Ralph welcomes Dr. Nason Maani, co-editor of “The Commercial Determinants of Health,” to explore the larger forces, forces beyond the power of an individual to control, that shape our environment and therefore our health.
“It’s incredible the extent to which people still fantasize about a nuclear war in one part of the globe as if the scientists haven’t told us it impacts the entire Earth and the cloud of dust renders agriculture impossible and everybody starves and the living envy the dead.” — David Swanson.
Obama’s prime-time speech may sound good, but actions speak louder than words.
IF YOU’RE a regular reader of SocialistWorker.org, you’ve seen the statistics before about the growing divide between the super-rich and the rest of us. But on Tuesday, you’ll hear them from an unusual source: President Barack Obama, during his State of the Union speech.
The Wall Street Journal reported on January 19th that the Obama Administration was pushing heavily to get the 50 state attorneys general to agree to a settlement with five major banks in the “robo-signing” scandal. The scandal involves employees signing names not their own, under titles they did not really have, attesting to the veracity of documents they had not really reviewed. Investigation reveals that it did not just happen occasionally but was an industry-wide practice, dating back to the late 1990s; and that it may have clouded the titles of millions of homes. If the settlement is agreed to, it will let Wall Street bankers off the hook for crimes that would land the rest of us in jail – fraud, forgery, securities violations and tax evasion.
democracynow.org – Responding to President Obama’s State of the Union address, longtime consumer advocate and former Presidential candidate Ralph Nader says Obama’s criticism of income inequality and Wall Street excess fail to live up to his record in office. “[Obama] says one thing and does another,” Nader says. “Where has he been for over three years? There are existing laws that can prosecute and convict Wall Street crooks. He hasn’t sent more than one or two to jail.” Continue reading →
From beginning to end, Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech was replete with delusion and falsifications. His promise of building an “America that lasts” was predicated on a sentimental, but utterly disingenuous notion of selfless teamwork. The invocation of American military “heroes” and their “achievements” during nine years of waging war on Iraq as an exemplar of how to salvage his nation from economic and social catastrophe was both sickening and laughable.
As I am glued to cable stations showing the street battles in Egypt all I keep thinking about is how Egyptians have mustered the courage to fight their government’s tyranny while Americans remain unready to revolt against the peculiar American brand of tyranny.
Of course, the dictatorship in Egypt is far different than what the vast majority of Americans face. Despite liberty and freedom, our tyranny exists within an electoral, constitutional republic. But with a two-party plutocracy thoroughly corrupted by corporate and wealthy interests most Americans are victims of a dysfunctional, inefficient and unfair democracy. How ironic that in the nation with monumental gun ownership among its citizens there is no hint of people giving up on meaningless elections and taking to the streets in massive numbers to protest their corrupt government.
“For decades, Egypt’s authoritarian president, Hosni Mubarak, played a clever game with his political opponents. He tolerated a tiny and toothless opposition of liberal intellectuals whose vain electoral campaigns created the façade of a democratic process.” — David D. Kirkpatrick and Michael Slackman, “Youths Upend Cairo’s Taming of Opposition,” NYTimes January 27, 2011
“The pragmatist will compromise when he has to, as Obama did with tax cuts, angering liberal Democrats but helping him with the much bigger slice of the electorate who call themselves independents.” — Timothy Egan, “The Six-Year Blueprint,” NYTimes January 26, 2011
Political commentators ranging from those of the Propaganda Channel (otherwise known as the Fox”News”Channel) to Chris Matthews are enamored of referring to the “Far Left” of the Democratic Party. It is also known among that ilk as the “Pelosi Wing” of the Party (although one wonders what the wealthy lady from San Francisco ever actually did other than shepherd the Health Insurance Industry Subsidy Act of 2010 through the House of Representatives, strongly support repeal of DADT, and bring to the floor much mainstream Democratic legislation that was never even taken up by the GOP-controlled Senate).
Tonight’s State of the Union speech revealed just how far out of touch President Barack Obama is from the reality of working people in America. What a distance from the White House to the unemployment line. From the Rose Garden to the food pantry.