By Dennis Greenia
Hey, have the Primary wars got you down? Are you worried that the Democratic Party may be on a course to divide the Party and hand the election to John Curveball McSame? Are you starting to see defeat everywhere? Relax. I come with great news! Tonight we have a major VICTORY to celebrate:
This article concerns the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands that is a colony of the U.S. about which Henry Kissenger once said, "We're only talking about ninety thousand people, so who gives a damn?"
Well Mr. Kissenger, I do.
by Don Williams
Gates' confession might've been played any number of newsy ways by those interested in making a scoop. One could say Defense Chief Agrees with Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, Michael Moore and Jeremiah Wright That 9/11 Was Blowback. Or you could take the human interest angle. Robert Gates, Seeking Absolution for Wrecking Middle East Under Reagan and Bush 41, Unloads.
The Gates thing is a scoop. No one else got it, unless you count C-span aiming a running camera on Gates' mouth. I say all this not to brag—well not entirely—it was too easy for that. Rather, I say it to point out the sad state of American journalism, if measured in daily leavings by BM.
This happens all the time. The media knows these things. They occur to them, but they won't write them. They wouldn't be well received. That's why Don Williams is writing for OpEdNews and not TIME or The Wall Street Journal.
By Jonathan Nack
The Longshore division of the ILWU will shut down all ports on the West Coast of the U. S. in protest of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The union issued a national call for May Day (May 1) to be a "No Peace, No Work" holiday. In S. F. the union will be leading a march and rally.
By Michael Fox
In what has to be the largest single theft in history, this week $150 billion will be distributed, via the American public, from the Treasury to the accounts of grain speculators and oil companies. Meanwhile, just try to find a bag of rice! The markets are being manipulated, and you're paying the tab (or starving). All coming to you courtesy of both Bush and Pelosi - extortion in the spirit of bipartisanship!
I wouldn't call it "the largest single theft in history," but it's plenty evil and most certainly theft.
Everything the ultra-rich do in general is designed to line their pockets. Even when they give away money, it is primarily for PR so their bottom lines won't be pulled out from under them by a somewhat observant public.
It is good to see someone who sees though that the tax system is a method that is manipulated so that the middle and lower classes actually subsidize the rich (above laboring for them as employees without choice, that is until they catch on and start their own farms where they raise their own food that they share for free).
By Mark A. Goldman
So now it is now more clear than ever that there is no hope at all among the leading three candidates that any one of them has the courage, the consciousness, or the capacity to lead this country out of its quagmire.
This is the closest thing to what I've written ("JEREMIAH WRIGHT COMING BACK: STILL NOT ALL RIGHT OR WRONG" and earlier posts) about the subject on this site of anything I've seen yet anywhere.
Mark A. Goldman is running for President of the United States though, so it shows that he doesn't understand (yet?) that the house is inherently flawed and no president will ever save it. It must be displaced peacefully by the New Commandment (as Jesus defined it and not as Calvinists or anyone else twist it or more so totally ignore it).
Democratic Party Funds Pro Bush Iraq War Supporter In Florida's 24th District, Turns it's Back on Vote Rigging Scandal Whistleblower! DCCC and party insiders are putting the purse behind Fla. 24th millionaire former FL legislator Suzanne Kosmas, who cosponsored legislation praising President Bush for invading a sovereign country. I'm for leadership that represents we the people!!! That's why I'm putting my money behind Clint.
She is right on to be pointing out that the Democratic Party is corrupt. There is no way an uncorrupt party would not pull out all the stops to lionize this brave whistle blower.
Oh well, it all goes to show that the system is doomed. Change where you put your efforts. Start doing what needs doing and stop facilitating the system. Take all the surplus you can squeeze out and put it in the Commons so the people may raise their food and eat without charge.
Decades after the GI Bill transformed American society after World War II, another generation of veterans is returning home—more than 800,000 as of last summer. What they find is quite different from the comprehensive benefits that once covered all the costs of an education, from undergraduate straight through Harvard Law. The current GI benefit covers just half the national average cost for tuition, room and board.
If you're anti-war, why advocate for special benefits for militarists. If no one would fight for the rich or those who want to be, there would be no wars.
Those who refused to fight are every bit as honorable if not more (depending upon their reasons and consistency).
It's just the rich using the taxes from the common people to promote other common people to fight, die, and murder for those plutocrats. Rather than promote these special benefits, give them to everyone and stop paying for wars.
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday April 29 2008
The lawyer for US vice-president Dick Cheney claimed today that the Congress lacks any authority to examine his behaviour on the job.
The exception claimed by Cheney's counsel came in response to requests from congressional Democrats that David Addington, the vice-president's chief of staff, testify about his involvement in the approval of interrogation tactics used at Guantanamo Bay.
Impeachment is the way to deal with him. Conyers needs to go forward regardless of Pelosi.
BUZZFLASH EDITOR'S BLOG
by Mark Karlin
Editor and Publisher
Hagee, Robertson, the late Jerry Falwell, and countless other religious leaders of the fundamentalist cloth have delivered countless white versions of "God Damns America" statements. The only difference is that they don't "say it black" in black churches, and then see it looped endlessly around on FOX TV and other cable networks, not to say rerun again and again on talk radio.
This article is well worth reading. It really does an excellent job of pointing out the hypocrisy. However, if Mark doesn't understand that the iniquity of a nation doesn't come back upon it, he's sadly mistaken. One doesn't have to agree with Hagee or Wright to know that the U.S. is working evil and evil is coming back at it on account of it.
By Morgan Strong
April 29, 2008
An obscure academic dispute – over whether Israeli archeology sought to obscure the land's last two millennia of history and promote a continual Jewish claim of ownership – has shown again how tensions in the Middle East can reverberate in unlikely ways in the United States.
The dispute centered on whether Barnard College should grant tenure to Nadia Abu El-Haj, an American-born scholar of anthropology who, in the 1990s, challenged the scientific integrity of what she saw as the Israeli use of archeology in a politically motivated way to justify Jewish settlements on territory that had belonged to Palestinians.
Although the controversy wasn't new – it had been argued out within archeological circles in Israel for years – El-Haj became a lightning rod because she was the first academic of Palestinian descent to publicize the debate in a 2001 book, Facts on the Ground: Archeological Practice and Territorial Self-Fashioning in Israeli Society.
This academic debate boiled over the past two years when El-Haj – who had been a professor at Barnard College since 2002 – applied for tenure in 2006 and became a target of neoconservative attack groups determined to punish her for undermining Israel's claims to the Holy Land.
It must be said that just because Jews lived there before it doesn't mean they have ever had a right to horn in violently, takeover, and dispossess others. The fact is that if one goes back far enough, one sees that Abraham came from Ur in Mesopotamia. Be good (peaceful) neighbors. Stop being racists and ethnic bigots.
GENEVA, Switzerland, April 28, 2008 (ENS) - The United States and the European Union have taken a "criminal path" by contributing to an explosive rise in global food prices through using food crops to produce biofuels, the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food said today.
At a press conference in Geneva, Jean Ziegler of Switzerland said that fuel policies pursued by the U.S. and the EU were one of the main causes of the current worldwide food crisis.
Ziegler was speaking before a meeting in Bern, Switzerland between UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the heads of key United Nations agencies.
Jean Ziegler of Switzerland is UN special rapporteur on the right to food and a professor of sociology at the University of Geneva and at the Sorbonne in Paris.
Ziegler said that last year the United States used a third of its corn crop to create biofuels, while the European Union is planning to have 10 percent of its petrol supplied by biofuels.
The Special Rapporteur has called for a five-year moratorium on the production of biofuels.
Ziegler also said that speculation on international markets is behind 30 percent of the increase in food prices.
But not everyone agrees. Toni Nuernberg, executive director of the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council based in Omaha, Nebraska, says, "I can unequivocally state that ethanol does not take food from the mouths of starving people."
"Ethanol production uses field corn - most of which is fed to livestock with only a small percentage going into cereals and snacks. In fact, only the starch portion of the corn kernel is used to produce ethanol. The vitamins, minerals, proteins and fiber are converted to other products including sweeteners, corn oil and high-value livestock feed - feed which helps livestock producers add to the overall food supply," said Nuernberg on Tuesday.
Nuernberg relates rising energy costs to food bills, as growers fuel tractors and machinery and truckers transport foodstuffs to market.
"The United States spends roughly one billion dollars a day on imported oil. A fraction of these funds would more than make up for the shortfall in the World Food Program," Nuernberg said. "Ethanol is just one element in our drive to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. It should not be a convenient scapegoat for global issues beyond our control."
Toni Nuernberg, executive director of the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council, fails to address the fact that the land used for ethanol could be used to feed human beings directly. He also isn't addressing the worldwide problem. Land is being used all over the world to grow ethanol when it should be used for organic food and conservation of nature.
President Bush pointed the finger at Congress Tuesday, claiming its Democratic leaders were essentially solely responsible for the nation's economic woes. Repeatedly showing that he is talking without [a] clue, Bush brought out every old GOP, big business wish list. Drill Alaska, build refineries, a 'nuculear' plant on every corner, grow more fuel... His disconnect with reality is palpable.
Look, Bush's solution is anti-environmental. Rather than through money at oil that will only make climate change more violent, the U.S. should be intelligently investing in solar and other pure (clean: no toxins, no waste) energy sources.
What Nuclear Renaissance?
By Christian Parenti
This article appeared in the May 12, 2008 edition of The Nation.
April 24, 2008
The notion that nukes make sense and are the version of green preferred by grown-ups is being conjured by a slick PR campaign. The truth is that nuclear power was never economically competitive, and that's why huge, new subsidies are being proposed. Nuclear power would make no economic sense, even if it weren't an environmental disaster, carrying a legacy of toxic waste 1,000 generations into the future.
This is a tremendously well-researched article. It contains bits I've never even read before — highly educational.
by Arianna Huffington
It's a paradox: the political center has clearly shifted; what used to be considered "left wing" positions have now become part of the mainstream, and the views of the Right are now at odds with the majority of the American public — and with reality.
Yet, despite this seismic shift — grossly underreported by the media — the Right remains as powerful as ever when it comes to setting the national agenda and dominating the national debate.
No, they are not as powerful as ever, far from it. They are losing power by the second. People are seeing right through them more and more, and that trend isn't going to stop. Otherwise, Arianna makes many valid observations.
April 23, 2008
By Paul Street
"It's time," Obama said, "to stop spending billions of dollars a week trying to put Iraq back together and start spending the money putting America back together." "Putting Iraq back together?" Is that what "we" have been doing over there? Never mind that the United States' brazenly imperialist assault has killed as many as 1.3 million Iraqis and caused the exodus and displacement of many millions more.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)