On April 20, 2010, author and political gadfly Ralph Nader gave a lecture at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), in Baltimore, MD. He spoke before a near capacity audience for over an hour. During the Q&A, he was asked his opinion of President Barack Obama. Mr. Nader labeled Obama as conflict-averse, and criticized both his foreign and domestic polices. In response to a question about Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), Mr. Nader said Rep. Paul was a fresh voice, and that he was right about ending the current privately owned Federal Reserve System, (The Fed), and that it should be a public agency and held accountable to the U.S. Congress. Mr. Nader also praised Rep. Pauls opposition to the wars of aggression and to empires, but disagreed with him on other social justice issues. Professor Fimin DeBrabander of MICA introduced Mr. Nader. For more information on Mr. Nader, go to:http://www.citizen.org/Page.aspx?pid=183 Continue reading →
April 10, 2010 — Poverty Initiative at Union Theological Seminary brought Chris Hedges to their Poverty Scholars Strategic Dialogues on Media and Religion and he delivered a monumental address urging the poor deal effectively with the right wing’s grip on power, counter their fascistic racial targeting of Islam and other scapegoats like immigrants, gays, feminists, and lefties, by getting the public to see it’s a deliberate distraction to prevent our realizing the need to replace obsolete economic institutions, a corrupt media, and a criminal government lacking in legitimacy. Poverty Initiative convened 90 Poverty Scholars–low-income organizers, faith leaders and media makers from over 41 organizations. Check out povertyinitiative.org and help make change happen!
Nothing is more powerful in a democracy than fed up citizens lawfully yanking public officials out of their jobs. Considering all the frustration and anger about government that is too big, expensive, corrupt and dysfunctional, it is wise to consider how much better American democracy would be if citizens could recall members of Congress, the President and even Supreme Court Justices. In a world moving at faster and faster speeds why wait for the usual ways to fix government, especially when none of them seem to work?
Fearful politicians have given citizens in relatively few states and local governments the right to recall government officials. A most memorable and recent recall was the governor of California, Gray Davis, in 2003.
I was a bit surprised to hear Obama last week promote the Mars missions with such vigor. His call for manned missions to the red planet won’t be cheap and you wonder how the nation can afford to pay for them. He intends to increase NASA funding by $6 billion over the next five years – one of the few budget increases in government discretionary funding.
Democracy Now did a short story on the Obama announcement and had Victoria Samson from the Secure World Foundation on to talk about it. Amy Goodman asked her about the military connection to NASA and she denied there was one. Anyone who follows the space program knows differently. Here is what she said.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) joined southern Black farmers and the Network of Black Farm Groups today to highlight the need for Congressional action to appropriate funds to pay a court settlement for racially discriminatory practices by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
After decades of racially discriminatory practices at the USDA, the government settled with Black farmers in 1999 in a case known as Pigford v. Glickman. President Obama has requested Congress provide $1.15 billion to pay the tens of thousands of claims, yet Congress missed a March 31, 2010 deadline to appropriate the funds.
WADI FUKIN, West Bank (JTA) — Mohammed Mansara, a 70-year-old farmer who goes by the name Abu Mazen, indicates with a sweep of his arm the fruit trees and vegetables he grows on his small plot of land in this Palestinian village in the West Bank, population 1,200.
Then he points to a small green hill on the western side of the village topped by a tidy cluster of red-roofed homes. That is Tzur Hadassah, an Israeli community of about 5,000 Jewish residents.
“Tzur Hadassah has such nice people,” he says in Hebrew. “They are great neighbors.”