LEFT OF DAYTON

DAYTON RALLY FOR DARFUR APRIL 19th/Courthouse Square 1 pm

April 14, 2008
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DAYUTON RALLY FOR DARFUR

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Posted in Middle East

The Clinton-Colombia Connection: It Goes Back a Long Way/Arianna Huffington

April 12, 2008
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Arianna Huffington

Posted April 9, 2008

A week ago, if you’d asked most people to say the first thing that popped into their heads when they heard the word “Colombia,” you might have gotten: “Bogotá,” “coffee,” “cocaine,” or maybe even “kidnappings.”

Today that list would probably be led by “Clinton.”

First came chief strategist Mark Penn’s “reassignment” following the embarrassing revelation of his side job advising the Colombian government on how to promote a trade agreement loudly decried by the candidate whose campaign has so far paid him and his firm $10,800,000 for his input.

Then came word that Clinton campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson also has financial ties to Colombia via his involvement the Glover Park Group, a company founded by Clinton administration alum Joe Lockhart that has also been advising the Colombian government.

And, of course, there is the Whitman sampler of Colombian goodies gobbled up by Bill Clinton, including: $800,000 in speaking fees from a Colombian pro-free trade agreement group; a “Colombia is Passion” award bestowed by Colombia’s president Alvaro Uribe (who honored the former president as an “unofficial minister of tourism”); and a sweet Colombian oil field deal for a company Clinton pal Frank Giustra’s investment firm had advised. Giustra is the mining magnate who has donated $31 million to Clinton’s charitable fund, and whom Bill personally introduced to Colombian President Uribe (Giustra is the same guy Clinton helped land a uranium deal in Kazakhstan, but that’s a Clinton story for a different blog post). (more…)


Bringing the White Working Class Into the Progressive Majority//By Robert Borosage

April 12, 2008
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These are excerpts of remarks delivered April 9 at the Conference on a New New Deal in Washington, sponsored by the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.


Let me offer a simple set of propositions.

1. Conservatism has failed—and conservatives, while they cannot admit it, understand that. You’ve heard this before, but it is important to repeat it. The failure is not simply that of clueless George. Conservatism failed not because the Bush administration was incompetent, although incompetence has been its hallmark. It failed not because Bush and the DeLay Congress were corrupt, although corruption has been pervasive. Conservatism failed because it is wrong. Wrong about the world. Wrong about the economy. Wrong about the society.

Its imperial and military fantasies led directly to Iraq, surely the worst foreign policy debacle since Vietnam. Its market fundamentalism generated Gilded Age inequality, a Depression-era financial crisis, stagnant wages and rising insecurity, and left America the world’s largest debtor, dependent on the kindness of strangers. Their celebration of deregulation and scorn for government ended up poisoning our kids, with uninspected toxic toys and diseased lunch-room foods. (more…)


“BODY OF WAR”, PHIL DONAHUE DOCUMENTARY, COMING TO NEON MOVIES, DAYTON, MAY 30

April 10, 2008
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Phil Donahue’s new documentary, “Body of War”, will be

at the NEON MOVIES downtown Dayton beginning on May

30 for an Open Run.  Check www.NeonMovies.com for

dates and times.

The interview linked below is with the

wheelchair-bound protagonist in the film, Tomas Young,

member of Iraq Vets Against the War.

VIDEO | Interview With Tomas Young of Film “Body of War”


http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/040808A.shtml


Truthout’s Geoffrey Millard interviews Tomas Young, Iraq veteran and subject of the new film “Body of War.” Young discusses the extreme difficulties of his injury and having incurred them in a war he feels was not worth fighting. Accompanying the interview is a review of the film by Camilla Herrera of Greenwich Time.


Made in China: Stop Arms Sales to Sudan

April 9, 2008
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Made in China: Stop Arms Sales to Sudan

Stop Arms From China to Sudan
Chinese trade and influence in several developing countires in Africa and Asia continue to fuel crimes against humanity.

The Summer Olympic Games in Beijing on August 8th give China the opportunity to showcase its accomplishments and its rising global power. China is also working hard to manufacture an image as a responsible and harmonious global actor. But behind this façade lies another China, one that places economic growth over its human rights responsibilities around the world.

Since 2003, the government of Sudan has orchestrated a campaign of terror in Darfur, leaving more than 200,000 people dead and at least 2.5 million homeless. During this period, China has largely ignored the mass atrocities in Darfur and instead strengthened its political, economic, and military relationship with the government of Sudan. The primary reason is simple: China desperately needs Sudanese crude oil to sustain its economic growth at home. But the relationship between China and Sudan does not stop with oil sales. China is currently the largest known provider of small arms, small arms parts, and ammunition to Sudan-the type of weapons that have been used by agents of the Sudanese government to wreak havoc in Darfur.

In the lead up to the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, Human Rights First has launched the “Made in China” campaign. With your help, we will pressure China to stop its arms sales to Sudan.

As the Olympic Games draw near, China is trying to minimize the importance of its arms sales to Sudan. As Human Rights First describes in its report, Investing in Tragedy, China is the largest—and at this point, almost exclusive—provider of small arms to Sudan. These weapons are clearly being used to maim, kill and force people to flee their homes in Darfur.

China’s response to demands that it stop shipping arms to Sudan is unconvincing. It points the finger at the other countries China claims are providing arms. This strategy is doomed to fail. Instead of deflecting attention from its own actions, China should use the Olympic Games to publicly commit to its human rights responsibilities by immediately ending arms transfers to Sudan.

The Beijing Summer Olympic Games theme “one world, one dream” rings hollow to the millions of people in Darfur left homeless and devastated by more than five years of violence. Please join Human Rights First in pressuring China to stop selling arms to Sudan now.

Contact Human Rights First: http://www.stoparmstosudan.org/pages.asp?id=1#cont


IS THE WAR IN IRAQ/AFGHANISTAN OFF THE RADAR?? Where is the Outrage??

April 8, 2008
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The Polls say we Americans overwhelmingly think that we never should have gone into Iraq and that nearly half of us say we need to get out within a year.

That’s the polls.

Visble manifestations of that oppostion seem to be far and few between.

CBS News/New York Times Poll. March 28-April 2, 2008. N=1,368 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3 (for all adults).

Looking back, do you think the United States did the right thing in taking military action against Iraq, or should the U.S. have stayed out?”

.

Right Thing Stayed Out Unsure
% % %

ALL adults

34 62 4

Republicans

68 26 6

Democrats

13 85 2

Independents

32 62 6

“From what you know about the U.S. involvement in Iraq, how much longer would you be willing to have large numbers of U.S. troops remain in Iraq: less than a year, one to two years, two to five years or longer than five years?”

.

Less Than
A Year
One to Two
Years
Two to Five
Years
Longer Than
Five Years
Other/
Unsure
% % % % %
46 22 14 6 12

How is it that we can have such opposition to the Bush Administration’s war policies and yet not be able to get a dozen people to join an anti-war protest here in Dayton? Where is the outrage?? Bush comes to the Air Force Museum and 35 people show up to a demonstration called by the Montgomery County Democratic Party, including just Two Union reps [in a supposedly Union town], ONE party Chairman and NO ELECTED OFFICIALS.

Over the five years this vigil has been held I have personally invited Democratic office holders Nan Whaley, Dean Lovelace, Mayor McLin, Joey Williams, Debbie Lieberman and Dan Foley MULTIPLE TIMES to join the anti war vigils at the Dayton Dragon’s games, and not one of them has shown up yet.

I ask again, Where is the Outrage? and, perhaps as important, Where is the”leadership” of the local Democratic party on this critical issue??? and, please, don’t respond with that lame crap about how “we are LOCAL elected officials and anti-war issues are not our thing…” I’m not buying it, and you should be ashamed to offer it as an excuse for your inactivity.

If the opposition is there on paper and the physical manifestation is not, we have to ask why? There are indeed answers, including the fact that for much of the US mainstream media the war is simply something that they are not given very much attention to, excepting the parroting of the McCain-Bush bullshit about how well the “surge” is working …[though today’s NY Times reports that insurgent attacks in Baghdad more than doubled in March over February’s numbers...]

By way of example, the author Eric Boehlert, from the website Media Matters, notes in an April 2 column:

Last November, I noted that ABC’s Nightline, its long-running signature news program, had essentially boycotted Iraq as a news story. I found that over an 18-week span, from mid-July through late November, Nightline aired approximately 230 separate news segments, only one of which was about events on the ground in Iraq. In the 17 weeks since then, Nightline has continued to look the other way, which means that over a nearly nine-month span, during which time more than 300 reports aired, Nightline has effectively ignored the war in Iraq as a news event.–

Excerpetd from his excllent article

Myth: the American Public Tuned out Iraq Fact: The press tuned out Iraq

http://mediamatters.org/columns/200804020003?lid=214108&rid=6438606

It sems that the unfortunate reality is that most people, despite their poll answers, are simply disconnected to the war in their daily lives. The images we are NOT seeing is the reality of this evil war.

How’s this for complicity?? In March 2003, on the eve of the Iraq war, a directive arrived from the Pentagon at U.S. military bases. “There will be no arrival ceremonies for, or media coverage of, deceased military personnel returning to or departing from Ramstein [Germany] airbase or Dover [Del.] base, to include interim stops,” the Defense Department said, referring to the major ports for the returning remains.

The answer from our “elected representatives, our “leaders”??

Senate Backs Ban on Photos of G.I. Coffins: June 21, 2004.

http://www.camerairaq.com/2004/05/caskets_photogr.html

And the money?? The Billions and Billions [and trillions] of dollars BORROWED from China, Japan and other countries? Off the “books” and payable by our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren [and theirs…]

The money that could be used to pay for comprehensive medical care far beyond any of the presidential candidates offerings..The money that could be used to repair our falling apart infrastructure of bridges, roads and waterways. The money that could be used to provide a college education for every person who had the gumption to go to school and improve themselves and our nation?? And so much much more.

The War goes on, and the American public, having been lulled into complacency, appears comatose in the face of impending disaster, unable or unwilling to take the time to do the right thing, get up off their asses & confront our “leadership” and demand an end to this evil war.

Wake up America . It’s way past time for the wake up call.


Learning From the Cultural Conservatives, Part III: Taking It To The Street

April 8, 2008
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Part I
Part II

The conservative worldview has succeeded so wildly — and is still holding such tenacious sway over the ways Americans approach their current stack of problems — because the conservatives started out 30 years ago with a focused plan that put promoting their model of reality at the center of every other action. Over the past two posts, I’ve been mining the specific strategies that early planners like Paul Weyrich used to advance the conservative worldview, in the hope that we might gain some insight that will help us engage them directly on this deepest, most important territory.

Progressives will not be able to implement their vision of the future until we’re able to supplant the conservative worldview with our own. We won’t win until we take control of the discourse, offer Americans new ways to make meaning and evaluate and prioritize events, and get them to abandon conservative assumptions about how reality works.

I’d like to thank Bruce Wilson at Talk2Action again for turning me onto Eric Huebeck’s 2001 document that summarized, updated, and refocused the original Weyrich strategies. In this final piece, we’ll look some of the specific ways the conservatives structured their campaign to take their worldview to the streets, and ultimately replaced long-held democratic assumptions about government, economics, and society with the deadly and wrong-headed assumptions that now drive the thinking of the entire nation. (more…)


Why Clinton Embellishes/the Mask Revealed

April 7, 2008
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From “Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/04/why-clinton-embellishes.html
“Sunday, April 06, 2008
We have three examples from recent days of Clinton’s modifications of the truth.

Why do they matter? One might say that many politicians are prone to factual distortions.

What is of particular importance is not only that Clinton distorts the truth, but when she does–and why.

Clinton, as many who know her well and have studied her life closely have indicated, from Dee Dee Myers to Carl Bernstein, has a fundamental difficulty in revealing herself. She is seen by even those who are closest to her as perpetually standing behind a guise, ever prepared for the attack, a characteristic regarded as at times poignant, and at other times Nixonian in its manifestations.

We know from biographies of Clinton, including Bernstein’s astute and perceptive “A Woman in Charge” that Clinton’s suffered from a harsh and judgmental father, and that this relationship had a deep and significant shaping influence.

On the one hand, it prepared her (indeed, over-prepared her) for quick response, for an all-too-ready response to attack. Yet it also created, beneath the increasingly agile guises and forms of protection, a more fundamental experience of self–that despite the greatest efforts, the most agile displays, of never being quite good enough to measure up to his judgment. This left her, as it leaves many in such circumstances, with a rueful admiration of and attachment to a seeming strength and sureness that she could never have; and underneath the formidably developed masks of intellect and defensive pretense, a fundamental fear of, in her true self, uncovered, falling short. Many have noted this quality in Clinton, and have drawn it back to this familial source.

As a consequence, beneath the feigned hardness, the feigned casualness, and beneath the years of powerfully developed yet defensively driven skills, there is a tragic, deep and, for a President, highly consequential flaw–one that is most likely to be relevant in those “3 a.m. moments” that she has so readily and repeatedly invoked.

One cannot respond with balance and wisdom from a guise. One’s own judgment is critically affected by what one feels they must display (and truly cannot), and by what they believe that they must hide.

From such a position, the “other”–be it a colleague, opponent, or one’s view of the “public” at large, is critically distorted. The other is not regarded as a fellow equal, with whom we are shouldering difficult tasks together, in order to determine a better future, but a threatening judge, to be managed and feared; whose response must be calculated to be met with the proper guise–one which must be quickly changed–or covered–if there is a danger that, beneath the mask, one will be found out.

What Clinton shares with other talented, tragic figures is a mistrust of humanity’s judgment, and, as a result, an inability to meet them with the full, uncovered gaze of a developed and accepted self. The truth, within such an uncertain experience of self and the judgment of others, is often felt to be not enough.

This is what Obama, in this revolutionary moment, to a greater extent, has. This is what people are connecting with. And, in 3 a.m. moments, this is what we need.

Cite:
Head of State


Petraeus Testimony Next Week May Signal Iran Attack/By Paul Craig Roberts

April 7, 2008
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April 05, 2008

By Paul Craig Roberts

Today (April 5) the London Daily Telegraph reported that “British officials gave warning yesterday that America’s commander in Iraq will declare that Iran is waging war against the US-backed Baghdad government. A strong statement from General David Petraeus about Iran’s intervention in Iraq could set the stage for a US attack on Iranian military facilities, according to a Whitehall assessment.” [British fear US commander is beating the drum for Iran strikes – Telegraph, By Damien McElroy, April 5, 2008]

The neocon lacky Petraeus has had his script written for him by Cheney, and Petraeus together with neocon warmonger Ryan Crocker, the US governor of the Green Zone in Baghdad, will present Congress next Tuesday and Wednesday with the lies, for which the road has been well paved by neocon propagandists such as Kimberly Kagan, that “the US must recognize that Iran is engaged in a full-up proxy war against it in Iraq.”

Don’t expect Congress to do anything except to egg on the attack. On April 3 the International Herald Tribune reported that senators and representatives have made millions of dollars from their investments in defense companies totaling $196 million. (AP).

Rep. Ike Skelton, the Democrat chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, is already on board with the attack on Iran. The London Telegraph quotes Skelton: “Iran is the bull in the china shop. In all of this, they seem to have links to all of the Shi’ite groups, whether they be political or military.”

All Skelton knows is what the war criminal Bush regime tells him. If Iran really does have all these connections, then it behooves Washington to cease threatening Iran and to make nice with Iran in order to stabilize Iraq and extract the US from the nightmare.

Reporting from Tehran on April 4, Reuters quotes Mohsen Hakim, whose father, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, leads the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, an ally of the Maliki US puppet government in Iraq: “Tehran, by using its positive influence on the Iraqi nation, paved the way for the return of peace to Iraq and the new situation is the result of Iran’s efforts.”

Instead of thanking Iran and working with Iran diplomatically to restore stability to Iraq, the Bush regime intends to expand the nightmare with a military attack on Iran. Ryan Crocker was quick to dispute Hakim’s report that Iran had used its influence to end the fighting in Basra.

Crocker alleged that Iran had started the fighting. The absurdity of Crocker’s claim is obvious as even the neocon US media reported that the fighting in Basra was started by the US and Maliki in an effort to clear out the Shi’ite al-Sadr militias. Most experts saw the attack on al-Sadr for what it was: an effort to remove a potential threat to the US supply line from Kuwait in the event of a US attack on Iran.

Crocker alleges that the rockets dropping on the Green Zone during the Basra fighting were made in 2007 in Iran. As should be obvious even to disengaged Americans, if Iran were to arm the Iraqi insurgency, the insurgents would have modern weapons to counter US helicopter gunships and heavy tanks. The insurgents have no such weapons. The neocon lie that Iran is the cause of the Iraqi insurgency is just another Bush regime lie like the lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and connections to al Qaeda and the lie that the Taliban in Afghanistan attacked the US.

The Bush regime will tell any lie and orchestrate any event in order to “finish the job” in the Middle East.

“Finishing the job” means to destroy the ability of Iraq, Iran, and Syria to provide support for the Palestinians and for Hezbollah in southern Lebanon against Israeli aggression. With Iraq and Iran in turmoil, Syria might simply give up and become another American client state. With Iraq and Iran in turmoil, Israel can steal the rest of the West Bank along with the water resources in southern Lebanon. That is what “the war on terror” is really about.

The entire world knows this. Consequently, the US and Israel are essentially isolated. The US can only count on the support that it can bribe and pay for.

At the NATO-Russian summit in Bucharest, Romania, on April 4, Russian President Putin said:

“No one can seriously think that Iran would dare attack the U.S. Instead of pushing Iran into a corner, it would be far more sensible to think together how to help Iran become more predictable and transparent.”

Of course it would, but that is not what the warmonger Bush regime wants.

Perhaps the British government has derailed the plot to attack Iran by leaking in advance to the London Telegraph the disinformation Cheney has prepared for Petraeus and Crocker to deliver to the complicit US Congress next Tuesday and Wednesday.

On the other hand, the US puppet media is likely to bury the real story and to trumpet Petraeus claims that Iran has, in effect, already declared war on the US by sending weapons to kill US troops in Iraq.

By next Thursday we will know. from how the Petraeus-Crocker dog and pony show plays in the US Congress and media. whether the Bush Regime will commit yet another war crime by attacking Iran.

Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term.  He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal.  He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider’s Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.


Citizens Advisory Board/Dept of Energy/Piketon:S.O.N.G.

April 7, 2008
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Dear Friends of SONG,

The Department of Energy has set an April 11 deadline for applications for the Citizens Advisory Board. We do not understand this deadline and have asked DOE to explain it, without response. But there it is. DOE has also not explained why there is no on-line application procedure, or why the agency has not contacted various important segments of the community like Indian Tribes with historic ties to the Piketon site.

Given the situation, we urge all of you to apply for membership. We fear an attempt to stack the CAB with representatives of development interests. Therefore, the more citizens without conflicts of interest apply, the less defense the agency will have for placing individuals on the board who do have a conflict of interest.

Ask family members to apply. Ask friends to apply. Even if you live far away and have questions about service, apply. However we decide to challenge the CAB process in the future, your application is important.

Applications can be downloaded from   www.LPPORTS.com. They must then be mailed to:

Citizens Advisory Board

PO Box 700

Piketon, OH  45661


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61 Y/O VIET VET WORKING FROM THE LEFT OF CENTER

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