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Cheering for Ron Paul

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Posted on Nov 20, 2007
Ron Paul
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

By Robert Scheer

What can you get for a trillion bucks?  Or make that $1.6 trillion, if you take the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as tallied by the majority staff of Congress’ Joint Economic Committee (JEC).  Or is it the $3.5-trillion figure cited by Ron Paul, whose concern about the true cost of this war for ordinary Americans shames the leading Democrats, who prattle on about needed domestic programs that will never find funding because of future war-related government debt?

Given that the overall defense budget is now double what it was when President Bush’s father presided over the end of the Cold War—even though we don’t have a militarily sophisticated enemy in sight—you have to wonder how this president has managed to exceed Cold War spending levels.  What has he gotten for the trillions wasted? Nothing, when it comes to capturing Osama bin Laden, bringing democracy to Iraq or preventing oil prices from tripling and enriching the ayatollahs of Iran while messing up the American economy.

That money could have paid for a lot of things we could have used here at home.  As Rep. Paul points out, for what the Iraq war costs, we could present each family of four a check for $46,000—which exceeds the $43,000 median household income in his Texas district.  He asks: “What about the impact of those costs on education, the very thing that so often helps to increase earnings?  Forty-six thousand dollars would cover 90 percent of the tuition costs to attend a four-year public university in Texas for both children in that family of four.  But, instead of sending kids to college, too often we’re sending them to Iraq, where the best news in a long time is they [the insurgents] aren’t killing our men and women as fast as they were last month.”

How damning that it takes a libertarian Republican to remind the leading Democratic candidates of the opportunity costs of a war that most Democrats in Congress voted for.  But they don’t need to take Paul’s word for it; last week, the majority staff of the Joint Economic Committee in Congress came up with similarly startling estimates of the long-term costs of this war.

The White House has quibbled over the methods employed by the JEC to calculate the real costs of our two foreign wars, because the Democrats in the majority dared to include in their calculations the long-term care of wounded soldiers and the interest to be paid on the debt financing the war.  Of course, you need to account for the additional debt run up by an administration that, instead of raising taxes to pay for the war, cut them by relying on the Chinese Communists and other foreigners who hold so much of our debt.  As concluded by the JEC report, compiled by the committee’s professional staff, “almost 10 percent of total federal government interest payments in 2008 will consist of payments on the Iraq debt accumulated so far.”

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However, even if you take the hard figure of the $804 billion the administration demanded for the past five years, and ignore all the long-run costs like debt service, we’re still not talking chump change here.  For example, Bush has asked for an additional $196 billion in supplementary aid for his wars, which is $60 billion more than the total spent by the U.S. government last year on all of America’s infrastructure repairs, the National Institutes of Health, college tuition assistance and the SCHIP program to provide health insurance to kids who don’t have any.

On this matter of covering the uninsured, it should be pointed out to those who say we (alone among industrialized nations) can’t afford it that we could have covered all 47 million uninsured Americans over the past six years for what the Iraq war cost us.  How come that choice—war in Iraq or full medical coverage for all Americans—was never presented to the American people by the Democrats and Republicans who voted for this war and continue to finance it?

Those now celebrating the supposed success of the surge might note that, as the JEC report points out, “[m]aintaining post-surge troop levels in Iraq over the next ten years would result in costs of $4.5 trillion.”  Until the leading Democratic candidate faces up to the irreparable harm that will be done to needed social programs over the next decades by the red-ink spending she supported, I will be cheering for the libertarian Republican.  At least he won’t throw more money down some foreign rat hole.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By cann4ing, December 10, 2007 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment

S:  Obama has Oprah, but Kucinich has Sean Penn.  The difference is that Penn’s support is based purely on substance.

Go to

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56XkNXWOUK

Note David Fleetwood’s comment about this tendancy for progressives to buy into poll-driven voting despite agreement with Kucinich across-the-board on policy as a form of “group think”

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By Shenonymous, December 10, 2007 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

I acquired a copy of the Myths as Barriers to Health Care Reform in the US.  The six myths are a good mnemonic device to keep in the mind as we consider the state of health care affairs during this election 08.  But the health care issue is now eclipsed by a few others: for one the illegal Bush War in Iraq and another one he is trying with all of his cunning might to get us involved, a war with Iran as the war industry rubs its hand together, with much insane glee.  Also a huge issue is the rape of our economy and the curious price of gasoline that keeps this nation and others going, that in turn has incredible effect on the planet but that as a peculiar smoke screen is not going to be an easy or quick fix at least for the next administration.

Looks like if Kucinich is going to have a even a slim chance it is going to have to be by powerful forces I don’t think is in the people’s dimensions.  For instance the now loudly vociferous Oprah factor has thrown a huge wrench into the mix (even though we knew it was coming) but she has a wealth and histrionic mouth to be reckoned with, unfortunately.  Since buying elections is what we are often grieving about.  The Clinton war chest is not puny either, and Edwards has healthy funding.  The ground will have to swell and not later but now.  Kucinich is now in a popularity contest for the greater number of voters and he is going to have to make a great big noise to overcome the other more glamorous.  I don’t know, do you want to piss into the wind without an umbrella?  I certainly don’t.  I want a win.  Even if my motives are for the most virtuous, the highest principled, the most socially humanitarian, it almost seems it does not matter.  For instance, I do not think Obama is presidential material, and he sounds very very good and with the billions of Winfrey behind him, he will be a formidable candidate.  It is such a pity that money controls elections not conscience or care about one’s fellow humans.  But is Oprah so deluded to think Obama would make it as president?  Not in a million years, at least this time.  Kucinich is the only one with “new” ideas.

The eternal dance of the mind can be characterized three ways: controlled as in a formal ballet, chaotic in a frenzied way, or evenly measured as in a waltz.  I will never forget the chilling 1984 and Orwell’s proposition that we must relentlessly be wary of totalitarian tendencies.  The consequences that actually have materialized, I think, we are feeling as we breathe.  How 9/11 was colorized by the administration, I believe has now been examined, checked for accuracy, and in the current lexicon, vetted, up the yingyang, all for their own self-serving agenda. And to what end?  Their entire impulse was to dupe the public and “change the actual brain processes” as you say, and what is so terribly scary is that it worked.  It now no longer is even being discussed except in retrospect by the likes of Chomsky who never forgets anything!  Yet, we are so malleable.  It is the lemming effect.  Appealing to the UN and international courts is much too slow a stream for the Skinnerian-conditioned American mind, the Theodore Roosevelt Rough and Ready, action speaks louder than words, mentality.  And while I completely agree in principle that appealing to the UN and world courts would have been the more rational and moral way, the shock was dreadfully inconsolable to take that course. 

I shall assume that a dialogue such as we are having will do some, if miniscule, good.

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By cann4ing, December 10, 2007 at 9:17 am Link to this comment

S, if there was no official complicity, and I say “if” because there remains too much hidden from the public view and too many unanswered questions to rule it out, the appropriate course would have been to treat 9/11 as a crime, an especially horrendous crime, rather than an act of war.

To understand this one must first realize what Geo. Lakoff describes as 9/11 as visual metaphor, with the twin towers being not only the pillars of commerce but of America itself.  When we saw the towers collapsing we saw ourselves falling and our nation collapsing.  “The assassins managed not only to kill thousands of people, but also to reach in and change the brains of people all over America.”

Such a psychic wound can render a population acutely vulnerable to cognitive manipulation by sociopaths who see national trauma as presenting an opportunity to advance a totalitarian agenda.  Fear of falling is primal.  Survival is instinctual.  The trick for the Orwellian is to come up with a phrase that taps that primal fear in a manner that will accomplish the goals of Newspeak—that is a “medium of expression” that would not only lead Americans to adopt the administration’s worldview, but which tends to “make other modes of thought impossible.”

As a practical matter, the concept of a “war on terrorism” borders on a meaningless oxymoron.  As noted by Gen. Wm. Odom, “Terrorism is not an enemy.  It cannot be defeated.  It’s about as senible to say we declare war on night attacks and expect we’re going to win that war.”  The New Yorker’s Nicholas Lehman observed, “war on terror…has entered the language so fully, and framed the way people think about how the United states is reacting to the September 11 attacks, so completely, that the idea of declaring and waging war on terror was not the sole, inevitable, logical consequence of the attacks just isn’t in circulation.” 

From the perspective of the Orwellian sociopaths who came up with it, the utility of “war on terror” is that it entails endless war that can never be won.  As astutely observed by Antonia Juhasz, it envisions a perpetual war against a “phantom menace” involving “shadowy networks of individuals;” a threat that must be met “anwhere at any time, or everywhere all the time.”  Bill Moyers observed, “the paradigm of the ‘war on terror’” is employed “to elicit public acquiecense in [the administration’s] policies while offering no criterion of success or failure, no knowledge of the cost, and no measure of democratic accountability.”  Indeed, it provides the underpinning of assertions of unlimited “unitary” executive power with president as Commander in Chief.

I submit to you that if on 9/12/01 the U.S. had turned to world bodies (UN & international courts) requesting a world-wide effort to bring the perpetrators of 9/11 before the bar of justice, this would have proved not merely the moral and legal course but the most efficient course—one which would have gained respect rather than fear and enmity from other nations and their peoples.

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By Shenonymous, December 10, 2007 at 1:29 am Link to this comment

Ernest:  It takes two to tango.  But who are the dancing partners?  Never in a million years would I defend Bush for his actions in Iraq, since I consider it criminal enough for impeachment, and I hope there is courage to do it, but it is not unreasonable, however, to wonder what Dr. Chomsky, or Kucinich, or you, would have done about the destruction of almost 3000 people, and the Twin Towers?  Forget the Towers, the Pentagon, the airplane over Pennsylvania, but do not forget the people. Forget for a moment what Bush did because he pimped the situation to his own ends.  Clever man.  But do not forget the people who are gone forever from that one incident even though we must not forget those who have perished since because of that one incident, as Bush would like us to believe.  It is true that thousands of people die at any given moment, what importance over the span of history then will those 3000+ have?  Are we so anesthetized, so numb by the continual reports of people dying?  I cannot help but slip that into any equation.   

But answer this:  Should nothing have been done?  If so, would that not have indicated to the terrorist swarm that they have carte blanche to do their evil at any time they so choose.  It becomes their choice, and what do we become?  The dance of death seems to be too much enjoyed by the terrorists.  Never in the six years since the attack have they ever indicated a wish to end their treachery.  What ought we to do in the face of their desire to destroy America?  What ought to be done about bin Laden whose unswerving litany is to kill Americans and destroy America?  We are on the cusp of a real dilemma.  Chomsky is correct in his postulation of universality, he is a rightful inheritor of Russell’s thought, and he is right that the standards, which really are morals, must be applied to ourselves.  But always contrary to what is imagined, that humans learn from history, we do not.  Men continue, with relish, to war with each other as they always did, and cannot help themselves because they are indelibly marked for it. 

Chomsky’s call for us to remember history, especially now with respect to Iran, is lucid, but as eloquent as is his call, it falls predominantly on ears that do not want to listen, not deaf, just seduced by calculated bombast.  Bush America will not learn its lesson, it never will because it is blind to our different world.  It has it’s own version of the world and we are the serf class with no right to make judgments.  Much as I passionately listen to him, I often wonder to whom Chomsky is speaking.  Intelligensia?  Well they do not make up most of the world.  They, more often than not, sound officious but the hoi polloi have a clear tube that runs from ear to ear and only iTunes get heard, and they certainly do not listen to the talking heads continually making fools of themselves.  What to do, what to do?  It is sort of like Anna Karenina who is comfortable in a marriage to a man she does not love.  It is a metaphor for the ordinary people of this nation.

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By cann4ing, December 9, 2007 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment

S, electability is but another way of focusing on polls and image and away from substance.  If electable means, can we sufficiently educate a majority of dems so that they realize that their interests lie with Kucinich and no other—in other words can we pierce the veil imposed over the Kucinich campaign by the corporate media noise machine—the jury is still out.  There is no doubt, however, that if Mr. Kucinich were to actually capture the nomination, he would pierce that corporate media veil the moment he gave his acceptance speech. 

What the blind poll conducted last August which listed candidate positions on issues but excluded candidate names revealed is that once a majority of the electorate actually realized where Mr. Kucinich stands, especially in relation to the Republi-crooks, he would not only prevail but would win in a landslide—absent, of course, massive voter fraud as occurred in 2000/2004.  Specifically, that poll recorded 53% for Mr. Kucinich as compared to less than 5% each for Clinton, Obama & Edwards.

It gets to the core point made by Noam Chomsky in “Failed States” that Americans are consistently duped into voting against their interest because campaigns are run by the same PR departments which dupe consumers.  The PR industry deceives the electorate, persuading it into voting against its own interest and freeing up our elected representatives to advance the interests of what Chomsky refers to as “the substantial people.”

If you haven’t done so, I would encourage reading Chomsky’s “Failed States.”

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By Shenonymous, December 9, 2007 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

Well Ernest, as you can see I am very cautious about politicians, all politicians.  We, the people, have been fooled so many times in the last 40 years that the hand that marks the ballot has a bit of the shakes.  Please pardon the affliction that I call politicianitis.  I know that I am guilty of the Guilt by Association fallacy lashing Kucinich in with the rest.  So I went to the Kucinich website you noted.  I was impressed with the plethora of information made clear.  I cannot help being a skeptic.  I am a lot more convinced than I was even earlier today.  So I thank you for bringing this to my attention.  I will check out the Geyman study as well.

Quoting from Kucinich’s Universal Health Care page…“The truth is, we cannot afford to not reform the health system.” We spend about 50% more than the next most expensive nation and nearly twice per person what the Canadians do…”  This is complete Republican blather.  There is no reason at all this country cannot even approach the European or for that matter, the Canadian, health care systems.  It is time we stop cowering to the big-money guns of the corporate world, including the corporate owned hospitals and other health care facilities that have pretty much decimated a humanitarian health care attitude this country once had before they started taking over.

I have also read the PNHP Mission Statement and have to say I completely agree with this.  I also visited John Edwards site and read what he is proposing and I think it falls short.  I also visited Barack Obama’s website and read what he said about his “Plan for a Healthier America.”  It is not as encompassing as Kucinich’s and sounds, in spite of Oprah’s endorsement, like a politician’s plan to get elected, not “fix” the problem. 

I have to say, Ernest, this all presents a fairly persuasive picture to vote for Kucinich.  My next question is, is he electable?  I do not under any circumstances want to lose this national election to the Republicans.  I will navigate again to Kucinich’s site and read more about his platform on all the other issues.  I know I already agree with him that Bush and Cheney ought to be impeached.  And that is a courageous act on his part. That alone almost convinces me to get on the DK Train. 

He is different, I cannot deny that.

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By cann4ing, December 9, 2007 at 11:48 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous, let me add that Mr. Kucinich’s courageous stand on impeachment when no other Democratic candidate was even willing to discuss the issue demonstrates that your attempt to lump him in as “another politician” misses the mark by a very wide margin.

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By cann4ing, December 9, 2007 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

Lumping Kucinich in with “all politicians” on this issue is a cop out.  Mr. Kucinich is a co-sponsor of HR 676 (Conyers/Kucinich) which would provide a single-payer system that would bring this nation in line with those found in every other industrialized nation. 

The facts regarding HR 676 can be found at

http://cms.dennis4president.com/images/stories/universal healthcare.pdf

One of the better studies on the problem is John P. Geyman, “Myths as Barriers to Health Care Reform in the U.S.”

http://www.pnhp.org/reader/Section 8 - Busters/Myths as Barriers (Geyman).p

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By PatrickHenry, December 9, 2007 at 8:05 am Link to this comment

Excuse me ladies, hot off the press from Ron Paul HQ are his new ads aimed at New Hampshire. 

A really Great State.

http://www.operationnh.com/

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By Shenonymous, December 9, 2007 at 7:03 am Link to this comment

In two parts—Part I

It is comforting to know from your research, Cyrena, that there are among the physician population an “overwhelming” number who have the calling to heal people rather than fleece them.  I have had much experience with various practices of doctors from private to HMO.  I cannot say I had any bad experiences with the HMO and of those in private practice, and I have seen a score of doctors in my lifetime, I had two bad experiences (of which one would have been enough).  All in all, after an average need for medical care over my lifetime, I would say my personal experience was fairly good.  And my insurance coverage was more than reasonable, often paying for the entire costs including a good Rx plan.  But as a professional, my medical coverage is incomparably higher than for less fortunate individuals.  Although these days, even good health insurance plans may not be enough.  The gouging that goes on is amoral to say the least.

However, for those people on Medicare, the story is more than a bit different. I have an older friend who has a chronic illness and who also lives in a rural area. She has Medicare coverage, but also has excellent supplemental with Blue Cross provided by her former employer.  When her physician of several years decided to quit his practice, he more or less just up and left to take a lucrative position as the director of some private care facility, he did so rather abruptly without much thought about his patients. When she tried to make an appointment with the doctor who bought out his practice, she was told the “new” doctor was not taking any new Medicare patients!  In a panic she started looking for another doctor and after being told by five doctors’ offices that they did not take Medicare patients, she did find one who would but he was about 35 miles away.  But it was her only option.  The point is only one in six doctors would take her on as a patient.  Given this is one case, but I have a high suspicion this is typical.  This is madness.

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By Shenonymous, December 9, 2007 at 7:02 am Link to this comment

In two parts - Part II
There is an interesting report in the Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges from August 2005 that discusses the problem of the dwindling number of physicians going into rural practice. But even more interesting is the fact that fewer and fewer number of doctors are choosing family medicine, which has huge implications for general care, with the further implication that more of those going into medical practice are choosing specialties that in turn provide higher income.  Another report, October 2007 of the ACP, discusses the statistics of the decrease in primary care doctors relative to the population.  This is all distressing in that although your research shows money is no longer the carrot stick it once was, and that is truly wonderful news, the number of doctors are diminishing because there are shinier pennies elsewhere.  Europe apparently does not have the kinds of health care problems we do and it is unfathomable as to why.  The VA model does give me pause to think if good care could be given through a bureaucracy then why not in ordinary life?  I mean, when has the bureaucrat ever been better at providing anything?  Maybe resistance to universal or single payer health care among doctors has changed from 10 years ago because they have seen the light, but if fewer and fewer are even going into medicine because the lure for more money lies elsewhere, then it is somewhat a moot point whether doctors now are more altruistic as the corporations will continue to financially outnumber those in support of general health care for all Americans.  It is a morass, no doubt about it.  And as I stated I think it is beyond the politics of this presidential election except for the fact that the right person in office would be more likely not to veto a more equitable health care program. 

Ernest Canning seems to think Kucinich would be the only one devoted to do that.  I am just afraid that all of the politicians are using this topic to gain political traction and that it is in reality only cosmetic repair for our health care dilemma.  I just think we ought to stay conscious and not bandwagon from political rhetoric.  Personally, I think Ron Paul has beet juice in his veins.  Let’s hear from more out there.

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By cyrena, December 9, 2007 at 3:42 am Link to this comment

#118902 by Shenonymous

•  And what are the obstacles, mainly physician resistance and the health care industry, pharmaceuticals, et al due to the Almighty Dollar (the perennial god of the health care world).

Shenonymous,

I’ve seen the report you’ve mentioned here, and I agree that it’s excellent. I would only quibble with this one issue, and only because I don’t believe that it represents a correct (or at least fully informed) view of the physician resistance. In checking this out myself, (and particularly in interviewing physicians) I don’t believe there is nearly as much resistance as might be suggested, if in fact this program could be administered as a sort of combination to the VA and the programs of other countries that are reflected in Sicko.

What I’ve discovered in the current mentality, (and this even goes to physicians that have been in practice for a few decades) is that the MAJORITY aren’t interested in making billions of dollars in personal profit, but actually TREATING their patients with the best care available, and making a reasonable and commensurate income for themselves. Now, I’m speaking primarily of those physicians, who practice those fields of medicine and specialties of most need, to the most people. (ie, NOT cosmetic surgeons) I’ve interviewed in several fields/specialities, and across the board..private practice, HMO’er, County/Public Facility and VA physicians.

And, while there are of course exceptions, I’ve found overwhelmingly, that most of these physicians actually are far more committed to providing quality care than they are to making grotesque profits, and are as equally disgusted with the system as it has been rigged by the corporate entities and Big Pharma/Big Insurance.

Admittedly, this has not been a VAST research project that I’ve undertaken, though I’d like to do more work with it. Still, I think it’s fair enough to say that many of the best of these physicians have also been affected by the corporate greed of the past decade, and that particularly applies to those in private practice, who continue to see and treat more and more patients that are either not covered at all, or whom have continued to see reduced payments from ALL of the insurers. (medicare being the major one.) What medicare paid for a procedure like a colonoscopy is now less than 50% of what they paid on it a decade ago. Many private practice physicians have simple absorbed this on their end, rather than attempt to pass it on to the patients, since it’s much the same as trying to extract blood from a turnip, and the alternate is to deny the care.

(Nope..Ron Paul is NOT among them)

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By Shenonymous, December 8, 2007 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

You may be right Ernest about Kucinich, but I would urge that you get beyond your entrenchment.  Let’s see how the election starts playing out as it nears the conventions. I suggest that fixing the American health care fiasco must be done outside of the politicians’ plinth.  I prefer a plan similar to the European attitude toward health care where health care is an inalienable right as much as are other freedoms. Where if you need care, you get it, where you get good care and fast, even if you have no insurance, where you are not rushed out the hospital door before you are truly well enough, where the average cost per annum is not the $6000 per person it is in the USA but more like $2000.  It is unconscionable the cost of health care here and the actual kind of conditional care given where a person in an emergency situation has to wait for hours sometimes or not get care at all in other cases, even if the person has insurance, let me repeat, even if one has insurance.  It is a horribly complex problem, and the Kucinich plan still only gets at the surface.  I understand the universal plan and is even more unacceptable given its umbilical ties to the healthcare corporate world.  I am just saying we should be very careful even of the shiny penny seduction.  It will not be over even if Kucinich’s plan is bought.

Oh, you don’t have to be up at 4am to catch the People’s Pharmacy.  Check your NPR radio stations to see when it’s on in your area.  It originates in Boston I think but at any rate, the programs are on RSS podcast feeds, or at least most of them, or they can be purchased at about 16 bucks a program.  Check it out, as it is worth the effort.

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By cann4ing, December 8, 2007 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

S, you do realize that 6 a.m. Central is 4 a.m. Pacific.  A wee bit early for me. 

As to what we can do, it is quite simple.  There is a candidate—only one candidate—who offers a real solution.  Dennis Kucinich advocates a single-payer plan that eliminates for-profit carriers and HMOs.  It is a plan that would produce a health care system that would be substantively similar to those available in the UK, France, Canada and every other industrialized nation—the ones so favorably depicted in Sicko, especially when compared against our own where people who could not pay were dumped into the streets of downtown LA’s skid row, left to wander and fend for themselves.

To ignore the drastic difference between single-payer and the scam healthcare insurance subsidy schemes advocated by the so-called “leading” Democrats is to become complicit in a perpetuation of the status quo.  It is the core point I have been harping on, no doubt to the point of irritation.

Voting is not just a right.  It is a responsibility.  And it is an exercise in utter irresponsibility to vote for any candidate who does not support single-payer—at least during the primaries when we really have a choice.  For each of us the solutions are relatively simple.  For ourselves and for everyone we can convince, we simply vote for single-payer.  We vote Kucinich.  We betray ourselves and our posterity by doing otherwise.

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By Shenonymous, December 8, 2007 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

In support of your comments about health care in this country, Ernest, and anyone else interested, may I direct you to the wonderful health care radio program, The People’s Pharmacy, usually on NPR on Saturday mornings at 6 am Central Time.  This morning’s program was completely pertinent to what you were saying about the American health care system as Jonathan Cohn, author of the book, Sick: The Untold Story of America’s Health Care Crisis was interviewed during which Michael Moore’s film, Sicko, was mentioned as more or less a companion of similar expose of the health care industry in America.  If you are interested and if you can, you may order a copy of the program.  A comparison of American health care and that of Europe was discussed with a woman who spent I believe 16 years in Spain and who gives first hand accounts of care received there and here in the United States, quite revealing.  Also interviewed was Philip Longman, Schwartz Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation and author of Best Care Anywhere: Why VA Health Care is Better than Yours, who gives an eye opener about how relatively and utterly manageable using the VA model for health care can be.  And what are the obstacles, mainly physician resistance and the health care industry, pharmaceuticals, et al due to the Almighty Dollar (the perennial god of the health care world).

What I am wholly interested in is what exactly we, the public can effectively do about this immanent problem as the candidates only address a rather cosmetic fix when in fact much deeper repair is urgently demanded.

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By cyrena, December 8, 2007 at 12:23 am Link to this comment

•  #118491 by PatrickHenry on 12/06 at 2:15 pm
#118420 by Leefeller
•  Cyrena was reminiscing about Orange county and got me thinking about Rustin in Tustin.

Ah HA!! PatrickHenry,
That’s what I mean. When I was doing my reminiscing, it was TUSTIN that I was talking about, (at least where my Dad’s sister lived) although I couldn’t recall the name at the time, so I just said…Orange County. See how that works? We have to depend on each other for these details. 2, 3, 4 or more minds are generally always better than one. (especially for those of us closer to the back end of middle age than the front end of it.) I have a Tee-shirt, (a gift from the youth) proclaiming this:

“50 is the New 30”. (ah yes, we can dream).

But, bottom line is, IT IS – WHAT IT IS, and what it is – is all in the mind, and the way we look at it. Still, in REALITY, my body is 54. Can’t get around it. Now my mind, well….that’s open for debate. But, while I wouldn’t mind having the veins, arteries, heart, muscles, liver, kidneys, eyesight, etc, etc, of a 34 year old, I definitely don’t want to go back to that ideology, and I SURE don’t wanna give up everything I’ve learned in the intervening years. So, I guess we just have to take what’s best of what we’ve got, and make it work. And, if somebody else has a better memory than I do, for certain details, than I say …. THIS IS GOOD. Oh yes. I do believe that with whatever part of my mind is working at all times. Why should I rack my brain, when one of you can be depended to come up with the answer, and share it with us all? (I’m very pragmatic)

Now of course that means that we have to still wade through a bunch of this stuff, since the ‘answer’ is not always the RIGHT answer, or the ONLY answer. But, that’s a group effort as well.

Jaki and Shenonymous, thanks for your wonderful posts and the links. VERY inspiring and motivating. So much so that I’m going to get to my work now, while the inspiration and motivation is ‘hot’. Assignments are due. But, thanks to you, I’ll just get ‘em knocked out right now. See what I mean about this group effort thing.

Now I HAD planned to allow myself even more procrastination, so that I could watch my favorite Friday night program…Num3ers’s (or something like that). But alas, it was preempted by the American Movie Awards, (or something like that). I’m just wondering if it has anything to do with the on-going Writer’s labor woes, against the corps. I so rarely watch TV, (just my standard favorites, and they are few) that I notice the ‘reruns’ more than most would, and I’ve been seeing more of them than what would normally be, at this time of the “TV Season”. So, I guess the Writer’s are holding to their legitimate concerns. I’m behind them 1000%.

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By Nabih Ammari, December 7, 2007 at 9:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear cyrena,

I am about to shut off my computer and call it quit for
the Holiday Season.I want to spend it with my wife for
more than 40 years and with our grandchildren.Before I
do so,I wish you pleasant and Happy Holidays and beyond

I do hope that you will do the same.It may do you a lot
of good,health-wise.

Everybody needs a break once in a while including
the diligent,dedicated and most sensible cynera.It is
good for the soul.

Best Regards,
  Nabih

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By Shenonymous, December 6, 2007 at 11:24 pm Link to this comment

Jaki #118494
You are most welcome.  I want to admit that I, in fact, was the ‘woman’ who said, “Funny thing, I do not feel a feminist.  I retain admiration for many men but find an unsatisfactory few who deeply understands the plight of women.”  A bit different than what you quoted, see my post at #115895, that was actually, and somewhat humorously, a response to your preceding comment, but that is a small matter.  You are completely right that “we are out of balance,”... still. Referring to my statement for clarity’s sake, I will revise it to say I do not feel a “militant” feminist, although I am through and through a feminist until such time as women take their rightful place as equal to men without having the need to remind anyone that they are.  I do have admiration for many men. The civilized ones have made themselves known.  Among these men of fortitude and firm purpose are those men who hold women as unequivocally equal to themselves.  I direct you to a couple of places online one of which describes an organized movement called the “Meninist: Men,” at http://www.feminist.com/resources/links/men.htm and to an in depth article by Michael Flood at http://www.xyonline.net/misc/pffaq.html
I invite any of the men on this forum to visit it as well to learn what it means to be a just and moral man with respect to women.  A lengthy bibliography is included at the bottom of the article for anyone with courage enough to check it all out.

For you and any other woman who are concerned about the current status of women, I am listing few other links to which you might navigate and gather even more data to keep that calm you mention in the face of the power storm women must continue to battle to its end.  I will personally stand tall with you and all women on the necessity to repair the world.

http://www.wic.org/misc/history.htm reviews Women’s History in America

http://www.equalitynow.org/english/index.html

http://www.amnestyusa.org/What_We_Fight_For/The_Universal_Declaration_of_Human_Rights/page.do?id=1031003&n1=2&n2=769&n3=770 particularly the further link to women’s human rights.

http://www.bookbeast.com/ This site contains additional relevant pro-feminist links


#118005 antispin – I have already delivered similar information from the same site you noted on Ron Paul at #116012, 11/26 that dealt more specifically with his invasion of women’s issues.  I appreciate the fact that you checked on the issues site and have listed more of the loathsome positions he has taken.

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By Jaki, December 6, 2007 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment

Hi Shenon and Cy…Thank you for making me feel included.  It certainly is the case that we are outnumbered, at least on this blog, which is the only one I’ve tuned into so far.  I’m really new at this.

In an earlier post, one woman (I can’t remember who and don’t want to take the time to go back through this particular blog), said she thought she wasn’t a “feminist” because she liked men.

This is exactly what we have been dealing with in the younger generation since the Second Wave of Feminism
starting in the 60s.  The Backlash.  Susan Faludi wrote a book about it.

The term “Feminist” has been vilified and falsely defined as “man-hating” and as “Femi-Nazis.”  Our current generation of young women cannot see how they are being sexually exploited by the media and the corporations.  They have lost complete touch with what life was like for women in this country prior to the 60s.  I know it very well.  I was a founder of the first Women’s Studies Program in the country, and helped found another one at the university in California where I currently live.  But so long as “feminism” is relegated to a small corner of academia, we are going to continue to be pushed backward by ignorance and the resistance to being (falsely) labeled as man-hating.

That is not what feminism is about.  Feminism is about receiving RESPECT and OPPORTUNITIES as EQUAL HUMAN BEINGS.  Feminism is about equal rights for equal work.  It is about Choice in terms of control over our bodies.  It is about inclusion, not exclusion, when it comes to race and sexual preference.  It is about respecting the Earth, our Mother and the provider of our sustenance and life-continuing conditions (ecology).  It is about respecting the rights of all people (including those in other countries).  It is inherently Anti-War.  It is about balancing the impact and contributions of the female and male aspects of human existence.

We are so out of balance now, that the planet herself may have to kick us out and start over.

Of course I have much more to say on this topic (which is always relevant to the Presidential elections and everything else).  Perhaps later.

Thank you for the links.  I went to the one on the history of the right wing.  Very interesting.  With excellent points on of the omissions of the researcher.

Sicko was a brilliant film.  If you haven’t looked at it yet, I’m sure you will agree when you do.  I have seen it twice and saw things the second time I didn’t the first.  Sometimes our minds wander, or we go “unconscious” when watching things with such impact.

That’s why I watch Democracy Now! twice a day, and I’m always surprised at how much I miss the first time.  Maybe its age (I’m a 60s Radical), but I think more it is just overwhelming to contemplate what we are facing at this time in history.  And, from the looks of the responses on this blog, so many are freaked out.

We have to remain calm (I keep saying to myself), so we don’t panic and can be steadfast in the face of power and continue telling the truth to it and to others.

Thank you again.


.

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By PatrickHenry, December 6, 2007 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

#118420 by Leefeller

Cyrena was reminiscing about Orange county and got me thinking about Rustin in Tustin.

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By Shenonymous, December 6, 2007 at 7:35 am Link to this comment

#118003 and #118246 Jaki, so glad to see you are human.  We also get confused sometimes of where we have posted. I have had to actually set up a site date system to be able to track where I’ve commented.  Mainly because I can’t really spend so much time at it.  I am taking Ernest Canning’s advice and have bought Sicko.  I have a great respect for Michael Moore, actually am on his email news alert list, but I wasn’t able to get out to a theater here where I live, as the closest one is about 30 miles away. So I usually wait for things to come out on DVD.  I admit to not paying too much attention to Sicko because of all of the news hullabaloo and felt if Moore made it, it must be true, hahahaha how we abrogate our authority! I don’t usually do that, and as a former researcher, I check stuff out for myself.  You are so right about the control of corporate America.  I think the Politic Watchers like ourselves just have to be vigilant and report as far as they can when the assumption of this kind of power happens.  Of course, we don’t see even a quarter of what is going on, the perennial iceberg model.  Yes, our work is cut out for us.  But I’m up to it as I see you are too.

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By Shenonymous, December 6, 2007 at 7:31 am Link to this comment

Cyrena #118389 In this blog world that looks to be predominantly alpha male posters, I am elated that you and Jaki have shown up and take the pains to write with such astute observations.  I think we show a fearless face and some find it too forthcoming.  But there are others who do appreciate the comments.  Ah, the new world order. 

Texas…had I known how truly bucolic-minded, and saccharinely neurotic it really is I would not have come here, not in a million years.  I do not live in the blue bubble and that isn’t even an option.  But I am working on getting out of here too.  I actually bought a house at the begging of one of my kids who lives here and I moved from the most conscious of states California.  It hasn’t worked out with the family for a variety of reasons, lesson learned believe me, and while I absolutely love my vintage prairie home, it is really different from ordinary tract houses, I have to leave here to keep my sanity.  And I live in the hinterland so not too many people of my ilk are here (like none).  Texas is so provincially petty that the weather news on every channel will not ever give the weather report for Los Angeles, not never, but will for Stockton????  Also Texas does not have a very mindful voting practice.  There is no such thing as a sample ballot and the only way you know when there is an election, even for local municipal issues, is to either see it in a newspaper, or hear it on the broadcast media.  There are a lot of lower class and underprivileged who don’t get newspapers or don’t pay much attention to the news.  And being uninformed they don’t vote or if they do, it is more likely to be based on what is perceived as cautious ethnic guardianship, the lockstep mindset right or wrong.  I believe they are disenfranchised purposefully because the conservative overlords want to keep control and therefore veritably limit the votes.  I was aghast to find they had no sample ballot practice. In progressive California I was spoiled to be able to read, at my leisure, all the pros and cons of every issue.  And they always gave plenty of time to consider how you mght vote.  I so loved their referendum system as well.  It helps one think, maybe it is a self-deception, but I think it helps make one feel more part of the electoral process.  Anyway, that is my residing rant about the woolgathering mind set of Texas politics. I have more, but it would take until tomorrow to write it all down.  I will spare you.

I love your story of having to skulk in the night because of your political bent and them mowing the yard in the night.  That is such a hoot.  One of my best male friends works at UCI but he is brilliant and as liberal as they come.  He, and his wife, who are unusually sharp and intrepid in the sea of ultra-conservativism, often email political jokes that knock me off my chair.  But they live in Long Beach (that haven of GLBT organizations) and that says a gazillion.

I think regardless of appearances, the Ron Paul effort is not going anywhere.  It is a petty zeitgeist at best as are a few other candidates in both parties.  That we must be acutely aware goes without saying and things can get away from the rational as the Bush thing happened! while we were metaphorically asleep.  And now he has completely undermined just about everything important to the American people.

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By Leefeller, December 6, 2007 at 7:23 am Link to this comment

Earnest,

Checked out the Homeland; the name rings of Germany; security for sale site.  Thanks.

Patrick Henry,

I was at El Toro for two years, 1967, 1969 was in Nam in between. Why did you post that here?

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By PatrickHenry, December 6, 2007 at 5:38 am Link to this comment

#118389 by cyrena

I was stationed at El Toro for 4 years and lived in Tustin at the 55 and 5 interchange off Mcfadden Blvd.

I really liked the del taco’s there.

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By cyrena, December 6, 2007 at 12:34 am Link to this comment

#118119 by Shenonymous

Shenon..

I thoroughly enjoyed your post. And yes, it is a strange twist of fate how birds of a feather randomly find each other sometimes. It’s funny because already been back home (ca) for 7 years, but it seems like so much longer. (could be the times, eh?) Still, I was there for a long time, and still have friends that I’m in touch with, (former co-workers) but we have absolutely ZIP in common, and that’s pretty much the way it always was. I just only got around to figuring it out, once I got back.

And, we have even LESS in common, because it’s sort of like they don’t even have a clue to what’s happening outside the metroplex, or the ‘corporation’ or church.

Still, I was there for nearly 2 decades, and probably only survived since I did get to leave from time to time. I often wondered why I stayed so long, but I guess it was the love thing. I’m really glad I got over that. But, I should say that it wasn’t all 100% bad. Seriously. And, so much depends on where you are in TX. It’s a big place. I remember that at least while I was there, Austin was pretty much of the blue oasis in a sea of red, though I didn’t live there. I have neighbors who have just moved up there though, and they’ve never lived outside of Califoria, or the upper east Coast. So, I told them they’d be OK in Austin, but just not to leave the bubble.

As for Orange County, it hasn’t much changed, at least not in respect to the triplets. I think they’re slightly cleaned up now, (well some of them) and so less transparent, but you know how that goes. At this age, I can spot ‘em from a long way off, and I’m never wrong. I can spot ‘em on line too. I had to laugh out loud at your story of doing the Goldwater campaigning in the ethnic neighborhood. Yep, I bet you got some funny glances. On the other hand, at that age, I was just as naïve. I remember that one of my dads sisters lived in the area way back when, with her family. And, anytime my dad would call up (once they’d moved there) to say that we were thinking of visiting, she would tell him that we should come ‘at night’. Humm. But, he didn’t question it, until she slipped one time, and told him that if just he and my sister were coming, they could come any time, but that if my mom and I would be with them, then we should just all wait until after dark to come. The whole irony of it was really amazing, since she was the ‘dark sheep’ in his family. (ours too for that matter) But then, they mowed their lawn at night as well. Go figure. And, I only thought of that story after all of this time, because I do believe they were hooked up with the Goldwater folks for a while. (She claimed to be an ‘Islander” though I’m not sure if she ever ID’d the “island” that she had allegedly come from) Oh well.

Fast forward to now, and one of my nephews did his undergraduate study at UCI. His parents figured out 3 years into it, that he didn’t like it much out there. But, he never said anything before that, and I’d have to say that was pretty much the case with me during my years in Texas. My sister said, well…you never said you didn’t like it. And, she’s right. I did keep most of the horror stories to myself. It’s difficult to explain it to someone who’s never been exposed to it, just as I hadn’t really been until I moved there, and even then, not so much until I started to buy property. That didn’t go over too well at all. Single? Female? Of COLOR!? Oh no…not at all. Maybe they thought I was planning to set up some brothels or something? If so, I disappointed them. Never anything that exciting. The occasional tryst with my ex (once he was already my ex) was about it. Still, that was enough to keep ‘em humming for weeks.

Anyway, I read the excellent link that you provided for us. Thanks much. I’m going try to include it in a reader for next term. The Authoritarian State is the course. I’m looking forward to it.

Thanks again.

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By Jaki, December 5, 2007 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

#118056 by Jaki on 12/04 at 10:10 pm

Ooops!  I said “single payer health insurance” and I meant “single payer health care.”  I really should say GUARANTEED FREE HEALTH CARE TO ALL WHO ARE HERE, which is what I believe our democracy (so-called) should provide, as the truly civilized countries of the world, as revealed by Michael Moore’s “Sicko,” do.

If we did not spend so much of our money on war, it would be a piece of cake to do this.

If we were not held captive by corporate medical and pharmaceutical lobbyists…

If corporations paid their fair share of “income taxes” (they often pay none, although they claim the status of “individual” in other legal matters)...

If we had a real democracy, with more than two (corporate-controlled) parties given real and comprehensive access to the votes of the people…

If we had a truly responsible, unbiased media, who would speak truth to power (like Democracy Now!)...

Lots of ifs.  Our work is cut out for us.

Thank you all for your continuing efforts to educate the sincerely concerned and confront the liars.

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By cann4ing, December 5, 2007 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

No Leefeller, citizens like you who wake up to the reality of the corruption do not live in a fantasy world.  They are the only citizens who can make an informed decision.

Meanwhile, Robert Greenwald has another short video clip regarding crony capitalism at work with respect to homeland security.

http://www.homelandsecurityforsale.org/

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By Leefeller, December 5, 2007 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

Ron Paul makes some sense, but nonsense when it comes to important issues like womens rights.  He may be the better choice from the Republican side, but choosing from the best of the worst is becoming old and tiring. 

Earnest, medical care is most important and your last post was concise and to the point.  We the people are the victims to the standard politics of lies and money, a tandem washing of hand in hand superseding public needs, integrity and accountability, of course truth is buried and trampled never to be seen. 

Special interests having undue influence over the ears of our politicians will continue without missing a beat, unless we select our representatives as representatives of the people and not the elite. 

Yes, I live in a fantasy world.

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By cann4ing, December 5, 2007 at 9:31 am Link to this comment

Jaki—Your comments on health care were spot on.  Although I saw it when it first came out, I recently purchased the Sicko DVD—watched it again last night.  Still can’t get over the astounded laughter from patients and health care workers at a UK hospital when they were asked by Michael Moore how much their treatment cost.  They gave him this, “have you lost your mind?” expression.  No doubt, citizens in single-payer countries think we are out of our minds.

Our health care system is not only corrupt but utterly irrational.  The system not only includes the presence of unnecessary middle men but provides financial incentives to those unnecessary middle men to prevent people from getting needed care.  The one scene that continues to haunt me is the young widow tearfully relating how the HMO where she worked refused to provide her husband with a life-saving bone marrow transplant even though her husband’s youngest brother was a perfect match.  Her husband died a short time later.

As Dr. Linda Pino’s testimony revealed, the current system is not merely irrational.  It kills people!  To go on talking about “universal coverage” is to condone a system that needlessly kills and maims.  Yet, Clinton, Obama & Edwards all advance “universal coverage” and ignore “single-payer” because they need the blood money from the health care insurance and pharmaceutical lobbies.

It is the duty of each citizen to become informed on issues that truly matter.  With the fulfillment of that duty comes a significant responsibility.  Any citizen who chooses to ignore this, and, like mindless sheep, casts their votes for one of these “universal coverage” candidates strictly on the basis of poll numbers, knowing full well that there was a candidate who advocates single-payer, becomes an accomplice to the future deaths that will flow from the continuance of this thoroughly corrupt and callous health care non-delivery system.

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By Nabih Ammari, December 5, 2007 at 8:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To:#118005 by antispin on 12/04 at 6:28 pm.

Dear antispin,

Thank you for posting an excellent post-not a single
deviation from the subject matter at hand.

It is very obvious,at least to me,that you really had
researched the voting pattern of Ron Paul to come up
with such a fantastic post.It seems to me,it is the
only way to come even close to the “Truth”-posts
like yours.

PatrickHenry has done an excellent post like yours.
So has done cyrena,Shenonymous,Outraged and many
others whose phony names I cannot remember at the moment because of the infrequency of reading their
posts.

antispin,again,many many thanks for a superb post.
Please keep them coming.
Sincerely,
Nabih Ammari
An Independent in Ohio.

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By Shenonymous, December 5, 2007 at 7:10 am Link to this comment

De facto oppression of the poor and middle class is what would color any Ron Paul presidency.  There are a hundred synonyms for the word lie, and one who lies is called a liar, and a liar is one who speaks falsely or utters untruths knowingly, with the intent to obscure.  The one that suits Ron Paul the best is counterfeiter as found under the sub vox, deceiver.  He is a flimflam man of political proportions.

Oh my gawd, Cyrena.  Sounds like the White Horde descended your college campus and then the town.  I vividly remember the effects of the John Birch Society, one of the triplets with the White Supremacists and Ku Klux Klan, in California, having lived there for four decades myself, also in academia.  Strange turn of events how birds of a feather randomly find each other in odd places sometimes.  Ironically, I am now in Texass.  I would include Jaki as well because you both are a breath of fresh female air.  I would direct both of you and anyone else who might be interested in political fanaticism and its impact on American life to the essay on the ascension of right wing fanaticism at

http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=49

Naively, in the mid 60s, 1964 to be exact, I actually campaigned briefly for Barry Goldwater.  Primarily because my husband was a Republican who had convinced this very first time voter of his preferences, being in love and all, ha!  It wasn’t soon after dipping into the treacherous waters that I met some Goldwater-ites and fell into conversation which totally left me speechless, you could say thunderstruck since I had already hoofed about a couple of times with my small twins in a Radio Flyer wagon with political paraphernalia knocking on doors trying to convince an ethnic neighborhood to vote for dear Barry.  I must have looked like a figment is all I can say.  At any rate, I soon discovered the underlying motivations of Goldwater and the JBS, which was extremist, Philistine, right-wing, fanatically Christian religious, suburban, racist, social, mainly in Orange County, class of white Americans. Need I say more in description?  Soon and after a few heated arguments with hubby, I quit the whole thing and I actually campaigned for Lyndon Johnson who won that 1964 election blindfolded.  Needless to say, it put a bit of a strain on our marriage.  He’s been my ex for 20 plus years.  I am a natural liberal and social-minded humanitarian.  The JBS was bent on completely abolishing all social welfare programs among other insanities.  Back to Ron Paul, who was endorsed and defended, along with other right-wing organizations, by the John Birch Society whose thrust comes from a paranoid notion that the world is being run by secret organizations and conspiracies that seek to overthrow our government hence, Paul’s isolationist platform.  In addition, the JBS had a pathological fear of what is called collectivism, which is an outlook that stresses human interdependence.  There are extreme versions of collectivism as well under the manifestos of anarchism and communism.  But the benign form is humanitarian socialism, which in my mind is necessary for large societies where there is a great disparity of the wealth due to exploitation of workers by a veritable privileged class.

It’s a good morning to keep all this in mind.  And so glad Jaki and you recalled his anti-women’s right-to-choose position, I had forgotten it in my last tirade against Paul, of all things, in the heat of the moment.  See what heedless emotion can do?

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By cyrena, December 5, 2007 at 1:35 am Link to this comment

#117968 by Nabih Ammari

Dear Nabih,

Thanks so much for posting this summary of relevant comments. Although I’ve read most of them over time, (and have contributed a few myself) I do intend to go back over them when time permits.

In the meantime, there have been some additional comments, which I also find relevant, that have been posted on this thread, as well as the thread for this article:

http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/20071129_ron_paul_calls_cnn_out_for_biased_debate_coverage/

One that is most recently relative is: #118005 by antispin
Antispin provides a very helpful list of how RPaul has voted on various issues dealing with education, and I would LIKE to believe that this should be an important issue to ALL citizens; not just educators/students. I honestly do believe that our collective education/intelligence is a matter of national security, or at least should be a national asset. Certainly it is not the ONLY issue that we face, but it is overwhelmingly important to have citizens who are at least informed, and able to make informed decisions in their daily dealings within our society-at-large.

Additionally, the above link to the other Ron Paul thread contains what I also believe to be useful/relevant information for the same reasons, though not necessarily on the education issue. (though it certainly covers that as well). I had to take a break myself –from that thread- if only because I believed it to be devolving into a cult-like sort of hysteria. IMO. Still, I think it’s important to bring some of that information to the fore. I’ve been chided in the past by bringing up certain ‘associations’ that RPaul has maintained throughout his political career, specifically from posters such as nonmascerdo. (I don’t have the post number handy). It would appear from the comments, that we should reject these ‘associations’ based on the fact that they are some sort of ‘fringe group’ associations, with which Dr. Paul himself does not claim an association, and that we should therefore not judge him or his own positions, in light of these groups.

I disagree, and I’m surprised that anyone would even suggest that we willfully IGNORE these things, in any research that would involve our consideration for the Chief Executive Officer of the US, AKA The President. Based on that, I believe that it IS relevant that Dr. Paul is and has been supported by extremist groups that are known for their antagonism towards minorities, and specifically (but not limited to) minority groups of color. Sometime next week, I will attempt to research MORE of the specifics of ALL of these groups, and the associations, so that I can post them. However, one has already come to light, in a post by Outraged on the above link.

It references the Dr. Paul’s association to the John Birch Society. He is on the homepage of the JBS website, at http://www.jbs.org, and he recently addressed that organization in a speech. (the speech was also posted separately on the thread). Personally, I was NOT surprised to learn of this association, and IMO, it is yet another indication of the ideology that I find so troubling with him. I mention this because I’m aware that not everyone reading and/or posting to this Truthdig site, would have any reason to know about the JBS, just as not every person would necessarily have knowledge of the Ku Klux Klan, or the Federalist Society. These are of course very old organizations, but they have not existed in every place in the country, at all times. Needless-to-say, an organization does change it’s membership over a period to decades, and in some cases, the underlying ideology made shift in it’s properties as well.

That said, these are STILL important issues to address, and I bring them to the discussion for that reason only. I will admit to my own bias, but I must also add that my own bias is based on what I’ve learned over time and geographical space. In this case, I share it based on it’s relevance to Ron Paul’s candidacy.

TBC

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By cyrena, December 5, 2007 at 1:33 am Link to this comment

Part 2 of 2

When I reference my own experience in geographical time/space I mean just to say that my careers have placed me in various locations over an extended period of time, from my own home state (Ca) to a number of others, including TX, were I lived for an extended period of time. (longer than I like to think about). Still, it puts me in a position, (I think) to have at least a ‘life experience’ source from which to posit opinions.

I (fortunately) returned home, (and to academia) several years ago, and that brings me to my point in explaining my reaction to an incident here at my own campus very recently. And, it came (in part at least) because of comments that I’ve read on this very forum, regarding the politics and positions of Dr. Paul in his campaign efforts.

#117852 by breezytrees
•  He’s a religious man yet he does not force his religious beliefs on others.
•  Every single one of our presidents has been a practicing Christian… Ron Paul is no different from any of them in this respect. All of them have believed that “Jesus Christ is [their] personal Savior” and that “freedoms come not from man, but from God.”

I am uncomfortable with these (among several other statements) if only because Ron Paul has gathered a great deal of his political support as a result of what I personally believe to be a deception that he is in favor of returning to the ‘actual wording’ of the Constitution as developed by the Founders. I’m troubled by that because I find it insincere, since his congressional record would tell us that he has chosen to completely ignore the Establishment Clause, which clearly explains the required separation of Church and State, as well as his desire to seemingly undo much that has been incorporated into our constitution in terms of the whole ‘equality’ promise of the original document.
 
Meantime, this is what recently occurred here in my community/campus:

They entered our community and campus, much like thieves in the night, and basically defiled/defaced it. Some would say that they ‘trashed’ it.
Our campus/community is an open one, and while I can say that our collective ideology doesn’t support that of the Ron Paul ideology, these supporters would certainly NOT have been ‘run off’ or treated with any hostility, had they appeared like any other group. (in regular daylight hours)

But, they didn’t. Rather, they apparently arrived during the nighttime hours between midnight and 5 or 6 am, and proceeded to plaster large portions of the campus with pieces of plain white paper on which a variety of ‘slogans’ had been written. (Ron Paul for Freedom) is an example, but there were several. These (literally hundreds of them) were then affixed to nearly every surface imaginable, with…duck tape.
Now, I’m not a neatnik, or OCD. Besides, it’s a college campus. We have LOTS of things posted, like ANY college campus. Still, there are generally accepted and approved LOCATIONS for these things. I AM proud of our community and our campus, so I felt like we had been invaded.

Later in the day, the ‘caravan’ of them spread out through the community; cars loaded down with the typical stuff that you might find in the old tent revival events, loudspeakers blaring, nearly running bikers off the roads.

The students themselves quickly formed groups on their own to clean up most of the mess. There are still pieces of the tape here and there, but over time, that will disappear as well. Still, I hope you can understand why it felt like such a disrespectful assault, and thereby led to my portrayal of them as ‘groupies’.

I believe that it goes without saying, that this is hardly being ‘respectful’ of anyone, including the ‘values’ of various communities across the nation, which is a claim consistently made by those who so passionately support him.

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By Jaki, December 4, 2007 at 11:10 pm Link to this comment
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Ernest…I’m with you on the health insurance issue.
We need single-payer health insurance (I’d much prefer to call it Socialized Medicine—it’s about time we became socialized).  Kucinich is the only candidate calling for it.  All the other Dumocrats
are kowtowing to the insurance companies, who are filling their campaign coffers.

On a personal level, having not long ago become eligible for Medicare and Social Security, I also had to find a Supplemental Insurance to cover what Medicare doesn’t.  After a year with an HMO, I got out, but that’s another story (and not a good one).  Then I enrolled with Mutual of Omaha as my supplemental and within one year they raised my premiums 50%!  There are no controls on them. Deregulation gives them absolute power.  And just try to talk to them about it!  If you can ever get a human. 

Regarding NAFTA, again, personal experience.  My neighbors, a Japanese family interred in American concentration camps during WWII, worked as hard as anyone can after their release in agriculture, growing flowers on land they worked to buy after losing everything.  For 50 years, until NAFTA, they prospered, raising their families, contributing to the community.  NAFTA, and the influx of cheap Ecuadoran flowers, put them out of business.

NAFTA does nothing for poor farmers south of our borders either, many of whom have lost their subsistence farms because of NAFTA.  It is a boon to Big Agribusiness and American Corporations who have moved south to take advantage of cheap labor and use government goons to stop labor organizing.

I have my doubts as to whether there will be a fair election, but we must at least know who has our best interests in their hearts and minds.  And then vote and do whatever we can to hold their feet to the fire, whatever the outcome.

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By Shenonymous, December 4, 2007 at 10:34 pm Link to this comment

E, yes loud and clear.  I agree that the office of president is the most important choice an American can make.  Your arguments for Kucinich is compelling and I guess I will watch the flow of consensus at least up to the primary here in Texass.  I am totally concerned that a Democrat win that office.  If it looks like Kucinich has the hearts and minds of the country, I will definitely vote for him.  I have no problem whatsoever in doing that.  I just want Dems to win regardless of their being called dumocrats.  As far as Edwards goes, he is not Mr. Perfect either, but I give him a low learning curve and he seems to hear the heart of the people beating at least.  I will keep watching the posts for more persuasions.  Have a good evening.

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By cann4ing, December 4, 2007 at 9:55 pm Link to this comment

S—thanks for bringing the NPR debate to my attention.  You are correct, this was the first debate that truly addressed the substance.

I am a bit perplexed by your comment that Kucinich’s touting of his virtues being a “bad habit.”  These debates amount to interviews for the highest office in the land.  What more appropriate forum for the candidate to tout his or her virtues?

You may feel it pedantic for Kucinich to continuously point out on issue after issue that he was the only one on the stage who, for example voted against the trade pact with China, whereas Edwards supported that agreement and is now bemoaning its effects. 

One of the critical issues in selecting a president is what their judgments were in real time.  Take Iraq, for example.  It’s nice for Edwards to now come forward and say he made a mistake in voting to authorize the president to use force in Iraq, but the fact is that both Kucinich and Edwards had access to the same intelligence.  Kucinich, in real time, made the right choice—there was no basis for asserting that a nation crippled by 13 years of UN sanctions presented a clear and present danger to the nation (the US) which possesses history’s the most powerful arsenal so that the only option was a pre-emtive strike. 

I think the selection of a president is the most important decision any citizen can make.  While that substance cannot be achieved only in a debate format, I did find it interesting that Kucinich was the only candidate who appropriately linked immigration to NAFTA. 

As to my last post, I was focused on Obama and Clinton because they were the ones who voted for the extension of NAFTA into Peru.  I was not touting either Biden or Dodd, merely commenting on the fact they voted against it.  Kucinich voted against the same measure in the House.  Edwards is not currently an office holder, so he wasn’t mentioned.

While I think Edwards is preferable to Clinton or Obama, he has not been candid on health care.  His “universal coverage” plan is merely a variation of the subsidy scheme Obama & Clinton provide the healthcare insurance industry.  There is a major difference between “universal coverage” and single-payer in that only the latter removes for-profit carriers and HMOs from the equation.  If you watched Sicko! you will understand why that is essential.

I have advanced a challenge to anyone posting at Truthdig to set forth a single policy position on “any” issue in which one of the other candidates’ position is substantively superior to that taken by Mr. Kucinich.  Not one poster has come forward.  That speaks volumes.

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By Jaki, December 4, 2007 at 9:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

#117975 by GreenJoel on 12/04 at 3:54 pm Re Ron Paul:  “The guy is not like most other politicians…especially when it comes to protecting OUR rights and OUR system of law (most importantly in the sense of not having a remote and easily corrupted federal bureaucracy stepping all over OUR civil liberties).

To you, GreenJoel, I ask:  Were you including women in your definition of “our?”

As far as our “System of Laws” and our “civil liberties” are concerned, a woman’s right to choose to control her own body is covered by the US Constitution’s RIGHT TO PRIVACY, as well as the Supreme Court’s decision on the matter.

Ron Paul, and all of the other Repugnicans, want to overturn Roe v. Wade. I have a previous post on this subject re the consequences of that barbaric idea, in case you might want to expand your awareness a bit.

#116581 by Shenonymous on 11/28 at 8:35 am “The real atheists have no interest in religious issues save that religion seriously impacts the conduct of their everyday life.  It is when that happens that the atheist gets political.  Atheists have no special quarrel with Judaism, they contend that all religions have no evidenced basis.”

Hear Hear!  And it is certainly the case that religion DOES SERIOUSLY IMPACT THE CONDUCT OF EVERY WOMAN’S EVERY DAY LIFE.  Otherwise, we would not be
dealing with the “Anti-Choice” fanatics, and/or those who would oppose medical progress through the use of stem cells.

They like to call themselves “Pro-Life”, but the reverse is true.  Religion is the most dangerous anti-life force in the world.  It has brought us (and the planet) to the brink of destruction with over-population and wars.

I’ve never been able to get any religious person I speak with to give a reasonable answer to the question:  If you are “Pro-Life,” then why are you not “Anti-War?”  I guess it’s o.k. to go to places we are not wanted and kill their children, but not to allow a woman (anywhere) to guide the course of her own life by destroying a few unwanted microscopic cells.

It is religions who think they have the right to determine when life begins, when consciousness begins, that there is a “soul,” and that God exists, and, of course, is always male.

Many people think atheists deny the existence of any form of “god” or divine presence.  That is not true.
As you so eloquently implied, we simply have not been persuaded by the myriad myths, fairy tales, and other “stories,” written by humans and preserved.

I prefer to “entertain possibilities,” but have no absolute “faith” or “belief” in any kind of supernatural force.
I simply do not know.

What I do believe and know is that we definitely need to get religious influence out of our political system and our schools.  Candidates for public office should never be asked questions about their religious beliefs.  Religious freedom HAS to include the right not to be religious.  Freedom OF religion must also include freedom FROM religion.  This country is going in the wrong direction.  It is very scary.

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By Shenonymous, December 4, 2007 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment

If you go to npr.org it is right now listed as the top story and an audio link is included.  I was so taken with the debate, I’m going to listen again.  The candidates were, uh,... I’m not trying to be flippant, but were candid.

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By cann4ing, December 4, 2007 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment

S.  I didn’t hear the NPR debate.  Do you have a link where it is available?

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By antispin, December 4, 2007 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, I was interested in you comment that Paul would conduct a “decimation of education,” so I did a little research on Paul’s positions re ed and found (see below) some things that line up with the Libertarian approach to education, which I find aPauling (sorry.)  These people think we should go native and have no public education at all.  This is madness!  On the other hand, NCLB is the worst of all worlds.  Has anyone asked the candidates where they stand on NCLB?  DK is against it, but HRC has no opinion? 

From http://www.ontheissues.org/default.htm :
Ron Paul on Education
Don’t impeach judges for decisions on legislature prayers. (Sep 2007)
Present scientific facts that support creationism. (Sep 2007)
Equal funds for abstinence as contraceptive-based education. (Sep 2007)
Tax-credited programs for Christian schooling. (Sep 2007)
Guarantee parity for home school diplomas. (Sep 2007)
Voted NO on allowing Courts to decide on “God” in Pledge of Allegiance. (Jul 2006)
Voted NO on $84 million in grants for Black and Hispanic colleges. (Mar 2006)
Voted NO on allowing school prayer during the War on Terror. (Nov 2001)
Voted NO on requiring states to test students. (May 2001)
Voted NO on allowing vouchers in DC schools. (Aug 1998)
Voted YES on vouchers for private & parochial schools. (Nov 1997)
Abolish the federal Department of Education. (Dec 2000)
Rated 67% by the NEA, indicating a mixed record on public education. (Dec 2003)
Supports a Constitutional Amendment for school prayer. (May 1997)

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By Jaki, December 4, 2007 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

r#117838 by Shenonymous on 12/04 at 1:59am

Shenonymous:  Ooops!  I goofed.  It was late and I responded on the wrong blog.  It was meant for an article called “Have They No Shame,” by Amy (also on Truthdig, 11/27/07).  Senior Moment.

That article is about torture and the Dumocrats’ decision to have General Sanchez represent them in some way.

I apologize for causing you the inconvenience of looking for the attacks on Amy Goodman on this blog, but thank you for supporting me (and Amy & Democracy Now!).

Some of my comments were, however, germane to both articles, particularly with regard to those attention-seeking, bullying narcissists who take the discussion off in a totally irrelevant direction and persist in doing so, ad nauseum. 

I’m not against diversions.  They can sometimes be very enlightening. Ernest Canning has an ability to weave seemingly diverse facts of history into a cohesive whole that has often amazed me and certainly I have learned from it.  Others, including yourself, have a talent for this as well.  And you make it interesting.

The others are, well, tedious at best. 

You know who I’m talking about.  There’s no need to name them.  That only adds fuel to their fire.
I’ve been learning through life not to respond to them at all, if I can help myself.  Saves a lot of energy and stress.

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By Shenonymous, December 4, 2007 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment

#117897 and #117977 Ernest Canning
Ernest, if I may call you that, even though I may have elsewhere I apologize for not having asked permission.  At any rate, take heart.  As I have mentioned on occasion, I have high regard for your opinions and your most rational presentations.  So know that you are respected at least by me.  I was won over to the Edwards camp just the other day, but I am still keeping my mind open to Kucinich, and Obama.  I noticed you ignored Edwards at #117977.  While I think Dodd and Biden are very fine politicians, I don’t think they are winners at the level we are talking about. They just don’t have that sparkle.  And in listening now several times to Rep. Gravel, including his fantasy debate, decidedly I do not have much interest in his habitual castigations.  While he may have seeds of good sense, his constant but somewhat obsessed limited palette of issues eliminates him from any further consideration by me.  His place is to be a gadfly and only a gadfly.

I was riveted by the NPR Iowa radio debate today and I took copious notes because I am completely committed to finding out who will be the best next President of our country.  I found the exchange very gripping and I hung on to every word of every candidate.  This is what I concluded and I more than welcome anyone else’s conclusion who actually listened to the debate.  I found that there is not a whole lot of difference between the candidates, Kucinich included.  There was no bashing of the “female” but Hillary Clinton did get some deserved criticism, although she explained herself calmly and fairly well, I disagree with her rationale.  I have huge disagreement with all of their notions regarding illegal immigration but that is for another forum, not here (as is the clash over Zionism, anti-Zionism and it ought to disappear as Nabib Ammari implores).  The debate:  it was the best thing radio did but I have some criticism about the procedure NPR followed:  they had three main questions, with an added one at the end so in reality they had four.  All candidates were supposed to have opportunity to address the questions, but in fact they did not.  You will have to visit NPR and listen to it for the various slidings over.  All candidates, including Gravel, did have several chances to speak but I would have preferred they all had opportunity to address every question.  Again, while this is not the forum to explicitly go over the debate, although Ernest Canning at #1179977 does give some insight into some candidates, albeit with his bias throw in, but that’s okay by me, I will say that I am still impressed with John Edwards, but Kucinich and Obama made a lot of points too.  Kucinich has a bad habit of touting his virtues that is a bit bothersome to my sensibilities.  Obama sounded much more firm on his positions than I’ve heard him before and I was affected by his answers.  Since they are very close, it is going to take from now until the primaries or caucuses for simple nuances to sway votes I do believe, at least that is the way it is for me.  I will look forward to hearing the Republican debate, well maybe not as much.

Now to take care of Conservative Yankee on another discussion board.

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By Shenonymous, December 4, 2007 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

Gee, GreenJoel, don’t wash that hand!  Maybe the limerence will wash off!  I am part of the zealots and trolls brigade who has seen into the pathetic Ron Paul political libertarian program.  And no thank you, to the decimation of education, devastation of Social Security, ruination of Medicare, wrecking the United States participation in the world community.  If you aren’t too lazy perhaps you might take the time to read all 630 posts here and see just who you are calling zealots and trolls.  That is if you have any capacity for discrimination.  Many reasoned arguments have been put on various sides of the issues, I’ll accept being called a zealot, but no one can rightly be called a troll.  Your mindless name calling will not be tolerated!

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By cann4ing, December 4, 2007 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment

Support for either Obama or Clinton translates into support for the neoliberal policies embodied in NAFTA & the WTO.  Where Biden, Dodd, seven of nine freshman Democratic Senators, and a majority of House Democrats including Dennis Kucinich all opposed expansion of a NAFTA-like agreement into Peru, Senators Clinton and Obama both voted to supported.  As noted by Lori M. Wallach, Director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch Division, “Clinton’s support for the Peru FTA suggests that her recent call for ‘a time-out’ on trade agreements apparently begins only after she votes for one more NAFTA-style agreement.  The fact that Obama was the first Democratic presidential candidate to announce his support for the Peru NAFTA expansion two months ago makes his recent attacks on Clinton regarding NAFTA bizarre.

http://www.citizen.org/pressroom/release.cfm?ID=2558

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By GreenJoel, December 4, 2007 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanks for an honest & thoughtful discussion of Dr. Paul.

The man is certainly not perfect (who amongst us claims to be?) but his message and history of integrity are better than any politician that I’ve seen in my lifetime, IMO.

I can understand that some of his votes/stances on certain issues are easily written off as being callous towards people or possibly wrongheaded…however, it takes a bit more research and understanding than to just look at the title of a bill/law and accept it at face value.

When you start to read these bills/laws, you begin to understand that the titles are not necessarily reflective of their actual content.

Also, if you REALLY read the U.S. Constitution (yes, it was written many years ago, but it IS our rule of law and the foundation of our system of government…not to mention a very clear re-affirmation of our supposedly inalienable rights) you can begin to understand the impetus that has driven Congressman Paul’s voting record.

Certainly it can be difficult to get things accomplished when you stick to your principles to the extent that Ron Paul has…however, that is more of a commentary on the ease with which the rest of Congress has sold out than it is on Congressman Paul’s voting record, IMO.

I am certainly NOT a celebrity-worshipper; I’m way too old for one thing, and that sort of thing has never been in my nature.

I’ve met Ron Paul (well, shook his hand and greeted him) a few times, and have heard him speak with people from all walks of life…not to mention done all sorts of research about his 20 or so years of public service.

The guy is not like most other politicians, IMO - he seems (over his many years of public life) to have been consistent with his convictions, especially when it comes to protecting our rights and our system of law (most importantly in the sense of not having a remote and easily corrupted federal bureaucracy stepping all over our civil liberties).

In addition, he seems to have put many years of effort into his understanding of economic and foreign policy matters and appears to have a very common-sense, ethical approach to both.

The hundreds of Ron Paul supporters that I’ve met and worked with (all volunteers, with the exception of 2) over the last few months also seem to be a fairly honest, well-researched and passionate crowd - not the brainless, idiotic zombies that a few people have mentioned.

Certainly there are trolls and raving lunatics across the spectrum of society - especially on the internet (where the cloak of anonymity makes it all the easier to claim you’re a supporter of one person when perhaps you’re actually not…).

Don’t let the zealots and trolls deter you from doing your own research on the candidates; their history and the things they hold important…this election is much too important to not be fully informed.

Read AS MANY NEWS SOURCES AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN - please do not trust the majority of mainstream media outlets, who would prefer that we obsess about Brittany or Paris all day long. If you see a slam on one of the candidates, please do not just accept it at face value; research it from all angles until you get to the bottom of it.

Thanks and best wishes.

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By Nabih Ammari, December 4, 2007 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To:All Bloggers who care to adhere firmly to the topic
at hand"Cheering for Ron Paul”.

This topic has attracted 626 commentary posts and still
counting.Some of the posts did not deviate from Ron
Paul,as the topic at hand.Some others argued about their preference for the presidential nomination.Still others got involved(myself included,and I hated it)in
a topic had absolutely nothing to do with"Cheering
for Ron Paul”.

My interest has been from the very beginning is to
follow the posts that adhere only to the topic at
hand.And that is Ron Paul and where he stands;and see where this follow-up will lead me to.The following posts are the ones that have met my criterion.Whether I agree with the content of each
post or not is really not important and really beside
the point.I have excluded my own posts about Ron Paul
because I have spelled out to whom I am giving my support
at this time of the campaigns:

#115991 by PatrickHenry on 11/26 at2:10 pm.
#115975 by Sleeper on 11/26 at 4:28 am.
#115635 by cyrena on 11/24 at 8:05 pm.
#115634 by cyrena on 11/24 at 8:04 pm.
#115235 by cyrena on 11/23 at 11:30 am.
#115432 by Shenonymous on 11/24 at 5:38
#115204 by Shenonymous on 11/24 at 8:20 pm.
#115410 by Nomascendo on 11/24 at 1:48 am.
#115311 by Nomascendo on 11/23 at 3:44 pm.
#115146 by Dave23 on 11/22 at 3:28 pm.
#115169 by Outrage on 11/22 at 2:26 pm.
#115173 by Paolo on 11/22 at 3:05.
#115135 by Bobadi on 11/22 at 12:51.
#115113 by Mikel on 11/22 at 11:43 am.
#115012 by Beky on 11/21 at 6:50 pm.
#115013 by Dennis Moss on 11/21 at 8:26 pm.
#115010 by Dave23 on 11/21 at 6:47.
#115007 by Dan Uu Noel on 11/21 at 6:28 pm.
#114999 by Nomascendo on 11/21 at 5:21 pm.
#114981 by miz on 11/21 at 3:00 pm.
#114920 by Paul Supporter on 11:21 at 6:56 am.
114902 by Borowski on 11/21 at 51:13.

There are others who really did not deviate from
the topic,but they were too short in comparison to
the above posts.

If anyone cares to stick to the topic at hand,he/she can pick-up any of the above posts and explore it
further to help all of us reach some kind of common
denominator about Ron Paul,although I no longer
support him. In spite of that I have respected his
position on some issues,particularly his strong
position against the war before the war
even started.For a Republican to take such a position , at that time,
has to be a big plus for Ron Paul;and I stop there.
Sincerely,
Nabih Ammari
An Independent in Ohio.

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By cann4ing, December 4, 2007 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

Last week, Paul Krugman, who, as Michael Moore aptly demonstrated in Sicko, has himself published articles demonstrating that being “insured” does not amount to being “covered” when it comes to actual receipt of necessary medical care, published an op ed which discussed at length the variable “universal coverage” plans, especially Obama’s, without once mentioning “single-payer” or the only candidate who is proposing it, Dennis Kucinich.

I responded with a letter to the editor noting that the universal coverage plans of Obama/Edwards/Clinton are merely variations on a scheme to subsidize the health care insurance industry.  I noted that Krugman did not mention single-payer or Kucinich because favorable mention of Kucinich is taboo on the editorial pages of the New York Times.

The Times responded by telling me they would publish a redacted version of my letter either in its electronic version or both in print and electronic versions.  The redaction removed my last sentence which had said that favorable mention of Kucinich was taboo on the editorial pages of the Times.

This morning, the New York Times proved my redacted point by publishing my redacted letter only in their electronic paper, knowing full well that the printed version reaches far more than the electronic version.

Here at Truthdig, I am disappointed that posters who should know better keep up Obama, Obama, Obama like a mantra.  If you get behind the carefully erected corporate image and examine the actual content of his policies, “universal coverage” being one, you will find that there is very little “substantive” difference between Obama and Clinton—certainly nothing that would warrant choosing him rather than Mr. Kucinich.

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By Nabih Ammari, December 4, 2007 at 8:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To:#117838 by Shenonymous on 12/04 at !:59 am

Shenonemous,

Your two paragraphs of comments are not just excellent,
but absolutely OUTSTANDING.Thank you.

I do hope that others will just adhere to the essence
of the article"Cheer for Ron Paul”.That is what I had
called for in the very beginning.It is just fine,for
any person, to criticize those who fell in the trap
of deviation(myself included),as long as those who
criticized others could avoid falling in the very
same trap of deviation others fell into.And in boring length.

Sincerely,
Nabih Ammari
An Independent in Ohio.

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By Shenonymous, December 4, 2007 at 7:14 am Link to this comment

This a.m. I heard a mock caucus held by NPR in Iowa I think yesterday, and it was very interesting.  Actually NPR has an audio link to it at npr.org this morning. Democrats and Republicans attended.  I was impressed by the frankness and concerns.  A written account accompanies the article.  While ending the war for the Democrats was a very high priority, healthcare might even eclipse that with these voters.  I highly encourage you (all) to listen to the 8 minute or so broadcast.  Obama and Edwards had highest percent of intended voters in the latest survey with 28% for Obama, 23% for Edwards.  All told at this point, I agree with you Cyrena and while my eyes are filled with Edwards because of his apparent honesty, since the election has not yet happened and it will still be a couple of weeks before action really gets started, I am keeping an open mind about Obama.  It sticks in my craw that I can’t vote for the first woman to be taken seriously for this the highest office of our country.  Her record and affiliations bother me a great deal.  I detest political posturing, which is why I am attracted to Edwards in that I see very little, if any really, in him.  My vision is a bit overwhelmed by the political rhetoric flying about that I want my mind now to sort it all out.

From the Republicans there, Ron Paul was not mentioned, Romney was criticized, and Giuliani and Huckabee were both given support by the Republicans.  No other candidate was even referred to, or if they did I missed it.  The lack of interest in Paul was a bright indication for me that he doesn’t have the traction some might think.  I personally think the Christian conservative Huckabee is more threatening as a candidate, and I can only hope that Giuliani, Romney, and Huckabee cancel each other out.  Whoever gets the Republican nomination is the target for me at any rate.  Regardless of the money Paul is gathering, I think his affect has reached its zenith.  There is that perennial breaking point in all things where the maximum effect is achieved and then it’s all down hill or diminishes.

I make it a point to listen to Amy Goodman everyday and even participate in some forums that are generated by her written articles.  I think she is one of the perfect journalistic jewels.  I couldn’t stand closer to you and Jaki and thank you both for your much needed clarifying statements.

Re: LWM’s comments on Goodman, et al.  I agree with his take, if anyone is taking a straw poll on this issue, except that Stewart and Colbert are hysterically funny but often very obtuse and I think the underlying political humor is not understood by all that many.  But I wouldn’t miss them every night myself.

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By Leefeller, December 4, 2007 at 7:05 am Link to this comment

Yes, I remember the attack on Amy Goodman, it was a blatant insult to disrupt the topic. It was not worthy of response. The misanthropic form of posting we see here very often and in power.

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By LWM, December 4, 2007 at 5:36 am Link to this comment

Criticism of Amy Goodman?

What nonsense. Amy Goodman has the only real news and analysis on TV. Some notable exceptions on PBS, Bill Moyers, mostly. MSNBC tries with Olbermann. And of course, John Stewart and Colbert. Obama a neocon?

It should be clear to the reader here that I am essentially a non-interventionist when foreign policy is involved.  I have “followed the drum” in many quixotic efforts to improve the general lot of mankind.  The first was the Kennedy era “Alianza para el Progreso.”  That was a splendid effort, but it failed in the end becaause the latifundistas liked things just fine as they had been, and, in the end, these were all their countries, and not ours.  That is the essential problem in trying to “reform” countries that do not wish to be reformed.  In the end, one must depart and they remain to do whatever pleases them.
An alternative would be to occupy the country(ies) in question for a hundred years or so, suppress opposition and impose our view of the goodness (truthiness?) of things. 
That is called colonialism and the neocons are essentially colonialists. 
On the basis of his public statements regarding what his foreign policy might be, I would have to say that Barack Obama sounds a lot like the neocons, that is, an agressive, utopian interventionist who might well pursue his ideals overseas.  At the same time, his self-image as a “man of destiny,” a Lincolnesque figure, may lead to attempts to transform the United States into something different, something I would not want to experience.  People are always talking about “change” in our elections as though change itself is a benefit.  Perhaps we should begin to ask what change is intended. pl

I can deal with some change. I think he makes a fair case about Obama and he uses his Obama’s own words to do it. At the link.

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By cyrena, December 4, 2007 at 1:59 am Link to this comment

#117329 by Shenonymous

•  Barack Obama’s political rhetoric is attractive but still rings hollow as political bombast and at this point I am more persuaded by Edwards.  I will keep an open mind, and hope any of you can provide arguments either for or against this conclusion.

Shenonymous,

Wish I’d seen this before, but my notifications come through kind of spotty.
I DO “hear you” though, on this with Edwards and Obama. I understand the thing with not being sure about Obama, but I have a feeling it’s because he’s relatively new at this. I mentioned on another post, that it had always been my ‘fear’ for him, that he could somehow become corrupted by the process. So, I’ve been sort of back and forth myself. But, I’m going to check him out again toward the end of next week, just because I’ll be in the area where he’ll be speaking anyway. So, we’ll see if he says anything new or different. (though I admit I was renewed a bit by his appearance in Iowa)

For John Edwards, I agree that he’s a good guy. I only worry about him for slightly the same reasons that others claim as a reason to worry about Obama. I wonder if he’s not semi naïve, if only because he HASN’T become corrupted. What a paradox that is, eh? In other words, I’m very grateful that he came out and admitted that he had erred in approving the action against Iraq, but it worries me that he didn’t check it out thoroughly enough to know that it was illegal, and that the information being used was bogus. Too many of us did, so that worries me that he did not. I’ve never doubted his sincerity though, and that’s important. I only don’t know if he can survive the snakes, because they won’t go away. Into hiding maybe, but not away. No doubt I’m far more paranoid than I was 8 years ago, but that’s the way it is. I just want to feel assured that HE’S paranoid enough!!

I’ve also discovered far more alarming stuff about Ron Paul. Enough that I think he really COULD turn very fascist. Yep, I do. I was kicked into this next stage of alarm when I discovered that he is on the home page of the John Birch Society’s website.

http://www.jbs.org

And, he gave a speech to that organization just recently. I’ve also concluded that the Libertarian thing isn’t really libertarian. At least not in my view. He’s pretty determined to overturn Roe v Wade, so I’m having a very difficult time trying to figure out how or why anybody can call him a Constitutionalist. Because, after all of the rhetoric, and all of the Jesus talk, the guy is still a racist from the 14th district of Texas, and when he complains about supposed ‘regulation’ the truth of the matter is that he comes from a state and a district that doesn’t have any to begin with. At least not for the Enrons, or the Halliburton’s, or the Chevron’s or the Exxon Mobiles. Texas is already one of only 3 states that doesn’t collect state income tax, (ergo, the reason it’s such a haven for these corps) and he resents that they even have to pay federal taxes. So, my opinion is that he is more of a separatist type fascist with privatization, and continued gentrification being number one on the agenda. Actually, I see 21st Century colonization from Ron Paul.

As for the comments that Jaki mentioned about Amy Goodman, I have indeed seen many. I didn’t go all the way back on this thread, (though my memory tells me that there were some) but I’ve definitely seen them on others. But, they’re generally from the same crazies. Like the one who claims that John Lewis is ‘authoritarian” in one post, and then calls him ‘spineless’ in the next. Still, not many.

And, Jaki certainly spoke my own story when she talked about the lifesaver that Amy Goodman had become. I would have gladly escaped my homeland after Dick Bush came to power, if only I could have. It truly the most depressing time in my life, knowing what was ahead. Amy helped me keep my sanity. Like… so. there IS hope!! (and at least a nugget of intelligent life left in the country).

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By Shenonymous, December 3, 2007 at 11:59 pm Link to this comment

I couldn’t agree with you more, Jaki.  Eloqently said.  Were there more reporters of Amy Goodman’s quality, America would be much better informed and able to make judicious and knowledgeable political decisions. 

But…are you referring to something said within the scope of this forum?  Am I missing something?  Because I just reviewed every single post and couldn’t find any aspersions made against the brilliant Amy Goodman.  Maybe I’m too sleepy??  But even if it is not here on this discussion board, I still concur with you.

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By Jaki, December 3, 2007 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I would imagine by now most of us are bored silly by those who seek attention by inserting long, vitriolic diatribes completely unrelated to the article under discussion.  I know I am.

But before I exit I want to say something about the personal attacks directed at Amy Goodman.

I have been an activist on the left and in the women’s movement for over 40 years.  When Reagan got elected I almost left the country.  When Little Bush got elected, I reconsidered that option, but because being in the Belly of the Beast seems to be my fate, I stayed and continued to speak out.  However, as
the Fascist Regime rolled on, with a second term, feelings of hopelessness and futility started creeping into my daily existence, until a friend asked me if I was listening to Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman.

Like a life preserver tossed to a drowning woman in an ocean of garbage, Amy has saved my sanity and given me a shot of hope with the awareness that there are others—many others—out there who are continuing to work toward peace, justice, and a better world.
She has the best interviews on television, with the brightest minds in the world, as well as very interesting, committed ordinary people doing good works, and she does this on a daily basis.  Today’s broadcast on StoryCorps is a poignant example (read the transcript at http://www.democracynow.org).

She labors tirelessly during the rest of her time, going around the country speaking out at colleges, universities, other places where people gather to hear her speak truth to power.

When she was suddenly afflicted with Bell’s Palsy and one side of her face became immobile, she carried on, not missing a day.  How many of you would do that?

If those of you who attack Amy Goodman knew her history, you might instead choose to speak of her as a truly gifted, courageous woman in these times and I’m sure there are millions out there who
share my feelings of respect and gratitude toward her and those who produce Democracy Now!—and share my disgust toward those who know nothing about what she is doing or who she really is and hurl invective toward her just to get attention.

I watch DN! twice a day so I don’t miss any part of it or so I can record the ones I want to share with others.  I’ve read Amy’s two books (co-authored with her brother, David).  I’ve attended gatherings in my little city several times to hear her speak, always with humility, humor, elegant articulation, passion, and powerful commitment to the struggles of ordinary people against the forces of oppression.

She is a shimmering star (not in the superficial sense) and deserves every accolade she has received (and there have been many) for her sterling journalistic achievements and contributions to humanity and our world.  We need more people like her in our broadcast media.  She needs our support and encouragement, not venomous barbs.

I could not let this go without speaking my mind and heart.

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By Nabih Ammari, December 2, 2007 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To:#117530 by LWM on 12/02 at 10:50.

LWM wrote:“Whatever Nabih Ammari,There is more than enough steam,and plenty of friction,as it is.That is my
point.I do not have a dog in the hunt.You do.”

Well,LWM,The intelligent one:I have no problem accepting your “First Two” statements given above.My
problem is with the last “Two Statements” because I
believe they are less than honest.I wondered why you had to get yourself involved in a heated arguments
with other bloggers about Zionism/Israel,if you realy
have no dog in the hunt???

Sir,If have “a dog in the hunt”,I must remind you
that you have, at least,EIGHT of them in your hunt:

(1)Christian Zionism.
(2)General Zionism.
(3)Labor Zionism.
(4)Political Zionism.
(5)Reform Zionism.
(6)Religious Zionism.
(7)Revisionist Zionism.
(8)Cultural Zionism.

Remember,you used all of the above EIGHT Zionisms
in your own Post#115911 by LWM on 11/28,just to
justify your accusation against Robert,PatrickHenry,
(probably Non Credo,as all being “Anti-Semites”,the
standard accusation,and I must say a Cheapened One
at that,the Zionists and Israeli apologists and
propagandists automatically used/use in their attempts to silence critiques of Israel/Zionism.Sir,
you are not out of all this.Therefore,your claim that
you have no dog in the hunt is FALSE at best and
DiSHONEST at worst.

Have a nice day.
Sincerely,
Nabih Ammari
An Independent in Ohio.

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By LWM, December 2, 2007 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

Whatever, Nabih Ammari.

There is more than enough steam there, and plenty of friction, as it is. That’s my point. I don’t have a dog in that hunt. You do.

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By Shenonymous, December 1, 2007 at 7:41 am Link to this comment

Through my campus library’s electronic media, I was able to acquire the JSTOR document on the rise of fascism in Israel and am finding it fascinating.  That was 1980, but even 27 years now later it seems there is the element of truth, if indeed it is truth, which would by its very nature hold up.  I do think the writers of the journal article were describing objectively the phenomena of fascism ascending.  I think evidence of it exists in the middle east today most visible in Pakistan, and elsewhere, albeit disappointingly, as we are witnessing in Venezuela, and as it does right here in the USA with the unconscionable ubiquitous actions of the present administration.  I think that same description applies to the basic beliefs of people and in experiencing Ron Paul in interviews and writings, I continue to believe he is not anywhere near the right man to lead this country.  While I don’t think Paul is fascist, I do believe he would use the power of the office of president to impose his libertarian ideals and will on the country.

I have been finding, however, as a person who would seek consensus of the public, John Edwards much more appealing in terms of his positions and he has much more appeal to the bulk of Americans than does the interesting and apparently principled Dennis Kucinich.  Barack Obama’s political rhetoric is attractive but still rings hollow as political bombast and at this point I am more persuaded by Edwards.  I will keep an open mind, and hope any of you can provide arguments either for or against this conclusion.

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By Nabih Ammari, November 30, 2007 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To:#117096 by LWM on 11/30 at 11:30.

LWM,

I thought that you have your own view points on the
Zionists-Palestinians conflict.

Quoting a short statement by H.L.Menchen just to claim
that my argument is wrong does not make it wrong and
does not make you and him right.On the contrary,the
opposite of what you and him claim is closer to the
“Truth” because I have presented a system of thoughts
while you have failed to do so.

Sorry(and I mean it),LWM,for the fact that you have
run out of steam so quickly.
Sincerely,
Nabih Ammari
An Independent in Ohio

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By LWM, November 30, 2007 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment

Excuse me but is that an elephant in the room?

And where an elephant has been, a huge pile of elephant dung there remains.

Nabih Ammari,

every problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.

H. L. Mencken

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By Nabih Ammari, November 30, 2007 at 8:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

cyrena,

I read your communications with Tony Wicher(a hell of
good fellow with a splendid and open mind)about the
late Edward Said’s possible work with Barak Obama
when the latter was at Harvard.Being an Arab American
myself,like Professor Edward Said,I felt that I should
forget about my political independence for a while
and try to help out in your search of the relationship
between Obama and Said,if any existed.Therefore,I
suggest that you contact Janet MacMahon or Sara
Powell,Telephone:(202)265-4574.They may know,or at
least they may be able to give a clue as where to
search.They covered the activities of Edward for the
magazine they worked for.Good luck,cyrena,and as
always,I wish you the best of all best(s).
Sincerely,
Nabih Ammari.

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By Nabih Ammari, November 30, 2007 at 4:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To:#116813 by LWM on 11/29 at 8:14 am.

LWM,

Well,LWM,there are three operating words,in your response,deserve attention:“Oversimplification” and
“Rather Bias”:

Oversimplification:Since you are an intelligent person ,I assume that you know all about the intrinsic
nature of a principle called “The Principle of Cause
and Effect”.Among so many events that had occurred
in the Middle East for the last 80 years,including
the creation of the state of Israel in Palestine and
including the assassinations of Anwar Saddat of Egypt
and Ishaq Rabin of Israel, were nothing more than
the SYMPTOMS(EFFECTS) resulting from a real deep deep
“CAUSE”.The deep deep CAUSE of the whole conflict
was the arrival of bellicose and belligerent people
to the shores of Palestine;and through terror,force of
arms and international intrigues had succeeded in
creating the state of Israel.Most of those people
came initially from Eastern Europe and Russia.They
Knew nothing about the culture of the Palestinian
people,let alone the rest of the Arab World.

Rather Bias:Yes,LWM,I am not only “Rather Bias”,but
I am “VERY BIAS” For JUSTICE.When you achieve JUSTICE
the PEACE which all mankind strives for will be the
end result.It is simple:NO JUSTICE,NO PEACE.

For your information,all Arab States and the Muslim
countries have publicly declared that whatever the Palestinian people accept as a solution,it will be
acceptable to them.

Thus,as you may see, your argument is totally based on the SYMPTOMS(EFFECTS) of the conflict,while mine
is based on the real deep CAUSE of the conflict.Ask
any scientist or any physician, for that matter,which
is more important the CAUSE or SYMPTOMS(EFFECTS)??
I can assure you that the answer will be:The CAUSE.I am a scientist by formal education/training,although retired.

In short,your ways of complexity have been tried in
the last 60-80 years and have lead to the current
miserable political conditions we see in the Middle
East today.Why we do not try some thing “oversimplified”
but novel and daring a step as I have suggested?.You never
know what will happen until it is sincerely and honestly tried.When the arrogant Zionists become
real peace loving Jews,the whole people of the Arab World will respond in kind and their fellow
Muslims will support them world wide.
After working and touring the whole Middle East for
thirty years,I can assure you, no body wants to throw
the Israelis into the sea.Period.It is the arrogance
of the Zionist Israeli leadership and the fanatical
Settlers that anger people there.
Sincerely,
Nabih Ammari
An Independent in Ohio.

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By cyrena, November 29, 2007 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment

•  #116909 by PatrickHenry on 11/29 at 4:19 pm
Excuse me but is that an elephant in the room?
I did read the whole thing PatrickHenry. It was ‘interesting’. (a little scary, but that’s OK…) Meantime, if we look at this from the standpoint of an elephant in the room, I can only suggest that we better recognize it for what it is, before it runs us ALL over, and crushes us right beneath it’s feet. (kinda like the bull in the china store that is Dick Bush, and WON’T leave, even after tearing shit up for the past 7 years!!)
Now, among MANY of the things that ‘concerned’ me about this piece, this was one…
•  “By land, by air and by sea, the disciples of Ron Paul converged on the debate hall here in St. Petersburg, Fla.
That “disciples” stuff REALLY worries me. Because, it’s definitely a truism of these Paulites, (not my term, but rather the authors’ term) I’m just REALLY leery of this language. Didn’t used to be, but Lord knows I am now.
And, they go on….
•  There were two planes circling overhead, one flying a Ron Paul banner another with lights spelling out his name Goodyear Blimp-style. A ship circling in the bay just outside the hall was festooned with Ron Paul paraphernalia blaring martial music. In the park, just beyond the security fences erected around The Mahaffey Theater, the Paulites outfitted a group that was decidedly young and decidedly loyal with shirts and stickers and other assorted Paul gear.”
Sounds like a cross between an old time Bible thumpin’ ‘revival’ and a circus event. Now I’m not putting down revivals or circus events. But, is this REALLY how we want to choose our leaders? Oh my God! (no pun intended). I mean, if the guy starts speaking in tongues, will THAT be enough to pierce the surface of this façade?
Now it says here….
•  Dr. Paul commented, “The freedom message brings people together.”
So, WHAT ‘freedom’ message is he talking about? So far as I’ve been able to tell, his one and only ‘contribution’ to this political campaign has been to claim that he will bring the troops home. Now, how does that relate to a ‘freedom’ message?  Our democracy and constitution already have the ‘freedom’ message embodied in it. So really, shouldn’t we maybe just all READ the thing, and save the money on all the glitz and blimps, and petrol for the planes carrying the banners? Just a thought.

•  But make no mistake about it. CNN crucified Ron Paul on live television.

Well damn!! I missed it. (haven’t watched CNN for years). If there was a Ron Paul crucifixion going on though, it might have been worth a peek.

Beware of elephants in rooms. I love elephants, but they don’t belong in rooms. They prefer wide open spaces.

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By Shenonymous, November 29, 2007 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

Misery loves company is all I can say about the Florida deeliebob.  The description of the “haute couture” says it all.  Frustration over particular factors often brings out the single-minded and demagoguery really gets the gas going.  If I could provide the nails for CNN, I would.  But I have to agree the other Repugs are a bunch of blustering, sputtering idiots.

Cyrena, I can’t thank you enough for you kind comments.  No, I was not able to access JSTOR yet, but I’m an academic and most likely can do so through my campus account.  I appreciate your offer though. 

Yes, I was surprised at Holland’s kind of turnabout, but I chalk it up to journalistic grandstanding.  Same with Sheer.  I normally find them clearly observant. 

I find your posts always acute, informative, and passionate.  I like that a lot and find those three attributes the best in conscious posters, and non-posters too, maybe we can call them off-Bloggers?  I am always on the alert for your comments.  I couldn’t agree with you more on the flash you have of Ron Paul.  There are soldiers (not in the military sense) of Paul’s libertarianism and they are zealots.  But I think reason will prevail when the voters get in the booth.  Especially as it dawns on them what they are about to lose if they don’t vote in their own best interests.  The primaries will be very interesting and frankly I am excited to see what happens.  Right now the candidates are jockeying up for the caucuses and primaries and it is to the credit of this country that we Americans can have this kind of open discussion and debate.  I just look at fascist-like behaviors going on right now in Pakistan, Russia, South America, and elsewhere over the politics.  I do believe we have the best government in the world even though it gets on a weird tack every so often.  But like water, it finds its own level.

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By PatrickHenry, November 29, 2007 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

Excuse me but is that an elephant in the room?

By Karin Friedmann
karinfriedemann.blogspot.com
11-29-7

ORLANDO, Florida—Entering the CNN Republican “debate” Giuliani reportedly commented to Ron Paul, “Gee, you have a lot of supporters.”
 
Ron Paul replied, “This is only the beginning.”
 
Outside Ron Paul supporters filled several blocks. The supporters were described as a mix of “classy rich-looking people and hippy-looking people and people from all walks of life.”
 
The police commented that the Ron Paul people were the best crowd they ever dealt with. People were constantly thanking them for their service. The 160 anti-war protesters who came to protest the Republicans found ONLY fellow anti-war Ron Paul activists.
 
Dr. Paul commented, “The freedom message brings people together.”
 
Dr. Paul’s Abraham Lincoln persona has drawn hundreds of energetic volunteers to leave it all behind to become traveling vagabonds working for the Ron Paul presidential campaign across America, sleeping on the floors of people they met over the Internet.
 
The Florida Ron Paul meetup groups rented a park next to the debate hall as well as the Paladium Theatre, where 800 Ron Paul supporters watched the televised debate.
 
New York Times blogger, Marc Santora writes, “By land, by air and by sea, the disciples of Ron Paul converged on the debate hall here in St. Petersburg, Fla., in the hours before the debate here tonight. There were two planes circling overhead, one flying a Ron Paul banner another with lights spelling out his name Goodyear Blimp-style. A ship circling in the bay just outside the hall was festooned with Ron Paul paraphernalia blaring martial music. In the park, just beyond the security fences erected around The Mahaffey Theater, the Paulites outfitted a group that was decidedly young and decidedly loyal with shirts and stickers and other assorted Paul gear.”
 
Bloggers reported that no other candidates even had people holding signs.
Ron Paul wasn’t planning to run for president, but the American people pushed him to run and spontaneously organized behind him. 
 
But make no mistake about it. CNN crucified Ron Paul on live television.
 
A Zionist provocateur referred to Dr. Paul’s supporters as “Paulestinians,” but that is exactly what I was thinking when I was watching CNN. They gave Ron Paul the Palestinian treatment. The moderator was even calling him “Ron” instead of by his title.
 
After CNN’s online poll before the debate with Ron Paul getting 95% on the online votes, they managed to avoid asking him a question for 35 minutes. The only time Dr. Paul was addressed personally was with leading questions designed to trip him up or else a personal attack. He was never given more than 90 seconds to talk at a time even though he was the only candidate with anything of substance to say.
 
A commentator noted, “It was painful to watch CNN give the questions Paul is strongest on (taxes, monetary policy, saving Social Security) to everyone else Meanwhile, they asked Paul if he believes in conspiracies and what he’ll do when he loses.”
 
Another commentator wrote, “I thought it was really entertaining to hear McCain trying to say the troops were panting “Let us win” in front of the man whose call to bring the troops home has raised him more money from the military than any of the other candidates. Ron Paul is very much top-tier with his fundraising and astounding support and yet he got very little attention. It was cute seeing the other candidates trying to ape his policies, though. ”
 
“It is private property and they have the right to be biased,” replied Congressman Ron Paul.
 
Salon is one of the few media outlets that did not downplay the significance of Ron Paul’s mass popularity. “With his millions raised in online fund-raising and devoted base, we expect greater attention to be paid to what he has to say here tonight.”

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By cyrena, November 29, 2007 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment

#116804 by Shenonymous

Ah, Shenonoymous,

‘Tis a beautiful thing you’ve posted here, and I’d like to reiterate what I found to be of the utmost importance….

•  What does it mean to have the courage of one’s convictions?  This little aphorism always has a sweet ring to it.  What it means to me is A POSITION OF ENTRENCHMENT REGARDLESS OF THE MERITS OF THOSE CONVICTIONS.  And that saying is a seduction.

I put the real zinger in caps because I don’t know how to do the italics or bolding, but still, your words that I only wanted to emphasize. Because, it IS a mental rape, and it can and often does create a state of permanent ignorance, because once one is ‘entrenched’ in these convictions, it allows no room for any critical thinking.

So, I thank you for pointing this out is such clear language.

I also read the piece by Joshua Holland, though I’d not yet gotten to the comment section on Alternet, so I’m glad you re-posted it here as well. I should also say that I’m very puzzled over the defense of Ron Paul from SO MANY journalists who have always displayed far more insight. (Joshua Holland isn’t the only one to do this, as we see that a similar position was taken by Mr. Scheer right here). As a general rule, they both present far more political intuitiveness, so I’m really not at all sure what has prompted this seduction is respect to Ron Paul. I suspect though, that you’ve come closer than anyone else, to figuring it out. Or, maybe others have figured it out, and simply been unable (at least so far) to articulate it as well as you have with this post.

I’m more inclined to give up after a point, and just speak from the combination of my gut/mind/life experience. The guy is BAD NEWS. And, so for me, this cheering and defending of Ron Paul is a most grotesque and frightful experience of déjà vu, because I lived this 8 years ago, in the same lead up to the disaster of Dick Bush. Was I screaming into a vacuum? It would appear so, but whispering didn’t help either.

Anyway, thanks again. I’m hoping this will allow for some more penetration…through the glitz and all of the other superficial stuff, to uncover the decay beneath. Because, as you said, we ARE a 21t Century nation, and neither Ron Paul nor anyone else can take us back to the covered wagon, shoot ‘em up days of the wild, wild, west. That’s not where we want to be. Not even the most ignorant among us.

Did you ever get to that JSTOR article? Let me know if you still want it.

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By LWM, November 29, 2007 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

IPerhaps,it may summarize the CORE of the whole conflict in the Middle East.

Nabih Ammari

That is an oversimplification and a rather biased. There are extremists on both sides of the equation who do not want to see solutions and peaceful coexistence. Muslim extremists assassinated Sadat. Hebrew extremists assassinated Rabin. Israel is one nation. In the Muslim world, the Muslim street, you have a much more complex situation. Iranians aren’t Arabs, nor are Phillipinos or Asian Muslims in Indonesia and other countries. If the problem was as simple as you suggest, it would have been solved long ago. It’s not completely intractable, but unfortunately, neither is it as simple as you suggest.

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By Shenonymous, November 29, 2007 at 7:47 am Link to this comment

This is going to be a somewhat lengthy commentary.  I just finished posting it on AlterNet.og in response to an article by Joshua Holland. 
So to begin…
What does it mean to have the courage of one’s convictions?  This little aphorism always has a sweet ring to it.  What it means to me is a position of entrenchment regardless of the merits of those convictions.  And that saying is a seduction.  It is a kind of mental rape.  It often seems a virtue, and those arguing that that alone is reason enough to be excited and affected have calculated to confuse your critical brain.  But be forewarned, it is a historical practice of the people of this country to be persuaded in their political understandings by glitz and not reality, who do not exercise critical thinking skills because they have little or none or are too relaxed to use them if they have such ability.  And by virtue of that they become easy intellectual prey, victims of ignorance. 

Whether or not he intended to, the article of Joshua Holland on AlterNet.org glamorizes the candidacy of Ron Paul, and that of course is anyone’s prerogative.  The author rightly has mentioned the political positions of Ron Paul.  The main thrust of the argument however is that Presidential Candidate Paul is bewitching and has a burgeoning charisma mainly because of the positions of his compatriot Republican candidates.  He is somewhat, but just a tad, to the left of the entire bunch and none of them are saying anything to excite the imagination even of the voters of their own party. 

But it is wholly important that you do not become blinded by bandwagon charisma, and demagoguery.  Ron Paul’s convictions, if he is made President, will place him in a most influential and commandeering position as to nullify Roe v. Wade, and taking women’s rights back to pre-1960 days, dashing and slashing education funding, carving chunks out of Medicare, and most of all lacerating Social Security. 

Even though Paul has some good ideas most of them are traces of good, such as pulling in the belt, and reducing the military presence in the world.  We must be cautious of the degree that reduction will take.  Furthermore, and however his good ideas, he wants to hack all social programs where it should be only in places where excessive spending has gone corrupt.  His call to end the Bush/Iraq war is a major consideration as that was an illegal war to begin with and is depleting the national coffers, but it is not the only issue that will face Americans for the next decade, Even though he has these convictions, we must be very, very calculating in selecting the next President.

Remember that libertarian slogans will not promote your welfare and before you are swayed by a Republican, any Republican, and especially a libertarian Republican who wants America to become an isolationist nation to the degree of damaging further from what Bush has done to this country our place in the world, and butcher our much needed social programs that really need bolstered, it is your imperative, your duty to protect America; it is not one man’s responsibility, whose convictions promise to be detrimental and dangerous.  For like it or not, America is a country of the 21st century world.

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By Leefeller, November 29, 2007 at 6:44 am Link to this comment

If truth is a target, Kucisich seems to have more in his little finger than the rest put together.  Gravel says a lot of the right things, especially about the military complex. Ron Paul is the closest thing the Repubs can offer to the truth, must say disappointingly so.

Partisan politics is the name of the game, on top of that we get to choose from partisan special interests choices.

Best of the worst.

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By cyrena, November 29, 2007 at 2:27 am Link to this comment

#116608 by Tony Wicher

•  cyrena,
I did not know this. This is very important information. There are so many people on the left who are sensitive to the bad influence of Israel on the U.S. who could be persuaded to support Obama if they had this kind of evidence. If you have any links or references let me have them. Thank you.
—————————————————
Hi again Tony
Sorry this took so long, and I didn’t have a whole lot of luck, but I also didn’t try to get to any archives, and that’s what this would involve.

Actually, it was sort of a depressing search, because anything even semi-current, is just smear and slime between all of the radical camps.
The hard right is convinced that Barack is gonna have us all wearing burkhas, as if he’s some sort of closet Islamist, and the hard left is all pissed off because they think he’s abandoned the Palestinian cause, and started pandering to the Israel lobby.

The first part of that is total bullshit of course, and the second part is just too emotional and ideological, leaving aside any room for the inevitability of real politik, (I know that should be italicized, but I don’t know how).

Needless to say, I don’t believe that Barack is ‘pandering’ to the Israel Lobby though there’s no doubt that Hillary probably is, and everyone would like to throw them in the same boat, just for the hell of it, or just because they’re uninformed. Besides, if there’s one thing the hard right neo-cons are still real good at, it’s all of this non-sense propaganda.

So, with that said, I do have just these few links available for the moment. They don’t offer a whole lot, though the Nation may have something more available in it’s archives. I’ll have more time to look through them in a week or so. I’ll also see if Edward Said’s son has anything in his memory, or in print, that might be helpful. No promises there, but I will try to track him down while there’s still time before the primaries.

For the most part, people are paranoid about going on record with anything these days. (been like that several years now, eh?) So, the nuts and bolts of the lefts’ complaints about Barack (even those that knew him when he WAS involved with the Palestinian cause) are directed at what they consider to be a morphing away from that cause, and particularly since he’s entered the political scene as a presidential candidate. Ya just never can please all of the people, all of the time, and especially as long as there remain only 24 hours in any given day.

http://www.thenation.com/blogs/notion?pid=175173

http://www.socialistworker.org/2007-1/617/617_05_Obama.shtml

http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/03/barack_obama_and_israel_1.html

OH…You know that at one time, Barack did teach at De Paul’s school of law, so he may have had some conversations or other dealings with Norman Finkelstein at some point over the years. I didn’t try to look for anything like that, just because I’m sort of pressed for time. But, that may be a source.

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By cyrena, November 28, 2007 at 11:26 pm Link to this comment

•  #116520 by Shenonymous on 11/28 at 5:03 am
Non Credo, perhaps you could either copy the article from JSTOR here or post another link as one has to have a subscription to enter JSTOR or be able to use an academic server.  The link you provided gives a Sorry message, unable to retrieve. I am very interested in the article.  Thank you.

Shenonymous, or Non Credo,
Tell me which article it is that you’re trying to access from JSTOR, and I’ll see if there’s a way to get it for you. I’m guessing it would be too much to cut and paste, but I can turn it into an adobe doc and email it to you via the PM thing. (I guess, since I’ve never tried to generate a message that way). So, if you really wanted to read it, just let me know. I haven’t had time to go back through the thread to find it, but I’ll be happy to send it to you, since I do have access, and I’m working with a bunch of stuff from there now anyway.

•  #116699 by Nabih Ammari on 11/28 at 6:38 pm
(Unregistered commenter)
To:Robert,Non Credo,PatrickHenry,Ernest Canning,cyrena
and LWM and others I cannot remember their phony names
at the moment,
I suggest you read post #116531 on 11/28.Perhaps,it
may summarize the CORE of the whole conflict in the
Middle East.

Nabih,
Thanks for directing us to this post. I agree and appreciate it. I was also reflecting on what Ernest mentioned about how many comments have been posted on this thread regarding the Israel/Palestine conflict, (though certainly it’s not limited to this thread) which was initially an article on Ron Paul.
I’m not sure what to make of it. But, the timing is curious, at least for me. Here in my area, we’ve been sort of forewarned about the invasion of a group of David Horowitz types descending upon us to push their so-called “Islamo-fascist Awareness” program. (At least that’s what they call it). What they ARE of course, is a group spreading the standard anti-Islam hate mongering, determined to tag anybody who doesn’t subscribe to the Judeo-Christian label of fascism as a terrorist or jihadist.

Well, what we GOT, was a bunch of Ron Paul supporters, and as far as I’m concerned, they’re the same. They talk the same crap, and it’s all over this web-site as well.

So, the only defense is the truth, and of course that’s never a one dose thing. It has to be re-administered over, and over, and over again. And, we have to accept the fact that some folks will simply never get it, either because they honestly can’t, (which is actually the case on some occasions) or because they don’t WANT to, (which is the case more often than not.) After a while, we learn to recognize the difference.
Thanks again.

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By antispin, November 28, 2007 at 10:21 pm Link to this comment

Follow the money.  Remember Rumsfeld’s announcement of the missing 2.3 trillion dollars on 9.10.01?  The Pentagon ships tons of Benjamins to Iraq.  Who’s getting the contracts?  Twenty billion dollars are spent on getting Pentagon computers to do accounting.  Who got the contract for that? 

Elections are stolen like we’re some kind of banana republic and a comatose populace just sleepwalks through it. 

I’m so F*&&#xin; mad, I don’t know where to turn.  Can’t we get our own army to remove these occupiers from our government? 

Overthrow the occupiers!!!!!!!!

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By Nabih Ammari, November 28, 2007 at 8:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To:#116684 by LWM on 11/28 at 4:52 pm.

LWM,

Thank you for your prompt response which tells me plenty about you as a human being I could only respect,
regardless whether I agree with the content of your
posts or not.
I must further admit that your ability to organize
your thoughts has reconfirmed my first impression:you
are an extremely intelligent person with whom,I knew,
I could have a constructive conversation,even if we
disagreed.Again,thank you for your prompt response
and,indeed,for your well organized thoughts.

A few minutes ago,I have submitted another post.I have addressed it to a group of people,including you.
Please read it,if published.
Sincerely,
Nabih Ammari.

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By Jaki, November 28, 2007 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Tonight on the CNN Repugnican Presidential Debate, when asked if Roe v. Wade should be overturned, all who responded (including Ron Paul) said “yes” and Fred Thompson even said it would be his “#1 priority” and that the test would be in appointing the right judges to the Supreme Court (like the past seven years).

So, women out there who want yourselves and your daughters and granddaughters (and all women and girls) to have control over our own bodies and to have the RIGHT OF PRIVACY AS GUARANTEED BY OUR CONSTITUTION, gonna vote for any of these Repugnicans?

And that goes for you men with daughters, too (and those other men who are awake).  Do you really believe that telling teenagers to “abstain” works?  Ever heard of hormones?

Women and girls will get pregnant when they don’t want to.  Legal or not, they will seek abortions.
In the 60s before Roe v. Wade, over 100,000 American women a year died from botched abortions.

A humane and enlightened society will provide safe, professional, non-judgmental pregnancy-termination services at a reasonable cost, if not free.

For you Greenies out there who think this is a side issue, have you noticed how much the population of the world has increased over the past decade?  Do you think this has anything to do with Global Warming, water pollution, and other forms of planetary degradation?  Are you aware that U.S. Aid to impoverished foreign countries under the Bush Administration is tied to their making a commitment NOT TO PROVIDE FAMILY PLANNING, birth control information or devices, or any form of abortion?

Want more of the same?  Elect a Repugnican.

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By cyrena, November 28, 2007 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment

#116608 by Tony Wicher

Hi Tony,

On the Edward Said connection….give me an hour or so. I’m just getting back to this thread. I know I have some of this stored on my system, but it might be quicker for me to actually search it on line.

I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

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By Nabih Ammari, November 28, 2007 at 7:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To:Robert,Non Credo,PatrickHenry,Ernest Canning,cyrena
and LWM and others I cannot remember their phony names
at the moment,

I suggest you read post #116531 on 11/28.Perhaps,it
may summarize the CORE of the whole conflict in the
Middle East.

Peace will come to the Middle East when the bellicose
and belligerent Zionists de-Zionize themselves and
evolve into a group of people with high moral courage
to induce them to kneel down and beg,yes beg the
Palestinian people for forgiveness.Otherwise,expect
an endless chaos and bloodshed world wide.None of us
will be safe.Believe me,I Know what I am talking about.The Arab culture has so many characteristics
and in time of conflict Beauty or Ugliness emerges as
paramount;meaning Forgiveness or Vengeance.Anybody
who tells you otherwise is either an ignorant fool or
just unsophisticated liar.Peace conferences have one
positive function:they may help in the evolution of
the bellicose and belligerent Zionists,however slow,
into peace loving Jews.May their God help them.
Sincerely,
Nabih Ammari
An Independent in Ohio

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By LWM, November 28, 2007 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

Nabih Ammari,

The Israelis are there. They used terrorism and force and fraud to get there, but the fact remains, they are there. What do you suggest? Have their Arab neighbors drive them back into the sea? Where will they go? Here? The survival of the state of Israel depends on Israelis themselves. At the current rate, given the past mistakes, on both sides, they won’t make it more than 30 years. If they change the behavior and wrest power from the militant right and Likudniks and realize that their Arab neighbors are the ones they have to rely on for their security, and not the United States, they might just have a chance. There have been bad mistakes and bad faith on both sides. There are no easy solutions but at this point, I don’t see them pulling up stakes and leaving willingly, do you? They had better figure it out or they will end up being chased out or something far worse. Jews and Muslims have coexisted in relative peace before. It is not impossible and if I’m in favor of a homeland for the Palestinian people, does that make me a Palestinian Zionist?

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By PatrickHenry, November 28, 2007 at 5:46 pm Link to this comment

As much as I would like to see Kucinich win I recognize the need to promote Ron Paul as his esteemed opponent in the general election.  The first couple of primaries should spell things out.

I have yet to meet one person who likes Rudy Giuliani and have seen nothing but bad press about him but he still leads in various polls.

I hope the voting machines are working correctly this time, especially in the primaries.  I can’t help but believe many machines and vote counts were fixed.  We should invite foreign observers (Chavez perhaps) who with Carter would witness and verify the outcome of elections and set a long needed example of American democracy.

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By Robert, November 28, 2007 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

November 28, 2007

When the Roadmap is a One Way Street
Israel’s Strategy for Permanent Occupation

By JEFF HALPER

“The answer for the past 40 years of occupation is the status quo, delay, while quietly expanding the settlements and strengthening its grip on Judea and Samaria (again, we do not use the terms “occupation” or “occupied territories” in Israel, not to mention “Palestinian”). Just look at the run-up to Annapolis and the negotiations Israel is promising. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said recently that “Annapolis is a landmark on the path to negotiations and of the genuine effort to achieve the realization of the vision of two nations: the State of Israel—the nation of the Jewish people; and the Palestinian state—the nation of the Palestinian people”. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Now look at the pre-conditions Israel has imposed just in the two weeks before Annapolis:

Redefining Phase 1 of the Road Map. The first phase of the Road Map, the very basis of negotiations, calls for Israel to freeze its settlement construction. That is something Israel will obviously not do. So, on the basis of a letter former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon received from President Bush in 2004—a fundamental change in American policy that nevertheless does not commit the other members of the Road Map “Quartet”, Europe, Russia and the UN—Israel announced that it defines the areas considered “occupied” by the Quartet as only those areas falling outside its major settlement blocs and “greater” Jerusalem. Thus, unilaterally, Israel (and the US apparently) reduced the territory to be negotiated with the Palestinians from 22 per cent to a mere 15 per cent, and that truncated into fragmented cantons.

Requiring recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state.” The Palestinians are required to formally recognize the state of Israel. They did so already in 1988 when they accepted the two-state solution, at the outset of the Oslo process and repeatedly over the past two decades. Now comes a fresh demand: that before any negotiations they recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Not only does that introduce an entirely new element that Israel knows the Palestinians will not accept, but it prejudices the equal status of Palestinian citizens of Israel, a full 20 per cent of the Israeli population. This leads the way to transfer, to ethnic cleansing. Tzipi Livni, Israel’s foreign minister, recently told a press conference that the future of Israel’s Arab citizens is in a future Palestinian state, not in Israel itself.

Creating insurmountable political obstacles. Two weeks before Annapolis was to convene, the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, passed a law that a majority of two-thirds would be required to approve any change in the status of Jerusalem, an impossible threshold.”


http://www.counterpunch.org/halper11272007.html

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By Robert, November 28, 2007 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

The answer for the past 40 years of occupation is the status quo, delay, while quietly expanding the settlements and strengthening its grip on Judea and Samaria (again, we do not use the terms “occupation” or “occupied territories” in Israel, not to mention “Palestinian”). Just look at the run-up to Annapolis and the negotiations Israel is promising. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said recently that “Annapolis is a landmark on the path to negotiations and of the genuine effort to achieve the realization of the vision of two nations: the State of Israel—the nation of the Jewish people; and the Palestinian state—the nation of the Palestinian people”. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Now look at the pre-conditions Israel has imposed just in the two weeks before Annapolis:

Redefining Phase 1 of the Road Map. The first phase of the Road Map, the very basis of negotiations, calls for Israel to freeze its settlement construction. That is something Israel will obviously not do. So, on the basis of a letter former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon received from President Bush in 2004—a fundamental change in American policy that nevertheless does not commit the other members of the Road Map “Quartet”, Europe, Russia and the UN—Israel announced that it defines the areas considered “occupied” by the Quartet as only those areas falling outside its major settlement blocs and “greater” Jerusalem. Thus, unilaterally, Israel (and the US apparently) reduced the territory to be negotiated with the Palestinians from 22 per cent to a mere 15 per cent, and that truncated into fragmented cantons.

Requiring recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state.” The Palestinians are required to formally recognize the state of Israel. They did so already in 1988 when they accepted the two-state solution, at the outset of the Oslo process and repeatedly over the past two decades. Now comes a fresh demand: that before any negotiations they recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Not only does that introduce an entirely new element that Israel knows the Palestinians will not accept, but it prejudices the equal status of Palestinian citizens of Israel, a full 20 per cent of the Israeli population. This leads the way to transfer, to ethnic cleansing. Tzipi Livni, Israel’s foreign minister, recently told a press conference that the future of Israel’s Arab citizens is in a future Palestinian state, not in Israel itself.

Creating insurmountable political obstacles. Two weeks before Annapolis was to convene, the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, passed a law that a majority of two-thirds would be required to approve any change in the status of Jerusalem, an impossible threshold.

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By cann4ing, November 28, 2007 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment

Interesting how this piece on Ron Paul has generated such a heated exchange over Israel/Palestine and already 591 comments.  There has been a great deal of one-upsmanship by pro- and anti-Zionists.  But there is a better way, one reflected in today’s three way conversation between Amy Goodman, Mustafa Barghouti, former Information Minister of the Palestinian Authority and Daniel Levi, former Israeli peace negotiator.

http://www.democracynow.org/print.pl?sid=07/11/28/159212

Levy points out that the Arab League initiative available in 2002 would have provided Israel with a comprehensive land for peace, that it gave Israel “the recognition it yearned for ever since its establishment and creation;” that this had been Israel’s “yes” moment, but instead said “no”, partly because Ariel Sharon was prime minister and had no intention to make peace.  “The real challenge is, can Israel embrace this offer and say yes to the ‘67 lines, say yes to, in fact, 78% of mandatory Palestine.”

Amy Goodman:  What is Israel’s interest in rejecting the deal?

Daniel Levy:  You know, Amy, I wish I could tell you and give you a good answer….There are groups inside Israel, who are not inconsequential…who believe this is God-given land.  You have your own religious fundamentalists here in this country….You also have security hawks….In 2007, to tell me I need a hill on the West Bank for my security, I think is ridiculous.

“But there is a third reason, which is that Israel, rather than turning to its friend America and that friend saying, ‘Hey, guys, this is in your interest, it’s in our interest, let’s do this,’ America is…saying, ‘If you want to carry on your crazy self-destructive policy of occupation, don’t expect us to change it for you.  In fact, we’ll continue to back you.’  It’s like a drunkard turning to his friend and the friend giving him another bottle of vodka and then giving him the car keys.”

Mustafa Barghouti:  When I struggle for the freedom of the Palestinian people and struggle for ending this apartheid system and this occupation, I do not see myself and my colleagues as people who struggle only for Palestinians.  I feel I have struggled also for Israelis because an Israel that is creating an apartheid system in the twenty-first century is not going to be secure, and an Israeli state that creates apartheid and continues occupation leaves its citizens with a very bad feeling….the struggle we do is not only for Palestinians; it’s for our freedom, but it’s also for their freedom, because on when occupation ends and only when this injustice and discrimination stops, then Israelis themselves will be free.”

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By Tony Wicher, November 28, 2007 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

#116489 by cyrena on 11/28 at 12:43 am
(1644 comments total)

“I’m thinking, (without any particular reference, since I don’t remember any discussions on it here) that you are possibly familiar with the work of Edward Said. If so, it might be useful for you to know that he worked closely with Barack Obama a while back, probably up through the end of the 90’s.;
——————————————————————————-
cyrena,

I did not know this. This is very important information. There are so many people on the left who are sensitive to the bad influence of Israel on the U.S. who could be persuaded to support Obama if they had this kind of evidence. If you have any links or references let me have them. Thank you.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 28, 2007 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

Non Credo on 11/28 at 9:18 am
(668 comments total)

Non-Credible, stop trying to set up the straw-man that I am anti-gay. It’s just another of your lies.
——————-

I was not accusing you of that! Not at all!

Please pay close attention:

I don’t think that in your mind, gays are less deserving of compassion and safety from harm than everybody else.

I DO think that in your mind, Jews are more deserving of compassion and safety from harm than everybody else.

And I’m not arguing that gays deserve a “gay state”! It’s a ridiculous and counterproductive idea, of COURSE — just as is the “Jewish state”!
************

I think YOU need to pay closer attention.  I am a Jewish-American, therefore I tend to be more interested in the plight of Jews, than, say, Mexicans.  I expect Mexican-Americans to be more concerned with the plight of Mexicans than Jews.

I don’t see this as a problem, nor a reflection on the humanity or humanism of either Jewish-Americans or Mexican-Americans.  And there will be assholes in both groups.

And the PETA people are more concerned with animals’ “rights” than the plights of Jews, Mexicans, Palestinians or anybody else.

But I repeat: While I am sympathetic and even empathetic to the plight of children in Darfur and Ethiopia and Guatemala (especially Guatemala), I am NOT going to put their welfare over the welfare of MY children (one of whom was born Guatemalan).

You would have me do so.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 28, 2007 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

Non-Credible, stop trying to set up the straw-man that I am anti-gay. It’s just another of your lies.

I fully accept that orientation is inherent, not a choice.  One doesn’t “choose” to be Gay anymore than one chooses to be Black or Latino—or a Jew. Yes, it’s NOT a choice—being a Jew is something you are born with and can NEVER shed—Hitler proved that.

There’s a Cardinal in France who converted to Catholicism long ago…he’s STILL called “the Jewish Cardinal”!

Nor do I accept violence against Gays or limits on their rights as freely consenting adults to do what they wish with each other. My ONLY objection to Gay Marriage is my objection to Marriage a State function. Marriage should SOLELY be a religious function, completely un-governed by law.  Law should govern the analogue: Civil Unions. They should be for EVERYONE, Gay or Straight.  My marriage would be a Jewish function (or Christian, Moslem, Ethical Culture, whatever), but the State would only care about my civil union with my wife.

Nothing functionally or legally would change—except a more proper separation of church and state.

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By Shenonymous, November 28, 2007 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

Be that as it may, Robert.  I watched the Rabbi Weiss speech and all of the other related videos.  I understand what he is saying and his fervent efforts to present what he calls the truth about Judaism and to show the problems about Israel’s right to exist.  While I may not agree with the reason he presents, that God says that a state of Israel may not exist, he certainly has the legal and ethical right to say so and as vehemently as he wishes.  The problem I have is that he blames atheism on the Zionist movement.  Being an atheist I take issue with that since I have friends and acquaintances who are also atheists who are as altruistic as anyone can get.  They are as peaceful, socially caring, and humanistic as the anit-Zionist Weiss describes his group of people.  I want others to know this type of atheist exists and actually represents most atheists.  They are not rabid activists whose whole scheme in life is to criticize the anti-Zionists.  I think neither Zionism nor anti-Zionism have any validity.  But it is certainly interesting, to a point, to watch the two factions go at it here in this discussion.  The real atheists have no interest in religious issues save that religion seriously impacts the conduct of their everyday life.  It is when that happens that the atheist gets political.  Atheists have no special quarrel with Judaism, they contend that all religions have no evidenced basis.

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By Robert, November 28, 2007 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

#116562 by Non Credo on 11/28 at 7:26 am
(667 comments total)

re: #116557 by Robert on 11/28 at 7:09 am:

That’s incredibly inspiring, Robert. I’m so happy that you posted that. It made me cry. This makes it vividly clear to me that I have been misled into developing antipathy toward Jews. The Zionists always paint the anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews as primitive Luddites. I sort of thought they didn’t count as “real Jews”, because they were supposed to be so marginal, primitive, weird, and quaint. But this man is deeply sophisticated and he speaks inspiringly in the greatest tradition of universal humanism and love. He’s not some funny little crank. I will keep his beautiful image and message in my mind as a protective shield against developing the anti-Semitism on which Zionism thrives. He will be the little person inside me that preserves the best in me. Thank-you, Robert.
=======================================

NC…I cried myself too. True Judaism is NOT the enemy of Justice, Peace, Human Rights…etc…

Zionism is the real enemy to Peace, Justice, Human Rights. What that man was saying and conveying from true beliefs and genuine heart is golden.

Palestinians and Jews (pre-1948) used to babysit for each other during the “holy days/feasts”...that is remarkable. Did you notice the elderly Jewish man who was a witness to what Weiss was saying…he pointed to him?

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By Robert, November 28, 2007 at 8:09 am Link to this comment

Rabbi Weiss, Outside Annapolis Peace Conference, Rips Zionism


On Nov. 27, 2007, in Annapolis, MD, Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss, ripped into Zionism. He blasted the Zionists for its supposed “fearmongering.” He also accused the Zionists of “beating” Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem. His remarks were made outside the U.S. Naval Academy, on Randall Street, near Gate I, close to the waterfront, in this port city. A Middle East “Peace” conference was being held inside the Naval Academy.

Our Trudig’s hardcore zionists will not like what Rabbi Weiss is about the Palestinians and Zionism:

Click link/URL to watch this 8 minute video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9OIqy6md9w

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By Shenonymous, November 28, 2007 at 7:53 am Link to this comment

On some level you are right Non Credo, but the frustration comes when one learns about how lobbies buy our best interests for their best interests.  Somehow that has to be rectified.  Voters are becoming much more savvy about how government works.  And we are stunned.  It is an intricate maze for elephants (no reference to the GOP intended).  Deals hidden in deals hidden in deals. Much as has been described in the combat over Israel here in this forum coming from several sides.  Fascinating to say the least.  Greed and power are the gods of contemporary Earth.  But it boggles the mind and the people need led through the passages that are very treacherous because they cannot do it individually.  Smoke and mirrors need to be removed.  In spite of the seemingly bitter verbal battles going on, as I visit all the links everyone provides, I am finding this forum surprisingly instructional and enlightening.  My own mental journal is racking up points as I go along and I am feeling much more knowledgeable.  I am feeling more confident I will be able to cast an informed vote much more than ever before.  This is a good thing.

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By Leefeller, November 28, 2007 at 7:35 am Link to this comment

TD said my post did not work so I did a rewrite and resent, sorry for the double post.  The last one is more complete.

Non Credo, I do not have the answers, seems banning the the special interests of corporations would be a great start. I know they have the same rights as people and all that.  Does seem the problem though. 

Special interests gaining jobs in the federal government such as FDA hiring cronies from the Drug industry to run the program would have less legs if they were banned from Congress.

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By Leefeller, November 28, 2007 at 7:26 am Link to this comment

Seems we all have to learn at our own pace, with all the smoke and mirrors, the constant assault of lies, we end up on the wrong road scratching our heads.  Most of us agree the Constitution has been attacked and shredded by the very people who are supposed to honor and protect it, seems to be a clear indication of Fascism to me. All lobbies need to be banned, from the whining seen on posts the tunnel vision seems apparent.  Lobbies From the military complex, the APIC, NBC and
Drag Queens United, attacking individual lobbies is a waste of time.  All of them should be banned from the halls of Congress and outlawed.  Our congress has refused to do anything about it, why?  Money, favors, promises of a job, and of course their is always the sex thing. Integrity, honesty, accountability all absent, why would we expect anything else from bought and sold politicians.

Of all the kings men and all the kings horses, the only person running for office who is not clearly in the pockets of special interests, is Kucinich, possibly Gravel.

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By Leefeller, November 28, 2007 at 7:12 am Link to this comment

Seems we all have to learn at our own pace.  Most of us agree the Constitution has been attacked and shredded by the very people who are supposed to honor and protect it, seems to ba clear indication of Fascism to me. Lobbies, include all the whining that I have seen on these posts, the military complex, the APIC, drag queens unite, attacking individual lobbies is a waste of time.  All of them should be banned from the halls of Congress and outlawed. 

Of all the kings men and all the kings horses, the only person running for office who is not clearly in the pockets of special interests, is Kucinich, possibly Gravel.

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By Nabih Ammari, November 28, 2007 at 7:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To:#115911 by LWM on 11/26 at 8:o5 am.

LWM:Although I have no desire to touch any subject
unrelated to the essence of Scheer’s article devoted
on Ron Paul,I have found the content of your post and the way you presented it intriguing.Perhaps,because of its sequential logic.

The first intriguing part stems from the fact I could not figure whether you were/are a Zionist or not.
If you are,I must admit,you are extremely intelligent
compared to the other Zionists who foolishly post
in such uncomplimentary zeal/ardor for their ideology
as they obviously proliferate on Truthdig’s threads.
If you are not,a series of consecutive questions will
arise for which space does not permit to raise them.
Therefore,I refrain from raising them and let it go
at that

The second intriguing part of your post has to do with the way you explicitly and deliberately raised
a question,so complex,just to justify the standard
accusation of “Anti-Semites” the Zionists used to
silence critics such as PatrickHenry,Robert and
(probably Non Credo) and asked whch of the following
Zionisms they are against:

Christian Zionism
General Zionism
Labor Zionism
Political Zionism
Reform Zionism
Religious Zionism
Revisionist Zionism
Cultural Zionism

If I understood your question correctly,the following
would be a deserving answer:

Every category you listed was (and is) nothing more than a part
of a WHOLE.The WHOLE,sir,is the DESTRUCTIVE/BLOODY
ideology called ZIONISM.Period,sir.Tying to make the
question more complex than actually is in order to confuse the issue will not wash.

As one intelligent blogger posted just a few weeks ago"the dam is cracked” and I add that nothing and
nothing and more nothings are going to stop the huge
FLOOD from coming.It is the beginning of the end for
ZIONISM to be exposed as it really is.It is only a
matter of time.I hope I will live long to enjoy
seeing it.
Sincerely,
Nabih Ammari
An Idependent in Ohio.

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By Shenonymous, November 28, 2007 at 6:03 am Link to this comment

Non Credo, perhaps you could either copy the article from JSTOR here or post another link as one has to have a subscription to enter JSTOR or be able to use an academic server.  The link you provided gives a Sorry message, unable to retrieve. I am very interested in the article.  Thank you.

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By LWM, November 28, 2007 at 1:52 am Link to this comment

ITW… Even in my beloved nation, The United States of America, where it’s written into the Constitution and the VERY FIRST Amendment, I know I and my children are not safe.

None of us are unless we remain ever vigilant and cognizant of what the beginnings of fascism look like. It will never look the same as it did elsewhere in another time. It mutates like a mutagen.

Read this if you haven’t yet.

http://www.cursor.org/stories/fascismintroduction.php

It can happen here. It can happen anywhere. 

You watch out for me. I’ll watch out for you. We’ll all watch out for each other and the anti-collectivists can suck on it all by themselves. It’s cooperative individualism.

http://www.cooperativeindividualism.org/

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By cyrena, November 28, 2007 at 1:43 am Link to this comment

#116456 by Non Credo on 11/27 at 8:48 pm

re: #116451 by cyrena on 11/27 at 8:33 pm:

Cyrena: you’re right. I was being sloppy.

——————————————

Not to worry Non Credo. Happens to the best of us.

Meantime, just looking at earlier comments from Tony and credentials on Obama.

I’m thinking, (without any particular reference, since I don’t remember any discussions on it here) that you are possibly familiar with the work of Edward Said. If so, it might be useful for you to know that he worked closely with Barack Obama a while back, probably up through the end of the 90’s.

Of course he (Edward Said) passed away a few years ago, and I’m guessing that when Barak got more involved in local politics, it probably cut back on the time he spent in these other efforts. But, if you’re planning any research on him anyway, that’s a good place to start. I did have several links handy for a while, but I think I’ve moved them to another drive.

But, if it’s something you want to follow-up, I can check around. Otherwise, you can also google or whatever the two of them. I’d look around about the period between 1994 and 2000 or so, give or take.

Now I hope this doesn’t bring up any rants against Barack via association. I’m personally very impressed with the work of Edward Said, but then I’m sure I’m on the Zionist’s list of dangerous scholars somewhere myself. So, I’m accustomed to hate-by-association, even if they don’t know why they hate the ones they’ve associated me with.

So, check it out if you have time. It’s at least more info to add to your analysis, if nothing more.

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By LWM, November 28, 2007 at 1:40 am Link to this comment

Hey, #116460 by Robert on 11/27 at 9:04 pm.

Here is the Paul Craig Roberts I know and love.

The Democratic Nazi Party
by Paul Craig Roberts

Two weeks after Americans chose a new President on November 7, the Democratic Party is still trying to change the vote count. Responding to this unusual situation, the Wall Street Journal called on Republicans not to allow Democrats to steal the election and with it the Constitution.

The editorial, “The Squeamish GOP,” indicates that the Journal does not think the Republicans have what it takes to defend their president elect and the American Constitution. Obviously, the Democrats think likewise, or they would not so brazenly steal an election in broad daylight with the connivance of the media and the Democratic Florida Supreme Court.

(...)

If Republicans allow the election to be stolen, they will forever be discredited. There is no excuse for a party that controls both executive and legislative power in Florida to stand aside while thieves steal the election. Every member of the Florida Supreme Court should be arrested, indicted, and immediately put on trial for aiding and abetting vote fraud. The Democrats, who are re-voting already recounted ballots, must also be arrested, indicted, and tried for perpetrating vote fraud.

The media that threw the West Coast to Gore by falsely announcing Gore’s victory before the polls closed, together with the media that is cloaking Florida vote fraud as a recount, must also be indicted for their participation in vote fraud.

Once Bush assumes the office to which he has been elected, Republicans must turn their attention to dismantling the Democratic Party’s Propaganda Ministry that masquerades as a news media. The most obvious solution is nationalization. Give the corrupt media the socialism it wants, and run the organizations as strict news outlets with all editorializing and opinion banned.

Once Americans can get the facts, they will realize that a Nazi Party (a k a the Democratic Party) has grown up in their midst.

November 23, 2000

http://www.lewrockwell.com/roberts/roberts2.html

Spare us,C okay?

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By LWM, November 28, 2007 at 1:34 am Link to this comment

I don’t understand what you are trying to tell me. I’m arguing the case for supporting Obama. I’m saying that progressive people should unite behind him because he is the best bet for a progressive presidency in this particular political situation.

And I’m telling you to be realistic. It will be a monumental acheivement just to elect a “Moderate Conservative White Woman” president in America. You want to try and elect a black man. Whether he’s progressive or not is a matter of debate. He’s young. He’ll run again when he has gotten some experience under his belt.

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By cann4ing, November 27, 2007 at 11:46 pm Link to this comment

Thank you for the response, ITW.  As I see it, where Lefty and lilmamzer’s Zionism appears driven by a visceral hatred of all things Arab, yours is driven by fear.  Given the horrors of the Holocaust, that is certainly understandable, though not entirely rational.

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By Tony Wicher, November 27, 2007 at 10:26 pm Link to this comment

Also, I don’t want to be like AIPAC. It has been successful by suppressing democratic dissent. Maybe you think the end justifies the means. I don’t.

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By Tony Wicher, November 27, 2007 at 10:24 pm Link to this comment

Re #116455 by LWM on 11/27 at 8:44 pm
(120 comments total)

Tony… I’m not wearing the DLC hat. That’s LWM’s specialty.

“The most amusing thing about all this is that some of you actually think you get to cast more than one vote in your primary, or that anyone in your state, or any other state is actually going to be swayed by your pleas on behalf of your chosen candidate. People generally make up their own minds when the time comes.”
——————————————————————————
LWM,

I don’t understand what you are trying to tell me. I’m arguing the case for supporting Obama. I’m saying that progressive people should unite behind him because he is the best bet for a progressive presidency in this particular political situation. I am endeavoring to be a part of and to further such a popular movement. I do my best to make my voice heard. Of course people will make up their own minds.

“No one listened to Theodor Adorno, a Marxist who criticised this trend during the 60’s and caught hell for it, when he spoke out against the tendency for the left to rely on what he called “actionism,” which he defined as the belief that actions such as protests and strikes (or the browbeating of fellow travellers to vote your way) - could or would change the political structure by themselves without being supported by solid theory and an organized program or party. He was right, of course. Ironically the right listened to him and they did come to power.”
—————————————————————————-

What? I have not said anything about protests and strikes, and I like to think that I am engaged in rational persuasion, not “browbeating”. Indeed I would agree that such activity is counter-productive and did lead to forty years of reaction, from Nixon until now. This is a mistake we must avoid this time. Certainly Obama has not called for any such things, other than strongly supporting a union’s right to strike in general. 

If you want to have some real influence on who the Democratic nominee is going to be, try to be more like AIPAC.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 27, 2007 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment

PatrickHenry on 11/27 at 4:19 pm
(349 comments total)

ITW, I’m sorry to hear you got beat up as a little kid but if you were as obnoxious to others as you are here, I can see why.
**************

I’m not surprised to see you defend the thugs that beat me up as a little kid solely for being a Jew, as justified.

You find ME obnoxious, with all your hate-filled posts about how Jews are this evil poison in America and the world? 

No, that doesn’t surprise me either.  Not from a man who justifies beating up a kid for being Jewish.

So…you think obnoxious kids deserved to be beaten up by a gang?  And…does a kid qualify as obnoxious for challenging racist ideas?  If so, then I DAMN WELL WAS OBNOXIOUS! AND I’M PROUD OF IT!

And you are nothing more than a grown-up version of those thugs.

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