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On the lighter side of life... 

#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace

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Trump & The Mob

http-//www.politico.com#13C5A6C

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"Give me your tired, your poor

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore

Send these, the homeless, tempest-toss'd to me

I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door."

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Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax

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Half of the US Is Broke

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The myth of the Christian country

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“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

FDR, 2nd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1937

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A Just Peace

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SIP contract online

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Middle East friendship chart

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Corporations enriching shareholders

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- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry

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Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks

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"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

   Business in the USA is sitting on $2 trillion dollars refusing to invest their own funds in expanding and hiring workers.  

   When one adds to this the reserves that banks, equity firms and hedge funds have - the picture is clear - "capitalism in the USA is on strike." 

   The engine of our economy - the spirit of entrepreneurship is not in evidence today.  So much for business being dynamic and risk taking. 

   They hire K- Street lobbyists and their ilk at the state level because they are averse to risk taking - pleading for tax breaks, tax credits and endless loopholes. 

   The "business of business" in America today is not about job creation, it's about wealth hoarding and redistribution from the middle class to the top 1%. 

   So for those who claim government doesn't create jobs, my response is that business doesn't either until given "corporate welfare" by government.  The fact is that the private and public sector are highly integrated, something the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party types don't understand. 

   Job creation requires public/private partnerships but the benefits of such collaboration should go to the 99% not just the 1%.  

 

RAD'S

WEBSITE PICKS: 


 

  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:

Realclearpolitics

  • Jim Hightower:   

Jimhightower.com

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column

Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 


Hard Times in Oregon: 

Hardtimes

The Oregon story - the rich get richer, the poor and middle class lose ground.  Check this front page Oregonian article out. 

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


  

      Oregon's coming 34th out of 41 states in the Obama "Race to the Top" illustrates the failure of leadership from Governor Kitzhaber and his predecessors as they have built an educational bridge to nowhere called high stakes testing.

   Instead of being in a race to the top we seem to be dumpster diving to the bottom despite doing education reform since 1991.  Insanity is termed doing the same thing over and over again.  When can we put a fork in this stupidity? 

   To confuse matters more the Oregonian's editorial board has pontificated that this was a lost opportunity to get federal funding for innovation.  How firing principals and teachers equals innovation is a mystery to me.   

   The way to reform schools is to reduce class sizes, to encourage teacher collaboration and to support their continued education.  High stakes testing and performance based assessment of teachers are NOT the answer!    

   If you want students to succeed you first have to resolve the issues they confront before they come to school.  Children who face poverty, hunger, homelessness, health care issues and family instability require wrap around services for them and their families, 24/7.   

   Every child needs a safe home of their own and parents who know how to be good parents.   

There is only one way to address this impending crisis.  Schools must have a stable source of funding. Until that happens - we will limp from crisis to crisis.   

 

 

    

    Why does the richest nation in the world have the moral blight of homeless people?

Invisible People

http://www.npr.org


 Homelessness

    Connecting the dots between homelessness & hunger in Oregon and Washington County: 

Homelessness:  

•    The faces of the homeless are families with children, single men and women, vets, and many who are impaired. It is estimated that in Washington County up to 56% of homelessness occurs to families.

Hunger:

•    Hunger is highest among single mother households (10%) and poor families (15%) as well as renters, unemployed workers and minority households. 

     In Washington County, Oregon's "economic engine," the divide between the affluent and the working poor continues.  We have a 19,000 unit gap in affordable low income rental housing.  County political and business leaders are indifferent to this crisis...   


A RAD rhetorical question - Were Madison & Marx "Marxists"?  

 

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments."   

- James Madison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAD Lines

See my FACEBOOK @ Russ

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  • He lost by 2.9 million votes...

  • He's a con artist...

  • He's a pathological liar... 

  • He's a failed business man...

  • He's a fascist... 


Every Fascist Needs an Enabler. Donald Trump Will Have Mike Pence.


Trump's role models are Vladmir Putin and Benito Mussolini.  He has contempt for our checks and balances system.  He wants to "rule" not govern like a strong man, a despot.  He will shredd the Constitution anytime he feels the urge to do so and like all despots he only listens to his inner circle.  And he is paranoid and narcissistic. 

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SB 1533 passes!  

http://oregon.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=10863

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Housing Needs in Oregon 

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"There are men who believe that democracy... is limited or measured by a kind of mystical and artificial fate [and that] tyranny and slavery have become the surging wave of the future..." 

FDR, 3rd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1941

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Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel

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Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 

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Sign the petition ►

Walgreens - pay your fair share of taxes!


  • "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." - Mayer Amschel Rothschild


  • Miguel de Cervantes, from The Duke - "I accuse you of being an idealist, a bad poet and an honest man."  Cervantes' response - "Guilty as charged, I have never had the courage to believe in nothing."   from Man of La Mancha  


Intel failed to report fluoride emissions for almost 30 years   


Professor Kingfield, from the Paper Chase

   "I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you." 

- George Bernard Shaw

 

BLOGS:

From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

Democracy Now
democracynow.org

The Daily Kos

dailykos.com

Blue Oregon

blueoregon.com

 

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." 

- Emilie Buchwald 

 


    "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." 

- Justice John Paul Stevens, Bush v. Gore, 2001

    The state of our union - check out the map, it's a reality check for those who can't figure out why people are so ticked off... 

americanobserver

    Here's Garrison Keillor's rap on the rightwingnuts:   

GarrisonKeillor

 

     Garrison Keillor - "...The Founding Fathers intended the Senate to be a fount of wisdom... but when you consider...  moon-faced Mitch McConnell, your faith in democracy is challenged severely. Any legislative body in which 41 senators from rural states that together represent 10 percent of the population can filibuster you to death is going to be flat-footed, on the verge of paralysis, no matter what. Any time 10 percent of the people can stop 90 percent, it's like driving a bus with a brake pedal for each passenger. That's why Congress has a public approval rating of [11] percent...." 



"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war"

- John Adams

"Loyalty to country always.  Loyalty to government when it deserves it."  

- Mark Twain  

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  

- George Santayana 

"The love of one's country is a natural thing.  But why should love stop at the border?" 

- Pablo Casals

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." 

- William Butler Yeats  

 

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?' 

But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"  

- George Bernard Shaw, "Back to Methuselah" (1921) 

"...the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society...  The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government..."  

- James Madison, Federalist Papers #11 

"Why … should we have government? Why not each individual take to himself the whole fruit of his labor, without having any of it taxed away?”   

The legitimate object of government, is to do for the people whatever they need to have done, but which they can not do, at all, or can not do, so well, for themselves – in their separate and individual capacities … There are many such things … roads, bridges and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools … the criminal and civil [justice] departments."    

- Abraham Lincoln 

Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society  

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 

"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates, but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole..." 

- Edmund Burke  

“It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.  These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions.”  

- Jonathan Swift 

" Every satirist who drew breath has flung pots of ink at this parade of tooting lummoxes and here it is come round again, marching down Main Street, rallying to the cause of William McKinley, hail, hail, the gang’s all here, ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay."  

- Garrison Keillor 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Saturday
Dec222007

OUT IN THE COLD - WHAT'S NEXT?

    homegirl_vi9s.jpgRAD:  News Release and/or shameless self-promotion by the "good guys" of the 'Grove: 
    The Washington County Interfaith Committee on Homelessness is holding a Town Hall meeting January 12, 2008 at Tigard United Methodist Church, 9845 SW Walnut Place, Tigard, Oregon (located off SW Pacific Highway--99W).  
    This program is open and free to the public.  Please join us! 
    The purpose of the Town Hall is to learn what public and private sectors in the state, metro area and county are doing to address the problem of homelessness and housing insecurity faced by low-income residents of the metro area whose annual income is 50% or less of medium family income (@ $30,550 for a family of 3). 
    In addition to the program (see below) - there will display tables from various organizations sharing information on how homelessness and housing insecurity is connected to health care disparities, school success, community corrections and food insecurity. 
    In Washington County 86% of the 1200 plus homeless according to 2006 data are families with children. According to Eric Canon, Chair of ICH - "the homeless are the canary in the mineshaft of a larger problem - housing insecurity which affects more and more people in our county, the metro area and Oregon." 
    Russ Dondero, a political scientist, has been a housing advocate for 16 years.  He points out that "the risk of becoming homeless includes the working poor, Vietnam and Iraq era Vets, mobile home owners facing condo conversion and now victims of the sub-prime loan debacle." 
    Dondero adds:  "In addition to 5544 families on the county housing authority's waiting list for assisted housing (a 3-5 year wait) there are 43,000 residents in the county who are a job loss or catastrophic health care crisis away from becoming homeless." 
    Eric Canon, a sculptor by profession, feels that "in the richest county in Oregon we can do better to help the vulnerable in our communities and region.  It's not enough to give Christmas baskets to the poor during the holiday season - that spirit of concern should continue throughout the year." 
    Canon points out "that few decide to be homeless, most are victims of circumstances that none of us would chose.   What is needed is a hand up, not a hand out.  The workshop is directed to answering that question - how can we help people get control of their lives to pursue the American Dream of having a home of their own." 
    As Canon concludes - "we've studied and studied the problem, the point of this workshop is to figure out what is being done and how to help with people of good will to step up to the challenge."   

Speakers: 

  • Hector Lopez, retired Minister, Central Pacific Conference. United Church of Christ
  • David Leslie, Executive Director, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon

Panelists: 

  • Tom Brian, Chair, Washington County Board of Commissioners
  • Carl Hosticka. Metro Councilor, District 3 (includes Tigard area)
  • David Edwards, Oregon State Representative. District 30 (Hillsboro)
  • Ryan Deckert, Executive Director, Oregon Business Association
  • Ed Dennis, Hillsboro City Council & Oregon Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction

Town Hall timeline: 

10:00 Welcome - Eric Canon, Chair of ICH
10:05 Rev. Hector Lopez, UCC - Intro - "Why we should care?"
10:20 Panel Discussion
11:10 Q&A
11:40 David Leslie, EMO - Summing Up - "What should we do?" 
11:55 Eric Canon, Final comments
Noon - end of Town Hall

    For more info on the Interfaith Committee on Homelessness go to our website  - http://www.ahomeoftheirown.com/


Thursday
Dec202007

BARACK: A VIEW FROM THE RIGHT

    Syndicated conservative columnist David Brooks in an op ed piece in the NYTimes, December 18, 2007, offers a surprisingly favorable assessment of Barack Obama.  One might suspect that Brooks is engaging in a version of "damning by faint praise" assuming that Barack Obama as the presumed light weight contender for the Democratic nomination would be an easier mark for the GOP nominee than front runner Hilliary Clinton.
    Brooks notes that Hillary Clinton is a more serious student of the mores of the US Senate than Barack Obama.  She is more of a player as a senator than Obama.  But as Brooks notes this is not a contest for US Senator.  The Presidency demands different qualifications than triangulating different interest groups, assuaging collegial egos or knowing the intricate rules of the greatest deliberative body in the world. 
    Here are the key excerpts from the Brooks' editorial: 
    DB:  Presidents are buffeted by sycophancy, criticism and betrayal. They must improvise amid a thousand fluid crises. They’re isolated and also exposed, puffed up on the outside and hollowed out within. With the presidency, character and self-knowledge matter more than even experience. There are reasons to think that, among Democrats, Obama is better prepared for this madness.
    Many of the best presidents in U.S. history had their character forged before they entered politics and carried to it a degree of self-possession and tranquillity that was impervious to the Sturm und Drang of White House life.
    Obama is an inner-directed man in a profession filled with insecure outer-directed ones. He was forged by the process of discovering his own identity from the scattered facts of his childhood, a process that is described in finely observed detail in “Dreams From My Father"
    RAD:  If we are to get beyond the zero sum politics of a Tom Delay or Nanci Pelosi which simply deepen the ideological divide between Red and Blue voters and in the process leave out most of us who are in the middle of this political cat fight - the Purple voters - we need a new type of leader forged by a different biography and a different agenda. 
    DB:  Obama does not ratchet up hostilities; he restrains them. He does not lash out at perceived enemies, but is aloof from them. In the course of this struggle to discover who he is, Obama clearly learned from the strain of pessimistic optimism that stretches back from Martin Luther King Jr. to Abraham Lincoln. This is a worldview that detests anger as a motivating force, that distrusts easy dichotomies between the parties of good and evil, believing instead that the crucial dichotomy runs between the good and bad within each individual.
    Obama did not respond to his fatherlessness or his racial predicament [being the son of an African father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas] with anger and rage, but as questions for investigation, conversation and synthesis. He approaches politics the same way. In her outstanding New Yorker profile, Larissa MacFarquhar notes that Obama does not perceive politics as a series of battles but as a series of systemic problems to be addressed. He pursues liberal ends in gradualist, temperamentally conservative ways.
    Obama also has powers of observation that may mitigate his own inexperience and the isolating pressures of the White House. In his famous essay, “Political Judgment,” Isaiah Berlin writes that wise leaders don’t think abstractly. They use powers of close observation to integrate the vast shifting amalgam of data that constitute their own particular situation — their own and no other.
    RAD:  Richard Neustadt in his seminal work Presidential Power suggests that successful presidents never cede their judgment nor power to their minions but constantly keep hold of their own "power stakes" using the "powers of close observation" while seeking counsel from a variety of confidants in and outside the West Wing.  Barack's biography suggests he is wired for such a process while "insider" Hillary is clearly not. 
    DB:  Obama demonstrated those powers in “Dreams From My Father” and still reveals glimpses of the ability to step outside his own ego and look at reality in uninhibited and honest ways. He still retains the capacity, also rare in presidents, of being able to sympathize with and grasp the motivations of his rivals. Even in his political memoir, “The Audacity of Hope,” he astutely observes that candidates are driven less by the desire for victory than by the raw fear of loss and humiliation.
    RAD:  Barack's and Hillary's post law school choices tells us a lot about them.   Barack moved to Chicago and became a community organizer and eventually a part-time law professor.  Hillary moved to Washington D.C. to work as a US Senate staffer.  Barack took the road less traveled for an aspirant for the West Wing, while Hillary took the conventional route for a would-be power broker. 
   Question - given their biographies who has the better grasp of what common everyday folk in the USA face?  A former state legislator or a former First Lady?  As Brooks concludes  "...The presidency is a bacterium. It finds the open wounds in the people who hold it. It infects them, and the resulting scandals infect the presidency and the country. The person with the fewest wounds usually does best in the White House, and is best for the country..." 
    RAD:  Hillary Clinton, like husband Bill Clinton, has spent a lifetime reinventing herself so as to appeal to the widest if not deepest audience in American political life.  They are both consummate political chameleons.  But as their public and private lives illustrate they exhibit no coherent inner or outer core of beliefs or actions.  They will do whatever is necessary to get elected, nothing more, nothing less.  Barack Obama offers us something deeper than this. 
    Is Barack Obama a "roll of the dice" as Bill Clinton claims - yes.   So were Abraham Lincoln, FDR and Reagan.  But each turned out to be successful presidents because each of them knew who they were.  They were directed by their inner political and moral compass more than the ambitions of their handlers.  Eight years of "Clintonism" gave us the politics of triangulation.  What the nation hungers for now is leadership not another Machiavellian in the Oval Office. 

Wednesday
Dec192007

AFGHANS GO TO POT

    Jim Hightower, Commentary, "Commander Bush "Wins" One,"  December 19, 2007

    At last, George W can claim a breakthrough in his six year war in Afghanistan.  
    Things have not been going well there. Bush has spent $127 billion and lost 469 American lives in this war, but Osama bin Laden is still loose, Bush’s hand-picked Afghan president is so weak that he can barely venture outside his capital city, and the provincial Taliban leaders that our troops once drove out of power are now back.
    Still, the Bushites have made strides in one area: agriculture. Afghanistan is a very poor country, so to make ends meet, farmers there have had to rely on an illegal crop: opium poppies. Indeed, Afghan farmers account for 93 percent of the world’s opium production.
    This is not good, and it’s something that Bush & Company have been trying to change. Now a United Nations survey reports some significant progress: a northern Afghan province has been officially declared poppy-free this year! The UN report hails the province as a model “where leadership, incentives, and security have led farmers to turn their backs on opium.”
    That’s terrific… but, to what did these farmers turn? Watermelon, maybe, or sweet potatoes? No, there’s no profitable market for these. Instead, the province is flourishing with ten-foot-tall cannabis plants – the source of the hashish and marijuana trade. In fact, more than half of Afghanistan’s provinces now cultivate cannabis, producing a 40 percent increase in the crop this year alone.
    Drug dealers from the Taliban-controlled southern provinces buy the farmers’ illegal abundance and take it to market in neighboring Pakistan, another supposed U.S. ally. From there it is sold in the international market – with a portion of the profits going to al Qaeda and other forces fighting our troops.
    Still, this is what counts as success in the wacky world of George W’s absurdist war policies.  
    RAD:  Is this another victory in the war against drugs and terrorism?  If so, we should be more careful what we wish for!  In George Bush's Orwellian world peace = war; love = hate; freedom = spying; democracy = dictatorship; and now opium = pot.  Yep, "Mission Accomplished."   

Tuesday
Dec182007

FAUSTIAN BARGAINS

    PBS TV ran a program I've never watched before called Independent Lens.  The focus was on the impact of Ralph Nader's candidacy in 2000 and 2004.  How can one not appreciate the legacy of Ralph Nader in the USA - especially in the area of consumer rights and protection from the seat belts to auto safety, from transparency in product labeling to holding corporate America accountable.
    But the question will not go away - in 2000 was Ralph Nader an "enabler" in the election of the most incompetent, corrupt, dangerous and reactionary administration in US history - the Bush/Cheney team? 
    If one looks at the key state in 2000 - Florida - one can make a case that Ralph's votes denied Al Gore Florida's electoral votes and with it the presidency.  However, one has to assume those who voted for Nader in Florida would have voted for Al Gore had Ralph not been on the ballot.  That's a less plausible argument because the Nader voter is among the most alienated segments of US society. 
    One can dissect the 2000 vote in many ways.  But at the end of the day, Al Gore lost the race on his own.  He took on the biggest intellectual light weight in American political history in a series of one on one debates and lost them all not because of his position on the issues but because when he looked into the TV camera Al Gore appeared to be less authentic than George W. Bush.
    Gore did not acquit himself well in the debates either.  He appeared to play the role of the school yard bully, the arrogant intellectual snob and the cry baby all at the same time.  George Bush by contrast was "simple" old Dubya - staying on message while doing major damage to the English language.  But like a high school election the voters voted "for" the guy considered "most likable" and against the egghead. 
    So at the end of the day who is responsible for the disastrous foreign policy we have suffered through since 9/11?  Who is responsible for putting the K-Street lobbyists in the driver's seat?  Who is responsible for accelerating the deregulated state that has given us the sub-prime loan scandal?  Who has given the rich tax cuts upon tax cuts while making the middle class an endangered species?
    Ralph Nader?  Al Gore?  George Bush or John Kerry?  Butterfly ballots and rigging the vote?  Hey don't stop there!  Who voted for the biggest presidential dunce in history?  OK, in 2000 the Supreme Court junta put Dubya in the West Wing.  But in 2004 the American voter elected this clown and his cronies.  Mr. and Mrs. America - look at yourself in the mirror.  You bought the farm, not Ralph Nader, not Al Gore, not John Kerry.
    But the nagging question will not go away Ralph.  Had you focused your considerable talent "within" the Democratic Party, as you worked the "in" the system via Nader's Raiders who knows what you might have accomplished.  Instead your ego led you in a Quixotic question of the impossible.  At the end of the day - you along with Al Gore, John Kerry and the American voter must share the blame!
    Whether we like it or not the USA unlike other democracies has only two major political parties.  After almost 8 years of Dubya if the "leftys" out there really believe in things like social justice, dialing back the war machine, a woman's right to choice, gay rights, the dignity of work and a fair wage how can one pretend that the choice between a D and an R doesn't make a dime's worth of difference?
    Ralph and his supporters could have spent their time and energy trying to take the Democratic Party out of the grip of corporate types and cynical union bosses.  Instead his line in effect was "It's all about me" in 2000 and 2004 after a lifetime of saying it's all about US.  So Nader is complicit in the Bush regime's triumph and the current authoritarian malaise we are going through.  Now will 2008 show we've learned our lesson?
    Will the voters in Iowa or New Hampshire rubber stamp conventional wisdom by granting Hillary Clinton her "legacy" nomination or will the voters shun the "insider" and vote for Barack Obama who might just be the fellow who could bring us all back home to the Democratic Party - '60 leftys, Nader fans, traditional Ds, independents and forsaken Republican moderates?   Let's hope '08 is a win/win election for progressives of all kinds. 
    PS:  Just for the record RAD was mad as hell at Ralph for his dubious role in 2000.  But hosting him for the McCall Forum several years late I found him to be thoroughly authentic and compelling on the issues.  But I'd never vote for the dude, not for President, I learned not to waste my vote in '68.  Nixon was enough for me.  Had enough of Bush?  Hope for Barack but in the end be "a yellow dog Democratic" no matter what in November '08.... 

Monday
Dec172007

DUBYA'S LEGACY

    It's the norm for late term presidents to try to shape their final months in office with a look toward their legacy.  However, George W. Bush will have no such option, he laid down his marker early in his presidency as an editorial from The Nation recently noted:
    On September 20, 2001, before a joint session of Congress, President George W. Bush declared, "Our war on terror begins with Al Qaeda, but it does not end there.... Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."
    As it turned out, those fateful words ushered in not a concerted worldwide campaign against militant fundamentalism but a wave of repression felt around the globe.  Instead of being a standard-bearer for human rights and civil liberties, the United States lowered the bar, creating  secret prisons or "black sites," erecting Guantnamo, rationalizing torture and curtailing civil liberties at home.
    The US-fashioned "global war on terror" (GWOT) was then replicated in country after country, adapting to local circumstances to provide rhetorical refuge for tyrants and forsaking democratic principles.  [The] "war on terror" has been invoked to arrest and torture prodemocracy activists in Egypt, round up street vendors and protesters in El Salvador, rationalize politically motivated assassinations in the Philippines, jail bloggers and censor websites in Thailand and condone military dictatorship in Pakistan.
    The criminalization of dissent is not new to these places, and it does not always reflect US intervention or security interests.  But the "war on terror" is a new paradigm, and it has proven remarkably versatile and severely damaging. While purporting to protect democracy against its enemies, the "war on terror" has become one of them. 
    RAD:  Which Democratic presidential candidate is most likely to continue the war on terrorism and the assault on civil liberties at home or abroad?   Hillary Clinton voted for the war;  Barack Obama spoke out against it;  Hillary Clinton voted to brand Iran's CudsForce as a terrorist group;  Barack Obama did not.  Hillary Clinton has said there will be a US military footprint in Iraq for a long time;  Barack Obama is pledged to bring the troops home in 16 months.
    It's our choice - do we want the "OLD" thinking in power in the West Wing after January 20, 2009 or the "NEW" thinking?   Do you want the politics of the "same old, same old" albeit in a new face or the politics of hope with another new face?  The voices of "experience" led us into the worst foreign policy disaster in US history.  It's time for a change - Vote for Barack Obama, he was right on from the beginning while Hillary was and is still wrong!
    Despite her makeup and gender, Hillary is an "inside the beltway" pol, a tool of K-Street, a panderer to the pro-Israel lobby and the latest version of a "Cold Warrior."  Like Hubert Humphrey in '68 if she did a late campaign conversion on the war in Temple Square it would be too little and too late.  We should NOT elect anyone because of their gender, race or party but because they are right on the issues of the time.