Ralph Nader On the State of the Union

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by Ralph Nader
The Nader Page
Friday, January 29. 2010

Ralph Nader after the speech - Green Lecture

Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

The President’s State of the Union Speech is the Big Speech of the year. Yet there is never an opportunity either for the press or the citizenry to promptly follow up with any questions or requests for clarifications. As a result, doubt and misunderstandings fester.

Watching President Obama’s speech the other evening before a joint session of vociferous members of Congress, quiet Supreme Court Justices and military brass, I jotted down a few items for the White House to consider.

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President Obama at House Republican Conference + Q&A + transcript

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President Obama’s Speech at the House Republican retreat in Baltimore

CSPAN
January 29, 2010 Continue reading

Corporations (Are People) by Ed Ciaccio

Corporate Personhood
by Helen Cox, used with permission
larger view

by Ed Ciaccio
Dandelion Salad
Featured Writer
January 29, 2010

(to the tune of “People” by Merrill & Styne)

People,
Corporations are people.
They’re the luckiest people in the world.
They’re monsters,
Immortal monsters,
Using sociopathic power
To lobby and devour,
Acting more like androids than people.

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Chris Hedges: The Walls are Literally Crumbling Around Us

with Peter B. Collins and Sibel Edmonds
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
originally published by Boiling Frogs Post

with Chris Hedges
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
January 29, 2010

Chris Hedges

Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

Chris Hedges gives us a quick sketch of his latest book “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle”. He discusses the real role of the US media as one of the main culprits in promoting a sense of exceptionalism by disseminating fantasy, and poisoning civil and political discourse with entertainment and trivia. He talks about the spectacle surrounding Barrack Obama’s presidential campaign and his function as a brand just like any other commercial commodity brand advertised and promoted by corporations, the last decade’s coup d’état in slow motion, and much more!

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Doctors Flowers and Paris Arrested Trying to Inform Obama about Medicare For All

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liamh2
January 29, 2010

On Jan. 29, 2010, Doctors Margaret Flowers and Carol Paris were arrested outside a hotel, at the Inner Harbor, in Baltimore, MD, where President Barack Obama was to give a speech. They were on a sidewalk outside the Renaissance hotel holding a banner. The doctors had a letter that they wanted to give to the President and/or one of his aides, re: Medicare for All. They were arrested for trespassing, according to to a police officer at the scene. Later after getting into a police car, this reporter was advised, the two doctors were released, without going to the local lockup. Each was then given” a citation” for trespassing. For background on this issue, check out Dr. Flowers visit to the White House, on Jan. 28, 2010, at:

Kucinich Responds To Obama’s SOTU Address + Dr. Margaret Flowers has healthcare info for Obama

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UN Secret Detention Report Asks, “Where Are The CIA Ghost Prisoners?” by Andy Worthington

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by Andy Worthington
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
www.andyworthington.co.uk
29 January 2010

A major new report on secret detention policies around the world, conducted by four independent UN human rights experts, concludes that, “On a global scale, secret detention in connection with counter-terrorist policies remains a serious problem,” and that, “If resorted to in a widespread and systematic manner, secret detention might reach the threshold of a crime against humanity.”

The 226-page report, published on Wednesday in an advance unedited version, is the culmination of a year-long Joint Study by the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances. It will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in March.

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Howard Zinn’s last advice to America – and to me by Rabbi Arthur Waskow

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Reposted with permission from Rabbi Arthur Waskow from the Shalom Center

by Rabbi Arthur Waskow
The Shalom Center
January 28, 2010

Tuesday morning – just two days ago – I wrote half a dozen leaders of progressive thought and action in America, each separately, the letter that follows.

It proposes creating a grand coalition calling for independence from the corporate & military elites that have taken great power over America’s future, and gathering in hundreds of thousands all over our country on July 4 — Independence Day. Continue reading

The Battle of the Titans: JPMorgan vs. Goldman Sachs Or Why the Market Was Down for 7 Days in a Row by Dr. Ellen Brown

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by Dr. Ellen Brown
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
webofdebt.com
Jan. 29, 2010

We are witnessing an epic battle between two banking giants, JPMorgan Chase (Paul Volcker) and Goldman Sachs (Geithner/Summers/Rubin). Left strewn on the battleground could be your pension fund and 401K.

The late Libertarian economist Murray Rothbard wrote that U.S. politics since 1900, when William Jennings Bryan narrowly lost the presidency, has been a struggle between two competing banking giants, the Morgans and the Rockefellers. The parties would sometimes change hands, but the puppeteers pulling the strings were always one of these two big-money players. No popular third party candidate had a real chance at winning, because the bankers had the exclusive power to create the national money supply and therefore held the winning cards.

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Blackwater’s Youngest Victim’s Father Gives Most Detailed Account of Massacre to Date

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Democracy Now!
Jan 29, 2010

EXCLUSIVE…Blackwater’s Youngest Victim: Father of 9 Year-Old Killed in Nisour Square Gives Most Detailed Account of Massacre to Date

Today a Democracy Now! exclusive report from Jeremy Scahill about a nine year old boy, shot in the head and killed by Blackwater in the infamous Nisour Square massacre. His father, who is suing the private military contractor, provides the most detailed eyewitness account of the massacre to date. Scahill has conducted an in-depth investigation of the massacre and of nine-year old Ali Kinani’s death. He files an exclusive report with Rick Rowley of Big Noise Films.

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Canada’s Pro-Democracy Movement

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TheRealNews
January 29, 2010

www.therealnews.com

People take to the streets accusing Prime Minister of shutting down Parliament to avoid a war crimes inquiry into his administration.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has single-handedly shut down Parliament. It is the second time he has done this since being re-elected in October of 2008. Critics claim that the move was used this time in order to postpone an inquiry into accusations of war crimes complicity for members of his administration and the Canadian military. Stemming from evidence that Canada continued handing- over people detained in the War in Afghanistan over to Afghan prisons that they knew practiced torture.

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California’s Prisons: Suppression, not rehabilitation by Rachel Meyer

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Sent to DS from the author.

by Rachel Meyer
Dandelion Salad
January 29, 2010
previously published at The WIP– January 28, 2010

California’s Prison Spending Grows While the State Budget Shrinks

As I sit and write this, a young man sits in County Jail awaiting his sentence. Three years ago he was involved in a fight while in juvenile hall for drug related charges. This fight made him eligible for Division of Juvenile Justice, formerly known as California Youth Authority (I prefer to call it Gladiator School). However, it‘s not the fight that will likely send him to DJJ – it’s the two drug tests he failed in a row.

My client is a drug addict; he has not committed another violent offense. Since his time with me, he has enrolled in adult school, has set his sights on college, and has survived circumstances that would make most of us lie down in the fetal position and give up. And yet this young man can still be sent to prison or spend extended time in County Jail for smoking marijuana. Since the beginning of my employment in the California Juvenile Justice System as a Social Worker, I’ve come to accept that most of the adolescents I work with are entrenched in a system that trains them to become better prisoners rather than productive citizens. I often find myself asking, “Is this justice?”

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Pentagon Confronts Russia In The Baltic Sea by Rick Rozoff

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by Rick Rozoff
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Stop NATO
Stop NATO -Opposition to global militarism
29 January, 2010

Twelve months ago a new U.S. administration entered the White House as the world entered a new year.

Two and a half weeks later the nation’s new vice president, Joseph Biden, spoke at the annual Munich Security Conference and said “it’s time to press the reset button and to revisit the many areas where we can and should be working together with Russia.”

Incongruously to any who expected a change in tact if not substance regarding strained U.S.-Russian relations, in the same speech Biden emphasized that, using the “New World Order” shibboleth of the past generation at the end, “Two months from now, the members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will gather to celebrate the 60th year of this Alliance. This Alliance has been the cornerstone of our common security since the end of World War II. It has anchored the United States in Europe and helped forge a Europe whole and free.” [1]

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