“The 15% Solution,” Serialization, 3rd Installment: Chapter Two: Fascism in America: An Overview

by Jonathan Westminster, Ph.D. aka Steven Jonas, MD, MPH
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
crossposted on Buzzflash.com
March 20, 2010

This is the third installment of a project that is likely to extend over a two-year-period from January, 2010.  It is the serialization of a book entitled The 15% Solution: A Political History of American Fascism, 2001-2022.  Under the pseudonym Jonathan Westminster and fictitious biography, the book is purportedly published in the year 2048 on the 25th Anniversary of the Restoration of Constitutional Democracy in the Re-United  States.  It was actually published in 1996 by the Thomas Jefferson Press, located in Port Jefferson, NY. The copyright is held by the Press.  Herein you will find Chapter 2.

Chapter Two

Fascism in America: An Overview

Continue reading

Ideologues on the Supreme Court Rollback Democracy by Sean Fenley (satire) + Justice Alito Has Some Things He’d Like to Say…

by Sean Fenley
Dandelion Salad
The Anything and Everything
February 3, 2010

Today in a stunning 5-4 decision, the forces of truth, justice, democracy, and the American way were rolled back by Tony “The Fixer” Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel “Unitary Executive” Alito, Anthony Kennedy and Chief ‘Justice’ John Roberts. They said that it was consequential to rollback democracy at this critical point in human history, because we don’t want people getting all full of themselves, and we don’t want their heads getting heavy filled up with a bunch of incendiary ideas, like that they actually control their own government! That was an idea that’s had it’s day in the sun, so to speak (it’s had its fifteen minutes!), but now it’s time for that notion to honorably set itself aside, and let other political philosophies share this nation’s political arena for awhile!

Continue reading

Supremes Murder the First Amendment: Whaddaya Gonna Do? By Gary Corseri

Bookmark and Share

https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/

By Gary Corseri
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
January 26, 2010

They did it in broad daylight.  “Money … speech—what’s the diff?” they cackled, sucking a corporate tit.  Then they wrung Liberty’s neck—cracked it like a chicken’s.

That same day the bank foreclosed on my home.  I offered a speech to the broad-brim hatted sheriff.  “Money … speech—what’s the diff?” I asked.

His deputies kicked my kids right down the road.

“If money is the same as speech, surely speech is the same as money!” I averred, but … he failed to acknowledge my logic.

I went to my cousin, Vincenzo.  “Whadda we gonna do?  What the hell can we do?”

“I’m gonna make them an offer they can’t refuse,” he said, chomping a Cuban stogie.

Continue reading

A Sunset in Bali By Gary Corseri

Bookmark and Share

https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/

By Gary Corseri
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
December 24, 2009

Revolution without the Arts is meaningless,” writes Gary Corseri, whose self-appointed task since his undergraduate days has been “to humanize and aestheticize political-social-economic consciousness and to revolutionize and socialize the perspectives of artists.” He has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta. His dramas have been published and performed on Atlanta-PBS and in five states. His articles, poems, stories and plays have appeared in/at Dandelion Salad, Thomas Paine’s Corner, DissidentVoice, The New York Times, Village Voice, CounterPunch, Sky, Redbook, Philadelphia Inquirer, City Lights Review, CommonDreams, Georgia Review, The Miami Herald, WorldProutAssembly, Palestine Chronicle, TelesurTV.net, LuogoComune, and hundreds of other periodicals and websites worldwide. He has published two poetry collections and two novels (A Fine Excess; and Holy Grail, Holy Grail), and edited the Manifestations anthology. His work has been translated and published in Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Icelandic.

Born and raised in New York City, Dr. Corseri holds holds degrees from the University of Florida, Harvard and Florida State University. He has taught in public schools and prisons in the U.S., and at universities in the U.S. and Japan; he has worked as a busboy in Miami and Atlanta, furniture-mover and grape-picker in Australia, gas station attendant in Atlanta, journalist, speech coach and editor. He currently resides in the D.C. area. He may be reached at gary_corseri@comcast.net.

***

A Sunset in Bali is the first chapter of A FINE EXCESS, a novel set in Bali and Australia, with flashbacks to Japan and the States.  It’s 1976, and 29-year-old Tony Speed is caught in the riptide of sexual revolution and the whirligig of life.  The war in Vietnam is finally over, costs begin to be assayed; grief, pain and loss acknowledged so that new growth can occur.  At last, persistence begets a transcendental vision.  The novel can be purchased through Amazon or ordered through bookstores.  Gary Corseri can be contacted at gary_corseri@comcast.net.

***

A Fine Excess: An Australian Odyssey

By Gary Corseri

Chapter 1  “A Sunset in Bali”

Pretending to be sun-bathing, Speed watches through one half-opened eye, as the child moves slowly and surely on the white, hot sand. It seems as though her tawny limbs have carried her a thousand years; it seems they’ll carry her a thousand more. One hand steadies the basket on her head and the other holds a metal container with ice and Western soft drinks. Cigarettes, straw fans, hats, and little carved birds of polished wood drift in the basket.

Continue reading

To Our Coy President By Robert S. Becker

Bookmark and Share

https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/

By Robert S. Becker
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
rbecker@cal.net
Nov. 10, 2009

Had we but world enough, and time,
Your coyness, Barack, were no crime.
In leisure we’d sit down and think,
Or chuckle over Palin’s wink.
You could author a fine third book,
‘Til foes depart, by hook or crook.
While you and Michelle luxuriate
With storied rooms to contemplate;
Unrushed, your girls find knowledge,
And jobs and mates after college.
Your phantom consensus will grow
And time itself will move more slow.
A philosopher-king may wait
And let Tea Party rage abate –
Lasting, I’d bet, one hundred years
Of going rogue with snarling sneers.
Change to “believe in” has no date,
Awash with bipartisan debate.
Was “Our moment is now” unclear?
You act like you have ages to spare.
When a new world is on the line,
Who dares rush creation divine?

Continue reading

Now, Let Us Stand for the Pledge of Allegiance By Gary Corseri

Bookmark and Share

https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/

By Gary Corseri
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
October 18, 2009

“Maybe that’s what it’s all about. … Maybe all that happens is, you get older and you know less.” — Frank Sinatra

Children:

In Amerika today we have two parties … the Fascist Union (also known as the F.U. party) and the Phony Cooperative Baloney party (also known as the P.C.B.).

The F.U. party stands for wholesome, Amerikan values–what we used to call “rugged individualism.” We don’t use this term anymore because today we understand the dangers of “individualism”–especially among the lower classes. We know that smart and crafty people always get together to form cartels, meshing economic, political and social lives to pursue their own best interests—and to hell with everyone else! This is a law of Nature known as “survival of the fittest.” It’s also known as the “invisible hand” of the market. Even the great slave-holder, Thomas Jefferson, understood this when he wrote about “liberty” and the “pursuit of happiness.” Notice that he did not write about “justice” and the “pursuit of truth.” Today we know that “justice” and “truth” are in the eyes of the beholder. Each person has his or her own idea of what those words mean and you can’t run the New World Order with a lot of loose threads hanging out, can you?

Continue reading

Torture? What Torture? We Need More Torture! By Gary Corseri

Bookmark and Share

By Gary Corseri
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
May 28, 2009

“What they regard as Tao is not Tao, and what they consider as right is often wrong.  [They] do not really understand Tao, but understand some of it. … They are able to worst others by argument, but do not convince people in their hearts, because they are just playing around with words. … [They get] lost in the bypaths.” — Chuang Tse

What’s all this nonsense about torture?

Now, I ain’t no Einstein, but it seems to me, if it makes us safer, it’s a no-brainer!

In fact, maybe what we gotta do is torture a whole lot more.

I’m not talkin’ about droppin’ bombs on people from Predator drones.  That’s a kind of torture if you get your limbs blown off or a beam thru your skull.  But, it ain’t personal enuf.  It’s what you call “collateral damage.”  What we gotta do is intentional damage—up close and personal.

And let’s not stop with the so-called “terr’ists.”  Let’s not pussy-foot.

Continue reading

Tour of Duty By Gary Corseri

By Gary Corseri
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Nov. 29, 2008

He wants a new language!
Ratta-tat-tat!  Ratta-tat-tat!
The old one’s full of homonyms
That sound too much like war:

“Military-industrial”; “Humvee”;
“Bombs bursting in air”;
“Predator”; “duty … honor … country. …”

BAM!  Ker-pling!  Ka-boom!  BAM!

Even “pride,” even “love”–
Drafted into service.

Every word has a medal
Stapled on its buttocks.
Every word’s a hero
In an honor-guard casket
With a flag drooling over.

Tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat. …
S p l a t !

Armor-piercing bullets say,
“Accept the world as it is!”
The shock and awe of their logic
Like cancer in children’s dreams.

Boom boom boom boom boom boom boom….
BAM!

Guns talk to guns–
A crimson tete-a-tete.
Nothing succeeds like excess.
Under the din of mourning–
Litigious sirens wail.

Snap!  Crackle!  Pop!

There is no light except for
Laser-guided missiles … and … possibly

Whoosh!

Enhanced night-vision goggles.

Gary Corseri has posted/published his work at Dandelion Salad, The New York Times, Village Voice and hundreds of other venues.  He served as the Arts Coordinator of Prout’s “Building a New World Conference” (Radford, Virginia) in May, 2008.  His books (which may be ordered at Borders, etc.,) include the novels, A Fine Excess and Holy Grail, Holy Grail, and the anthology, Manifestations (edited).  Contact: Gary_Corseri@comcast.net.

see

Corseri-Gary

A Bombing in Assam By Gary Corseri

By Gary Corseri
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Oct. 31, 2008

You are walking along the street one day,
chewing cinnamon gum,
and the world is full of cinnamon
when there’s a fireball–
and a blast of gushing air and noise
like the Earth is cracking
and time has exploded. …

Then … silence. …

You think you’re okay, but you look down and your forearm
lies in the street like a dead snake and you collapse.

You don’t think:

“It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the blasts that went off within minutes of each other, but the region is torn by dozens of militant separatist groups that have long fought the government and one another.”

This will come within minutes from those who were far away–
cool and calm analysis, almost reassuring in its syntactic coherence.

You are suddenly cold from the loss of blood
and you wonder if you will die and you cry out
in someone else’s voice underwater.
But none of the rushing men notice.

You are twenty two and you have/had a good job–
you were earnestly trying to help.
But now you think there was no point to your life,
and you remember your mother and father
whose voices are in the sirens.

You are embarrassed to have
emptied your bowels,
and your white shirt is red and muddy,
your tie is choking you
and the men and women are running wildly but slowly.

You wonder if the gleaming metal in the street
is part of the motorcycle that sheared off your arm.

Somebody squats down, peers at your face, then rushes on.

There are many people screaming now
but you can’t know if one of them is you
because nothing sounds like it used to.

You watch the sun come down into the road
and then there is only
soughing, impregnable blackness
sucking air from your lungs.

Gary Corseri has posted/published his work at Dandelion Salad and hundreds of other venues.  His books include: A Fine Excess; Holy Grail, Holy Grail; and, Manifestations (edited).  He can be contacted at Gary_Corseri@comcast.net.

The Gore Presidency: An Alternative History by William Cox

by William Cox
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
www.thevoters.org
Sept. 25, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the first debate of the 2008 presidential campaign now set to take place on the campus of the University of Mississippi, it seems appropriate to reflect back upon the Supreme Court decision in Bush vs. Gore almost eight years ago and the subsequent history of the United States that has flowed from the swing vote of a single justice.

Writing for a 5-4 majority of the divided court, Justice Anthony Kennedy, a former Professor of Constitutional Law, upheld the Florida Supreme Court’s decision that a vote was legal if there was a “clear indication of the intent of the voter.” Following the recount of all “undervoted” and uncounted legal ballots, Florida’s 25 electoral votes were awarded to Al Gore giving him victories in both the popular vote and the Electoral College.

Justice Kennedy continued as the Court’s “swing” voter until 2005 when, following the death of William Rehnquist, President Gore appointed Senator Hillary Clinton as Chief Justice and his Attorney General, former Arizona governor Janet Napolitano, to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. With Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the three female justices have had a collaborative influence on the Court, causing even Justice Thomas to concur in several of their decisions.

In a clear reversal of its conservative drift, the Supreme Court has not only continued to uphold a woman’s reproductive choice as a matter of constitutional right, but it has also generally supported President Gore’s administrative regulations and the federal laws intended to protect the environment, workers, and the economy.

With the appointments of former Senator Sam Nunn as Secretary of Defense and retired Army General Colin Powell as Secretary of State, Gore’s first serious foreign policy and national security challenge was the threat posed by Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda terrorist organization.

2001

Heeding warnings by the CIA that bin Laden was determined to strike America, Gore brought intense pressure on Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to cut off all funding and support of al Qaeda. He secured an UN Security Council resolution supporting military action inside Afghanistan, if its Taliban government continued to provide aid and comfort to bin Laden and al Qaeda.

Under the “Powell Plan,” the United States dedicated $25 billion over a five-year period to stabilize Afghanistan and to reduce the threat of war in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. With the extradition of bin Laden in 2001 and his murder conviction for complicity in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, organized terrorist activities were substantially reduced worldwide.

Once President Gore reaffirmed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia, terminated development of the ballistic missile defense system, implemented a detailed and shortened schedule to reduce and ultimately eliminate the nuclear stockpiles of both nations, and increased the funding and support of Secretary Nunn’s Nuclear Threat Initiative to safely dispose of Russia’s nuclear weapons, he and Secretary Powell focused their efforts on the elimination of nuclear weapons in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

2002

Recognizing that the recession that struck the European Union in 2000 and 2001 could affect the United States, President Gore took immediate steps to deflate the “dot com” bubble and to secure the well-paying jobs of manufacturing and professional workers through high-tech initiatives. Although there was some economic contraction, it was far less severe than anticipated, and job creation quickly resumed.

The Republican Congressional majority had been narrowed in the 2000 election, and using Vice President Lieberman as his Congressional Whip, President Gore had been able to maintain the Clinton tax reforms and to push through indexing of the Alternative Minimum Tax, relieving pressure on middle-income taxpayers.

Although the Clinton budgetary surplus was reduced by the recession, Gore came very close to balancing his first two budgets.

The 2002 Congressional elections were a judgment on Gore’s leadership and his continuing application of President Clinton’s mantra, “It’s the economy stupid!” Overall, the economy was doing well and voters responded by electing Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress.

2003

Acting with public and Congressional support, President Gore commenced the series of the bold initiatives that have come to characterize his administration. Despite the initial opposition of Vice President Joseph Lieberman and the intense lobbying of AIPAC, Gore reasserted the principles of the 1993 Oslo Accords and brought extreme diplomatic and financial pressure on Israel to abide by the agreement and to publicly acknowledge its nuclear weapons program, which it did early in 2003.

Secretary Powell organized and chaired a roundtable conference at the United Nations exclusively focused on the nuclear weapons programs of Israel, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, India and North Korea. Threatening an international boycott, economic quarantine and diplomatic isolation, Powell applied unrelenting pressure until Israel, Pakistan, India and North Korea agreed to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and Iraq and Iran agreed to abide by its conditions.

The final agreement of the parties was to adhere to the same schedule as the United States and Russia for the elimination of their nuclear weapon stockpiles and for UN inspections.

Iraq’s agreement was a surprising development and represented another victory for Gore’s carrot and stick approach. Acting on inside information from Saddam Hussein’s foreign minister, Jaji Sabri, and Tahir Jali Hubbush al-Tikriti, the head of Saddam’s intelligence service (both of whom had become agents of the West), Gore authorized his ambassador to the United Nations, former president Jimmy Carter, to secure the removal of all economic sanctions against Iraq (and its people).

Gore then secretly informed Saddam that his resignation and exile would be the price for him to keep his foreign bank accounts containing funds he had diverted from the “oil for food” program. Otherwise, the funds would be judicially frozen by litigation resulting from his invasion of Kuwait.

After Saddam left on an “extended vacation” in Egypt, the Iraqi people elected a government more reflective of its Shiite and Kurdish populations. UN inspections continued to find that Iraq had abandoned all of its weapons of mass destruction programs.

Quickly rebounding from the mild recession of 2002, America’s business profits, job creation and the incomes of its workers began to steadily increase.

With a solid majority of progressive Democrats in Congress and a disorganized Republican opposition, President Gore convinced business and industrial leaders that national health care would be in their best interests.

His proposal went beyond the single-payer insurance concept, and Congress established the National Health Service to administer a program to provide medical care to all Americans, except those who opt out of the System in exchange for a tax deduction and private coverage.

Workers benefited from elimination of their Medicare payroll tax deductions, and once freed from the cost of providing medical insurance and most workers’ compensation insurance coverage, American businesses quickly gained equal footing with their competitors in other countries.

Exports soared and the balance of payments began to weigh on America’s side of the scale.

2004

The demoralized Republican Party nominated Senator John McCain as its candidate for the 2004 presidential election. McCain, who had lost the primary battle in 2000 to Texas Governor George W. Bush due to the nasty campaign conducted by Karl Rove, Bush’s political advisor, hired Rove to manage his 2004 campaign.

Rove’s attempts to go negative ricocheted when several investigative journalists independently reported McCain’s active complicity in concealing the fate of more than 600 American POWs who were left alive in Vietnam at the end of the war. McCain’s campaign imploded and he backed out of his agreement to debate President Gore.

President Gore refused to comment on McCain’s erratic behavior, and he conducted an entirely positive campaign based on his record and his plans for the future. The American public responded enthusiastically and handed McCain the greatest electoral defeat in the nation’s history, even worse than that suffered by George McGovern in 1972. McCain carried only one state, Arizona, for a total of six electoral votes.

The voters also handed President Gore a filibuster-proof majority of progressives in both houses of Congress

President Gore had obtained Senate ratification of the Kyoto Protocol during his first term, and he had been able to get legislation through Congress that substantially increased the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards and eliminated the “light truck” exemption that was allowing domestic manufacturers to turn out fuel-guzzling “sport utility vehicles.”

He then challenged American automobile manufacturers to take the lead in producing “hybrid” vehicles that combine battery power and small internal combustion engines to further reduce domestic fuel consumption.

To overcome the problem of incompatibility and to achieve economies of scale, Gore obtained Congressional legislation to fund research and development of a standardized and easily replaceable plug-in battery for all hybrids. Recharged batteries are now available at most automobile service stations across the country and easily allow for long-distance travel primarily using battery power.

Most American automobiles and small trucks are now hybrid powered and tens of thousands have been exported, along with interchangeable “American Hybrid” batteries, throughout the world.

Even though Americans continue to enjoy a service and consumer economy, the balance of payments deficit has declined steadily, as manufacturing and technological innovations have driven exports.

During the 2004 election, President Gore established a goal for the United States to produce “100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy and truly clean carbon-free sources within 10 years.”

Beginning with a concrete plan to establish a Unified National Grid, the Gore administration pushed through legislation giving tax credits for utility companies to upgrade their transmission lines and to connect to the Grid, requiring them to purchase electricity from private and public wind and solar installations at market rates, and establishing uniform building codes for the installation of solar roof collectors and water heaters, wherever feasible.

With the installation of hundreds of thousands of roof solar collectors, the price of specialized silicon used in solar cells continues to drop, and as small towns and farmers throughout the Midwest have established public and private wind farms, the generation of electrical power has soared.

2005

President Gore announced an even more ambitious environmental and energy goal in 2005. He proposed that the United States energize all of its national highways with free electrical power within 15 years using space solar energy transmitted by microwaves from outer space.

Just as Americans once placed an astronaut on the Moon within a decade, the first heavy lifters are already moving gigantic arrays into orbit for assembly, microwave collectors and transmission lines are being constructed in the Southwest deserts, and the Interstate highways are being prepared for the installation of mutual inductance interfaces to transmit energy to vehicles.

The project is currently on time and on budget, with a fully operational date set for 2020.

The combination of these initiatives not only set the United States on course to become fully energy independent, but they were a substantial boost for the economy. An abundance of well-paying, high-tech jobs was created for American workers; however, President Gore was displeased to see that some American businesses were shifting operations overseas to take advantage of low-cost labor.

President Gore pushed Congress to amend the tax codes to eliminate business deductions for salaries paid to workers outside the United States. The outsourcing of jobs was substantially reduced by this change and has contributed to the very low unemployment rate enjoyed during the last eight years.

As the economy soared and the value of the dollar strengthened, President Gore’s financial advisors became increasingly concerned about the effects of a 1999 law passed in the last days of the Clinton administration that effectively repealed a depression-era law which had prevented combinations of investment and deposit banks and insurance companies.

The Gore administration sought legislation to stop and reverse the “megamergers” taking place between banks and insurance and securities companies.

Testimony and staff investigations during the Congressional hearings on the legislation also revealed major potential problems with the unregulated trading of derivatives, the unrestricted making and reselling of mortgages and the out-of-control activities of hedge funds and their managers.

The Omnibus Financial Regulation Act of 2005 established reasonable regulations of these financial activities, and it imposed limits on executive compensation and certain lobbying activities.

The restriction on lobbying quickly resulted in litigation that brought the Omnibus Act to the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the doctrine of “corporate personhood.” Supreme Court decisions had provided corporations with the legal status and protections afforded to “persons” under the Constitution, including the First Amendment right to lobby Congress.

In reversing the line of decisions culminating in the 1980 case of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, a 6-3 majority of the Court found that there was no authority in the Constitution for providing “personhood” rights to corporations, whose power had grown over the years to the extent that it “threatened the very foundations of individual freedom and the survival of the United States’ democratic form of government.”

2006

One of the primary concerns of the Gore Administration about regulation of the financial sector was the preservation and stability of public and private retirement systems. Acting upon the recommendation of the Social Security Administration, Congress raised the annual cap on wages subject to social security taxes to be equal to the top salary paid by the federal government – that of the president. With that simple change, the solvency of the Social Security Trust Fund was ensured for at least 100 years.

A companion bill to the Social Security Solvency Act was the National Bond Fund Act in which Congress acted to provide a reliable source of inexpensive bond funds for state and local governments to use for the improvement and maintenance of their infrastructure.

Jump-started with a $10 billion federal contribution, the Bond Fund provides an alternative personal investment plan to workers as a supplement to basic Social Security. Employees can voluntarily make additional tax-free contributions to personal accounts in the Bond Fund, and employers can match employee contributions as a job benefit. All original deposits are guaranteed by the federal government.

Employees are allowed to take their accounts with them from job to job; workers can negotiate the level of each subsequent employer’s contribution; retirees can decide for themselves whether to invest their savings in a lifetime annuity at retirement; they can choose to spend their entire nest egg as they please, or they can leave their account to their heirs.

The 2006 Congressional elections revealed that the alignment of political parties had been substantially altered, perhaps forever. Although Republicans retained status as a national party, fully one third of all voters were registered as independents, and Green Party candidates were elected to congressional offices in a number of states. Overall, representatives and senators with progressive credentials were filling more than two-thirds of all seats.

2007

Early in 2007, President Gore decided to act upon continuing complaints about the North American Free Trade Agreement by inviting the foreign and finance ministers of all North, Central, South, and Caribbean American countries to discuss the possibility of creating a customs union and single currency for the Americas.

Hosted by Secretary Powell, the conference produced a framework for further discussion, which took place when all American heads of state gathered in Washington last year to meet with President Gore. The resulting treaty established the Federation of the Americas as a counterbalance to the European Union and the emerging power of the “Asian Tigers.”

When President Gore submitted the treaty to the Senate for ratification, he also proposed that Congress enact a constitutional amendment eliminating the definition of citizenship based on birth within the United States. The amendment defines citizenship as birth to a citizen parent or individual naturalization.

The amendment allows for the movement of the citizens of all countries throughout the American Federation for employment or other economic purposes, without providing the benefit of citizenship to children born to non-citizens, who happen to be in the United States for economic reasons.

The Senate ratified the American Federation Treaty last year, and the constitutional amendment has already been ratified by 15 states. It is expected to take effect by the time the Federation becomes fully operational in 2010.

The Present

With the aging of the Baby Boom population and President Gore’s continued strong support for local law enforcement, the crime rate has continued to decline every year during his administration.

Administration efforts to quell gun violence were primarily directed to the encouragement of local and state governments to tailor reasonable gun licensing and registration requirements to meet their local needs and concerns.

These efforts were upheld by the Supreme Court’s decision last year ruling that the Second Amendment right to bear arms relates only to the power of states to form militias and national guards, and that it is not an unrestrained individual right.

One of President Gore’s pet projects to curb gun violence was funded by Congress early in his administration to provide money to local governments to purchase guns from the public and to pay artists to create public sculptures using the weapons.

Today, all across America sculptures incorporating millions of firearms provide mute testimony to the injuries avoided, the lives saved, and the hearts that have not been broken.

Most remarkable, the U.S. military has not fired a single shot, dropped a bomb or launched a single missile in the eight years of the Gore administration.

One of President Gore’s first orders as Commander in Chief was for every sailor, soldier and marine to be trained as a medical first responder. As a Vietnam vet, he wanted to ensure that American troops injured or wounded in the line of duty will have the greatest chance of survival possible.

The military medical training has proven invaluable at a series of major natural disasters during the Gore administration, including the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and most recently when Hurricane Ike struck the Texas coast. Today, the American military is the most respected fighting and life saving force in the world.

Perhaps one of the greatest accomplishments of the Gore Administration was the United Nations agreement negotiated by Secretary Powell and UN Secretary Carter in 2005 that eliminated the international weapons trade. Today, a country can waste its treasure on the production of military weapons and small arms if it chooses, but it cannot export those weapons to another country, nor can it purchase them without violating international law.

The 2008 Election

With the impending retirement of President Gore, the Democratic Party’s 2008 primary campaign was hotly contested in the belief that its candidate would be a shoo-in because of public confidence in the Gore administration.

Vice President Lieberman ran on his record of having managed the administration’s legislative agenda in Congress, but it was his attention to the party faithful over the years of attending local campaign fund raisers and funerals on behalf of the President that provided him his small margin of victory.

The runner-up, Illinois junior Senator Barack Obama attracted attention and interest as the first African-American to be a serious contender for a presidential nomination; however, his policy positions require further development if he is to have a chance in 2012.

Once Secretary Powell announced he would not be a candidate, the Republican primary settled on the most moderate candidates who pledged to do the least to change the policies of the Gore administration and the nation’s status quo.

The nomination went to Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, a decorated Vietnam War vet, who has been both logical and articulate in establishing positions of conscience over the years. He has sometimes voted with his party and at other times he has supported the administration.

With the emergence of the Green Party and the growing power of independents, the election of Joe Lieberman is far from certain. The strength of the Green Party is demonstrated by the invitation to its candidate, Cynthia McKinney, to participate in the University of Mississippi debate.

Depending upon McKinney’s performance in this and the following debates, she may draw enough votes from Lieberman to allow Senator Hagel to win in the Electoral College, even if he doesn’t receive a majority of the popular vote.

The Future

In some respects, the Gore administration has been unexciting – much like the President. There have been no wars, no financial recessions, no riots in the cities, and no major political scandals. His administration has been compared with Eisenhower’s, which may be apt in that it has restored the American Dream for millions of Americans and has provided hope for democracy throughout the world.

President Gore has been nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize and he will probably receive it this year. When asked about his future plans, President Gore, who is only 60 years old, talks about producing a film on the effects of global warming, and he is considering starting an independent television network aimed at young viewers, who will create much of its content.

It is hard to imagine American politics without President Gore, but it is more difficult to imagine what the United States and the world would be like today if Justice Kennedy had decided to cast his vote with his fellow members of the Federalist Society sitting on the Court in 2000.

Undoubtedly, it would be a different world, but would it be a better world, more prosperous, more at peace? Probably not, but we will never know for sure.

Copyright © 2008 William John Cox

William John Cox is a retired supervising prosecutor for the State Bar of California. As a police officer he wrote the Policy Manual of the Los Angeles Police Department and the Role of the Police in America for a national advisory commission. Acting as a public interest, pro bono, attorney, he filed a class action lawsuit in 1979 on behalf of every citizen of the United States petitioning the Supreme Court to order the other two branches of the federal government to conduct a National Policy Referendum; he investigated and successfully sued a group of radical right-wing organizations in 1981 that denied the Holocaust; and he arranged in 1991 for publication of the suppressed Dead Sea Scrolls. His book, You’re Not Stupid! Get the Truth: A Brief on the Bush Presidency is reviewed at http://www.yourenotstupid.com, and he is currently working on a fact-based fictional political philosophy. His articles are collected at http://www.thevoters.org, and he can be contacted at u2cox@msn.com.

Joyous Treason: We Don’t Need Anymore Reasons By Maxwell Black

Dandelion Salad

Sent to me by the author, Maxwell Black.

By Maxwell Black
amovingtrain.com/transmissions1
Sept 24, 2008

To the broken hearted

A Spectre is haunting America…

Sitting at a bar in Reno I’ve never been to, a person sat next to me and hunched over to sink into their drink. Feeling a little lonely myself I struck up some conversation. The whiskey soon took hold and we were telling our stories and having some laughs. But as these things often go what goes up must come down. Soon enough my new friend was telling me about their troubles, frustrations and set-backs. Somehow becoming simultaneously more animated and exhausted in mannerism they blurted out, “It all just seems rigged, no matter how hard I try things never work out. Continue reading

Ode to the Corporate Communists by Bartholomew Bean

Bartholomew Bean

Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

by Bartholomew Bean
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
April 23, 2008

Oh “corporate communists”, how can it be, this world of ours
Can it flourish, with the likes, of thee?
Your vast world banks, of ink, paper, and numbers
Ramdon access memory, and wastefull blunders
Life destroyed by your greedy plundering schemes

Continue reading

World Made By Hand: Not Just Another Book Review By Carolyn Baker

Dandelion Salad

By Carolyn Baker
Speaking Truth to Power
Wednesday, 26 March 2008

A review of the 2008 novel by James Howard Kunstler (Atlantic Monthly Press)

“The world has become such a wicked place,” she said quietly, just a statement of fact.

“There’s goodness here too.”

“Where is it?”

“In all the abiding virtues. Love, bravery, patience, honesty, justice, generosity, kindness. Beauty too. Mostly love.”

“I’m afraid sometimes that we drove those things out of existence.”

“No, we carry them in our hearts. They’re always with us.”

“I don’t know what’s in my heart anymore. It’s too dark to see.”

“Light follows darkness.”

This dialog between the main character of World Made By Hand, Robert, and his housemate-become-lover, Britney, offers a glimpse into the anguish of those few survivors of collapse living in the small village of Union Grove, New York in a post-petroleum world.

As I sit down to write this review, I’ve just finished lunch-a generous bowl of organic broccoli slaw mixed with garbanzo beans, tomatoes, diced turkey breast, and Caesar dressing. For dessert, a bit of Hagen Dazs coconut sorbet chased with my twice-daily regimen of vitamins and supplements. In a “world made by hand” I would have none of this unless I were able to grow or raise it myself or trade something for these items, assuming that they were even available. I would be forced to rely on my friends and neighbors in close proximity, and they on me, for life’s fundamental necessities.

I was riveted to this stunning novel by James Howard Kunstler even as my heart was laden with sorrow while turning every compelling page. Like nothing I’ve ever read or imagined, the book takes the reader into the smells, tastes, textures, sounds, and emotions of a post-petroleum world devoid of electricity, media, sophisticated technology, and a plethora of conveniences and distractions that are ubiquitous in twenty-first century Western civilization.

…continued

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.

Kurt Vonnegut: Anarchist and Social Critic By Gaither Stewart

By Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rome, Italy
March 26, 2008

(Note: After my early enthusiasm about the writer and man Kurt Vonnegut, I became skeptical of his skepticism. Was he a phony, I began to wonder? After I met him, his life style in his sumptuous Manhattan East Side town house bothered me and seemed to belie his satires of that same life. Even the adoration for him in Europe at the time sharpened my suspicions that he was perhaps not what he seemed to be. Despite my admiration for him the writer, the satirist, the anarchist, still for some time after our two meetings in the middle 1980s, I wondered if his claim that he belonged to the establishment because he was rich was not somewhat jaded. I wondered about his “positive nihilist” role. What did that mean? It took me time to make full circle and again see him for what he was. What in the end endeared me to Kurt Vonnegut was his unwavering attack on the “American way of life” and what it has engendered in the rest of the world.)

Continue reading