announcement,” Federal Business Opportunities, October 7, 2008)

That’s right, a hand-held cell phone tracking device that will enable security operatives to locate and take out opponents of the capitalist “new order” in global South or “hardened” heimat cities.

Sounds like a seamless way to “tie together” information culled by NSA trolls or the Justice Department’s Terrorist Identity Datamart Environment (TIDE), the “master list” from which all other federal agencies derive their own dubious watch lists.

The Gandalf Program is classified Secret/NOFORN, meaning only American firms whose personnel hold coveted U.S. Department of Defense “secret clearances or higher” need apply. The October 28, 2008 Industry Day will be held at the Rosslyn, Virginia headquarters of the Scitor Corporation. An appropriate venue if ever there were one.

Deriving its name from a Latin word meaning “to seek to know,” Scitor’s website has little in the way of useful information for the researcher, aside that is, from the usual banalities about “excellence” and “solving customer needs.”

However, a profile on Yahoo! Finance reveals that Scitor “hopes to aid you in your search for technological knowledge and harmony.” (!) There we also learn that the firm “offers a wide range of professional and technological services, including consulting work, risk management, software development and systems engineering.” Unsurprisingly, “Scitor works primarily for U.S. government agencies, including the Department of Defense.”

Founded in 1979, the company was acquired in 2007 by the private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners LLP. With $421.9 million in revenue in 2007, the company employs some 1,100 people with top secret and above security clearances. Their main competitors according to Yahoo’s profile are Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services, Northrop Grumman Information Technology and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).But as investigative journalist Tim Shorrock revealed in his essential book Spies For Hire,

…Scitor, a CIA and defense contractor company…has become a $300 million company without creating a single ripple in the media. “It’s the biggest company you never heard of,” said a former NSA officer who knows the company well.

Scitor is a technology company that does extensive work for the U.S. Air Force in aerospace communications and satellite support services. The privately held company is also an important contractor for the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology… Within that directorate, two sources said, it is used primarily by the Office of Technical Services, the secretive unit that develops the gadgets, weapons and disguises used by spies. …

A Scitor contract with the General Services Administration posted on the GSA’s Web site lists the CIA among the company’s clients. It states that Scitor helps government agencies manage “major acquisitions and cradle-to-grave programs that are vital to national defense.” Those agencies include the National Reconnaissance Office, the National Security Agency, the NGA [National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency], the CIA and the Pentagon. (Tim Shorrock, Spies For Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008, pp. 141, 142)

Clearly, DARPA’s cell phone tracking proposal falls well within the parameters of Scitor’s spooky brief.

While the “specific goals and performance objectives associated with RF geolocation and SEI for the Gandalf system are classified,” it doesn’t take a rocket scientist–or securocrat–to realize there’s real money to be made here.

Former Royal Navy officer Lew Page who unearthed the project for the U.K. online tech publication The Register, reports that “Project Gandalf” will supplement work “already done by surveillance aircrafts and/or drones.” The “new wrinkle” according to Page, “is being able to do it using handheld devices” at close quarters. Page writes,

So it would appear that a group of undercover operatives or special-forces troops dispersed near a target (perhaps a specific cell or satellite phone) might carry portable gadgets, presumably networked. The netted devices would be able to pick out the phone, radio or whatever they were after and track it. …

As far as the technology goes, the idea sounds feasible. Commercial pico/microcell gear, for instance–with all the capabilities needed to ID and locate cell phones–is already easily down to briefcase size. Satellite phones would be harder, of course. (Lew Page, “DARPA to Begin Mysterious ‘Project Gandalf’,” The Register, October 8, 2008)

As I wrote in “Niche Telecom Providers Assisting NSA Spy Operations,” enterprising capitalist grifters in the telecom industry are already “providing security agencies with real-time cell phone tracking capabilities.” What makes this research so insidious are the workarounds supplied–at a premium price–by under-the-radar companies to NSA or the U.K.’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) not covered by any law.

Project Gandalf clearly travels along the same repressive continuum but with a twist. If the program pans out it will give security agents an “up close and personal” capacity, let’s just call it for the sake of argument, that real-world intel touch required to disrupt meetings or smash an organizing drive even as they’re taking place. Now that’s real progress!

Industry Day Goals at the upcoming October 28 meet and greet are threefold:

1) to familiarize participants with DARPA’s interest in RF geolocation and SEI technologies, 2) to identify potential offerors and promote understanding of the BAA proposal requirements, and 3) to promote discussion of synergistic capabilities among potential program participants. Information on the Gandalf solicitation will be available at: following the publication of the BAA in FedBizOpps. Following the Industry Day, the web site will contain the unclassified Gandalf Frequently Asked Questions, unclassified presentations from the Industry Day, and information on how to obtain the classified briefings and Q&A.

As the European watchdog group Quintessenz has revealed, digital and telephonic privacy invasions represent a fundamental assault on “freedom of information, the right to personal privacy and data integrity, the right to communicate freely.”

With information on Thales “Autonomous facility for IP Monitoring,” aka IP Tr@pper, the Siemens Intelligence Platform, Force10 Networks “10 Gigabit Packet Filtering” presentation to the NSA “for high speed government surveillance,” to the Verint (formerly Comverse Infosys) “STAR-GATE interception system,” the Quintessenz project “ties the room together” on state and corporate assaults on our fundamental right to free speech and privacy.As Antifascist Calling has previously reported (see: “America’s Cyborg Warriors,” July 23, 2008) such “technophilic” moves arise during a period when “restless natives”–on the contested, resource rich terrain of the global South and increasingly, within the Western “homeland” itself–are challenging the economic, political and social hegemony of “actually existing capitalism.” As Durham University geographer Stephen Graham wrote,

Here, attention should fall in particular on the ways in which biopolitical stipulations of the worth–or lack of worth–of human subjects are, quite literally, cast into the software code that operates increasingly automated and multi-scale surveillance, targeting and killing systems. Thus, the new technoscience of the urbanized RMA [Revolution in Military Affairs] concentrates on distinguishing ‘normal’ urban space-times and ecologies in the global north, so that the apparatus of an increasingly militarized police state can be used to discipline those deemed ‘abnormal’. (Stephen Graham, “Surveillance, urbanization, and the ‘Revolution in Military Affairs’,” in D. Lyon, Theorizing Surveillance, Uffculme, Devon: Willan Publishing, 2006, p. 264)

And as we have seen in recent surveillance scandals in the U.S. and elsewhere, those deemed “abnormal” include: union organizers, antiwar activists, socialist parties, antiglobalization campaigners, environmentalists, animal rights activists, civil liberties and human rights organizations, the list goes on and on. Indeed, from the point of view of state security agencies and their outsourced corporate partners, potentially “abnormal” or at least politically “suspect” individuals encompass the vast majority of citizens.

Finally, as the West’s “terrorism industry” continues to grow at a rate directly proportional to capitalism’s economic decline, we can expect that enterprising corporate grifters will flood DARPA with proposals to make “Project Gandalf” a reality.
© Copyright Tom Burghardt, Antifascist Calling…, 2008

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Multibillion “Homeland Security” Market: Telecoms Assist in NSA Spy Operations

America’s Cyborg Warriors by Tom Burghardt

Domestic Spying


Big Brother – 1984


Debatable Debates by Ralph Nader + Nader’s Ticket to the Debate

Dandelion Salad

by Ralph Nader
The Nader Page
Monday, October 20. 2008

The three so-called presidential debates—really parallel interviews by reporters chosen by the Obama and McCain campaigns—are over and they are remarkable for two characteristics—convergence and avoidance.

A remarkable similarity between McCain and Obama on foreign and military policy kept enlarging as Obama seemed to enter into a clinch with McCain each time McCain questioned his inexperience or softness or using military force. Continue reading

Last Exit to Disneyland By Adam Engel

Sent to me by Jason Miller from Thomas Paine’s Corner. Thanks, Jason.

By Adam Engel

It’s a long story…then again, aren’t they all…

So I thought I was subletting an apartment, “rent stabilized” at $1350 from my sister, who was recently married, without realizing the absentee “landlord,” BSG Management Inc. (duh!) is trying to squeeze out such ne’er do-wells as my sister, who’s lived here and paid them rent for FIFTEEN YEARS, so they can charge the current “market value” of $3600/month for said shit-hole (well, I’ve been in worse shit-holes; this is a “doorman” building; but still, I’m living in essentially a studio for what should be the price of a mortgage). So they’ve been “calling” my sister, who, though a well-intentioned, kind person — to me, at least — lives in their bourgeois world, and like the bourgeois, is in total denial of the impending total collapse and imminent police-state (did I say imminent?) We’ve been under occupation since October 1st, officially, haven’t we?) still believe they’re in Disneyland where everything works out to their advantage as long as they pay through the nose. We don’ need no steenkeen Second Law of Thermodynamics…

My sister, of course, has a friend who’s a real estate lawyer who’s threatening THEM with “harassment” etc. etc. etc.

Like I NEED this shit? I just wanted a place to read and think for the winter and hopefully figure a way outta this One-trick Magic Kingdom, or deeper into it – living off credit cards going “home” to my wife, and dog on week-ends. (Note: I intend to pay back every penny — at the minimum rate, regardless of “interest” accrued, once the economy gets back on its feet again – wink, wink; nudge, nudge. It’s a waiting game: sooner or later one of us is gonna fall, me or the Bank; who knows, maybe I’ll play the Lottery like the folks at the Deli next door, who drop $20, $30, even $50 a day of money they don’t have for millions they’ll never see – well one lucky person might “win”, but “they” won’t, and certainly not “we.” Anyway, what does it say about the value of work, when those who work hate their lives so much, they’ll gladly piss away hundreds of “honest wages” for fantasy millions of ill-gotten gain – gambling, no? At least in Vegas, though the house always wins, the rube gets to win sometimes…)

Continue reading

Explosive news: George W. Bush is right! By Roland Michel Tremblay

By Roland Michel Tremblay
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
The Marginal
Oct. 21, 2008

I know this is explosive. No need to crucify me. No need to have a heart attack just yet. I’m just playing the devil’s advocate here and trying to understand. Think, consider everything, it could be useful.

Let’s assume that there is no New World Order working for its own interests, that Bush and Cheney never had hidden plans, and are not corrupt politicians of the worst kind. That they are not into false flag events to justify wars and other fascist tactics to take over the world. That there was no corporate conflict of interests anywhere justifying irrational decisions. What then, and why?

Is Bush really working for us all, for America, protecting our own interests? Could a case be made to justify the nightmare of the last eight years? Something hard to swallow, and yet, considering what was at stake, still acceptable from an American history viewpoint?

Interesting questions. Because, though George W. Bush is beyond doubt going down as the worst President ever in history, others, mostly Republicans by birth, will try to justify that, instead of being our second Hitler, he was in fact desperately trying to avert a catastrophe of gigantic proportions which would have meant the utter destruction of the United States as the only superpower left in the world.

Never mind that he failed, and that now we are witnessing the end of the American Empire. Is it possible that he has some insight or intelligence that we lack, which could not be made public so obviously, but still required all those extreme decisions which made him and his party so unpopular?

We are the people of this democracy, we decide our destiny, in theory at least. And by any definition of any government, we don’t know anything, we don’t know what we want. We are too idealistic in nature, and others need to make the hard decisions in our place in order to sustain the continuity of what we have been used to: the success of our supremacy in the world. You don’t want to live in a world where those hard decisions are not being made in your name, in ignorance, in the shadows.

You never get to the top by playing by the rules, or being nice. You crush everything on your way to power, it is the only way. This simple fact explains why in the end there is not much difference between a Democratic or a Republican government, and why they all agreed on those so called patriotic laws that destroyed the Constitution and our most cherished human rights. We have to believe it was necessary somehow, without further explanation. All right, we believed it. But why?

Let’s be honest, we are all nice people here. We don’t want war, we want peace. We don’t want to steal anything, we want to pay a huge price for it. We don’t want to kill people or crush the world to insure we remain on top of it, we are ready to compromise until everyone can take advantage of our softness and annihilate us all.

I am cynical enough to be realistic and see the world for what it is. Ultimately, we want and should remain in power of the world at any cost, and I do stress it, at any cost. Be it the massacre of millions of people. Because this is the world we live in, and it does not seem that there is any other way.

This is how your government has always been thinking. How could they ever function otherwise, when every other single government thinks the same? Let’s be honest. Peace and love have always only existed, in theory, on this side of the world. And no one knows yet if this is the right side.

Perhaps governments are right sometimes to think that the world of politics would not work if the same values we hold so dear in our day to day life, were to be implemented out there in the world at large.

You see, South America will not hesitate to take us over, and they could. China is already on its way to dominate the world, China might actually have financially carefully planned the destruction of America, with the help of Russia. They certainly own most of America, your mortgage, along with our Muslim “friends”. If no one is willing to say it, I will. It is only, after all, why we are at war, and planning more of it, carefully planning the last one of this humanity in fact.

Is there something we don’t know, which is being played out and decided right now on the international diplomatic scene, which could justify those wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and even attacking Iran before Russia takes it over, despite the recession? At three billion dollars a day to continue these wars, before we even think about Iran, you certainly need a great motivation, when your country is facing a historic bankruptcy on a massive scale.

Is it for the American supremacy that we fight for? Our great standard of living, our chance to dictate to the world how the future will be, instead of others dictating to us how they will proceed with us? Is it to prevent other countries, other dictatorships, from taking over America, that we are taking all these desperate measures, and risk a Nuclear Third World War? Is the threat as great as Hitler was sixty years ago, and yet, we would have remained unaware of it all?

Well, you have to believe it, if you do not believe in any sort of New World Order. Or in this idea that George W. Bush, Cheney and Co, are simply working towards making themselves rich, along with the huge corporations they have interests in, at the cost of everything else, at the cost of sacrificing America.

This is quite an important question. Of course people have tried desperately to explain why Bush and Cheney made all these decisions, why they seemed to have benefitted from such a puzzling collaboration from the Democratic Party. I can understand that in the end, we could only come up with the most outrageous explanations, whilst trying to figure this out.

We have to assume that our institutions work, that our politicians are not stupid, far from it. They never take any decision lightly, they are not somehow being manipulated or bullied into their decisions, they know what they are doing. Don’t they?

Then, they certainly know something that we don’t, something that could never be spoken of in order to insure the success of such decisions. As if somehow we could be facing something so serious, and yet, unspeakable, from fears that other countries could then win the unspoken war for the supremacy of the world.

There is so much to explain! Why would the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom so completely give 100% support to Bush and Cheney? Why would the Prime Ministers of Canada and Australia (at the time), so willingly espouse all of Bush’s plans?

How could you explain such collaboration from the whole American Congress, especially from the opposition, even when they had some sort of majority in the House? If these people are not being threatened, then they know something we don’t, and they can’t say anything about it. And perhaps, after all, they are acting in our best interests. We can only hope.

Never mind if these interests are immoral, and millions will die as a consequence. Still, the other side of the coin might be even darker for us all, it could be us dying instead of those Muslims, and eventually Chinese and Russian people.

Yes, being a politician might be that hard a job. Deciding to kill million of foreigners on the other side of the planet, in order to prevent millions of us dying eventually, or suffer terribly through a lack of those most basic resources.

Is this what is going on? Not only capitalism being on its way out, but America as well? Are we now fighting to insure we will not all become so poor, struggling like a Third World country, like Africa?

And even perhaps, what we perceive as this police state, the emergence of a fascist state, is to prevent a dictatorship from another country from dictating to us how we will live?

If our politicians are not all corrupt, if there was no false flag events, if we are not fighting those wars on behalf of those large corporations’ profits, and suffering the largest depression since 1929 for another reason than the fact that Paulson thought he could once more pull it off by injecting more billions into the markets, then something is seriously amiss in the information and intelligence the public gets.

It would mean something terrible is going on. We are facing extinction, or at the very least the loss of our way of life, our standard of living, our position in the world. It is then the only conclusion possible.

George W. Bush was right, though he could not say it without creating the very world war he was perhaps still hoping to avert, in order to prevent America from becoming a Third World country.

Of course, we don’t believe any of this. It could never be justified. Bush will go down in history as another Hitler who might still succeed, but hopefully will, once again, fail.

But I think we should try to explain rationally why everything that has happened recently happened, and why we made all those decisions in order to make it happen. Those irrational decisions had, after all, the support of the Democratic Party.

It can only mean, ignoring fear and possible bullying, that the people have spoken. The whole government cannot possibly be corrupt, can it? Despite all this electoral fraud going on that we are finally proving. These were perhaps the right decisions to be made then?

Maybe there is more to it than we know, and that from another perspective, without resorting to conspiracy theories, it could still all make sense. And though it might sound immoral, in the end, we have to admit, we are not quite ready to give up our status as the leaders of the world. Better dictate to others what we want, than let others dictate to us what our future will be.

I bet you have now identified me as someone dangerous on all sides. Good, you’re gonna need those in months to come. It is not going to be easy. We pushed it that far, that want it or not, now, we can only make desperate decisions for our own survival, at the cost of everyone else in the world.

And now you can forget everything I just said. I don’t believe it myself. And yet, finding answers to these questions, would go a long way to explain those hallucinating last years we witnessed in the world of politics worldwide.

Roland Michel Tremblay is an author with six books published in France. He is a French-Canadian born in 1972 who has been living in London UK for 15 years. He can be contacted at this e-mail address:

All previous political articles by Roland Michel Tremblay:


The Failed Presidency of George W. Bush: A Dismal Legacy by Prof. Rodrigue Tremblay

Is America Fascist? By Sherwood Ross

Three Way Presidential Debate – Obama, McCain, and Nader

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Voter Suppression Voting Rights

Tremblay-Roland Michel

Is This The End Of America’s Superpower Status?

Dandelion Salad

October 20, 2008 BBC World

Vodpod videos no longer available.


Socialists say Barack Obama is not

Kucinich Questions Wall Street “Bonuses”

Behind the Panic: Financial Warfare and the Future of Global Bank Power

No More Investment Banks – Turn Them Into Public Utilities By Mike Whitney

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Socialists say Barack Obama is not

Dandelion Salad

By Rex W. Huppke
Tribune staff reporter
October 20, 2008

These are hard times to be a socialist in America. And not just because there’s a bourgeois-bloated Starbucks on every other corner, thumbing its capitalist nose at the proletariat.

No, it’s tough these days because you’ve got politicians on the right, the same guys who just helped nationalize the banking system, derisively and inaccurately calling the presidential candidate on the left a socialist. That’s enough to make Karl Marx harumph in his grave.

Local communists, rarely tapped as campaign pundits, say Sen. Barack Obama and his policies stand far afield from any form of socialism they know.

John Bachtell, the Illinois organizer for Communist Party USA, sees attempts by Sen. John McCain’s campaign to label Obama a socialist as both offensive to socialists and a desperate ploy to tap into fears of voters who haven’t forgotten their Cold War rhetoric.


via Socialists say Barack Obama is not —

h/t: KnitWitty

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Is Obama a socialist?

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse