by Paul Barrow
Creative Director Nohad Nassif’s featured artwork here, entitled “Hope” makes very vivid what has happened to the hope many of us had when candidate Obama promised change. Below are notes taken from an article David Swanson wrote recently which list a dozen ways in which Obama has not fulfilled his promises:
1. He promised to end “the war.” He hasn’t.
2. He promised to support single-payer after he was elected. He hasn’t.
3. He promised not to change laws with signing statements. He now writes signing statements regularly.
4. He promised to take each new bill that reached his desk and post it online for five days before signing or vetoing it, to give the public a chance to
review it. He hasn’t.
5. He promised that when a tax bill is debated, he would post online the corporations that would benefit. He hasn’t.
6. He promised to swiftly undo all of Bush’s executive orders that “trampled on liberty.” He hasn’t.
7. He promised not to hire lobbyists. As David Swanson says, This promise has been tossed in the trash .
8. He promised to restore habeas corpus rights. He hasn’t.
9. He promised to prohibit torture. He hasn’t.
10. He promised to close Guantanamo. He hasn’t.
11. He promised to reject the Military Commissions Act. He now supports the use of military commissions.
12. He promised to work to renegotiate NAFTA. He hasn’t.
(Taken from the comments here, Kelso explains, AGAIN, exactly how the propaganda is nothing but lies and fear tactics)
Okey-dokey, let’s do this one more time, B’Man.
I live in a country with a Single-Payer system. There is not one piece of American Anti-Single Payer propaganda that’s true. All lies:
* “DEATH” PANELS: Not true. The elderly and chronically-ill are priority patients if anything.
* THE GOVERNMENT INTERFERES IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR DOCTOR: Not true. The government’s roles are to pay medical personnel, set salary MINIMUMS which UNIONIZED doctors, nurses, support staff may protest and always settle through a collective bargaining process.
* DOCTORS AND NURSE ARE NOT ADAQUATELY COMPENSATED: Manure. What Single-Payer does is merely make health-care essentially free for people. That’s all. They have no say in how hospitals run themselves other than providing courts through which people settle malpractice claims and the like. There is PLENTY of salary competition among hospitals, for example, for the best thoracic surgeon, or the best post-natal nurse, or whatever.
* YOU HAVE NO PRIVACY: Lie. You have more privacy because only Sheople ™ would allow a government more intrusive powers when they are the ones who put the government into power and a government is in charge of something. Yes. I excuse you guys. You can let the government walk all over you just the way you like. When these systems were put into place in other countries, there were national referenda restricting government access to doctor patient and nurse patient records and files.
* YOU HAVE NO CHOICE OF DOCTOR. Utter horseshit. You can see a different doctor for each ailment as long as you can keep finding new ones in the Yellow Pages.
* IT’S “SOCIALISM“. For people yes, for medical professionals, no. Besides, there is not a capitalist self-governing nation on Earth that is purely “free-market” or purely “socialist.” Every country is basically capitalist with some balance of the efficiency of the market economy with the social justice of collective-ownership (yes, including the USA)
* THE QUALITY OF CARE IS NOT UP TO USA STANDARDS. Please don’t tell me you believe this. About half the doctors where I live have gone to the best medical schools in the US and Europe, our National University Medical School is top-shelf as are the medical throughout South America.
* YOU CAN’T HAVE PRIVATE INSURANCE FOR EXPERIMENTAL TECHNIQUES OR TO COVER TRANSPLANTS: Wrong. The difference is that private insurers have a hard ceiling as to what the can charge you in premiums and may not — by law — deny anybody anything for pre-existing conditions. You’d get some crazily good Major Medical coverage for $200/month, without waiving your National Health at all
* LONG LINES: Wrong. No lines. And family doctors make house-calls.
* THIRD WORLD HOSPITALS: If you consider a brand-new branch of say Johns Hopkins University Hospital to be “third world,” you’re right.
* COMMUNIST BUDGET-BUSTING SOCIAL-PROGRAM FAVORING POOR OVER WORKING MAN: Manure. The budget here is in surplus. Why? No wars of choice. No bloated military apparatus. No militarized police-prison state.
* THEY’LL RAISE MY TAXES: HR 676 will not raise your taxes. But here I pay 15% corporate. Maximum 10% personal. And 1% capital gains. You can do an awful lot of good in an economy in which nobody has an incentive to cheat because no one wants to tinker with a good thing. Again, no wars and no Tax Bureaucracy and no nosy police state does wonders for a budget.
FREE INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS LESSON:
Venezuela, by the way, has less of its productive capacity in government hands than the USA does, and what it does have is actually collectively-owned by the people, as opposed to being for-profit entities for the benefit of the IRS and Federal Reserve.
The “socialist” government of Venezuela is far more fiscally and monetarily conservative than the governments of the United States have EVER been with the possible exceptions of Bush Sr’s last two years and Bill Clinton’s first two years.
My day was boogered when we received the call asking for help with BuelahLady’s Mother (who has recently broke her hip). I had to stay here with BuelahGirl, but didn’t get to go to the rally (which I understand was good).
I took a few pics of a few of the “different” items we planted:
There was one other pumpkin on this massive plant (two vines that were over 25′ long each). My mother, BuelahMeMe (don’t ask) took it upon herself to pick the “squash” when it was the size of a baseball. This plant is supposed to bear 400# pumpkins and she cut it off at 1#. I will admit that it tasted superb.
We also have another friend near the garden that we have been watching for a couple months. She likes the old kids toys we have junked in the back yard and finds dinner there. One of these pics was as she was dining (hard to tell from the back):
Celebrate? For what, you ask?
Arguably, there is little to celebrate when it comes to the Real State of The Union (or the World, for that matter). So, I take ‘em where I can get ‘em.
Monday was BuelahGirl’s fifth birthday. We had a small get together with family and are going to plan an excursion to the bowling alley with her little friends next weekend.
Then Tuesday was Buelahlady’s and my 19th anniversary. We celebrated with BuelahGirl since all the babysitters are sick and I must say that I spent $75 on a meal that I could have made at least 10 times better (for a fraction of the price). I knew I should have cooked for my baby (BuelahLady) instead of going out. At least the Rum and Coke was good.
BTW: I am the chief chef and bottle Washer around here, as well. I would challenge virtually anyone to a “steak off” (or ribs, chops, anything on the grill). I have never eaten a better steak than I can cook myself. Period.
On another note, my birthday is the 31st. We are supposed to go to my hometown to visit with my mom who has recently been diagnosed with Giant cell arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatica. These conditions are debilitating, especially if not treated.
So, how well has her healthcare been? Her Primary doctor never did figure it out and said it was a reaction to Fosamax. However, after 2 MONTHS, they finally got her a visit with a specialist in Huntsville, AL (a 2hour drive one way) who diagnosed her issue and gave her Prednisone (which has already begun to ease her pain).
The point is that healthcare sucks in the SE USA and I suspect that either the rest of the country has good care or you are all a bunch of fools defending a fucked up system.
On top of all of this, my new job has me very busy trying to sell, so I have limited time to post my normal atrocious bleh. So put up with this until I get back from my first Single Payer rally I am attending today in Jackson, TN (I have been asked to speak, but not so sure I will actually get to a mike… but by God, if I do…)
I’ll update later.
PS: to Dawg, Kelso and LoveBabz
Sorry I missed the show the other night. We didn’t get back until much later than I expected. I did listen to it yesterday and wished I could have made it during airing.
Music video of the song: Don’t Inject Me (the Swine Flu Vaccine Song) by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, editor of http://www.NaturalNews.com. This song was written in protest of the widespread swine flu vaccinations now being pushed around the world.
What do you do when people tell lies about you? Do you sit around and ignore it?
What do you do when people seem to intentionally misrepresent something about America or our particular issues? Do you explain the issue and squash the rhetoric?
Thank goodness these Canadians have heard enough of the bullshit and want to set the record straight:
Universal Health Care Message to Americans From Canadian Doctors & Health Care Experts
Canadian Doctors for Medicare hosted a celebration of Medicare in Canada. The speakers included Roy Romanow, former Saskatchewan Premiere and Commissioner on Health Care in Canada. They tell Americans that Canadian universal health care works and encourage Americans to implement a single payer universal health care systems.
Then, to contrast, we have our government officials telling us that government can’t help them:
Methinks that our government officials are owned; lock, stock and barrel.
History’s demands can seem inconvenient, unfair or unreasonable. But they can’t be ignored. The Obama administration has a legal and moral duty to determine whether crimes were committed in the Bush-era detention and interrogation of “war on terror” prisoners — and, if so, to prosecute those responsible.
President Obama has made clear that “he thinks that we should be looking forward, not backward,” as spokesman Bill Burton said Monday. Obama has taken admirable steps toward assuring the nation and the world that the worst abuses — waterboarding, indefinite detention, Abu Ghraib — will not happen again.
Obama’s latest move, lodging responsibility for interrogating “high-value” suspects in a new unit that will report to the White House, seeks to offer further guarantees against torture and abuse. I’m not quite sure what it accomplishes — it takes control of these interrogations away from the CIA and ensures that they will be conducted under the strict rules of the Army Field Manual, but it seems to me that the president should be able to simply order the CIA to follow whatever rules he specifies. Maybe the new High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group will ensure additional safeguards and greater accountability, but at first glance its likely impact seems more bureaucratic than operational.
More to the point is a report that Attorney General Eric Holder has decided to reopen nearly a dozen cases of alleged prisoner abuse by CIA employees and contractors with an eye toward possible prosecutions. Such action would reverse the decision by the Justice Department under the Bush administration to drop these cases. According to The Post, Holder has decided on career federal prosecutor John Durham to lead the inquiry.
This would put the attorney general in a tough position. That’s okay; Holder is a tough guy, and when he took the job he knew it wouldn’t be a walk in the park. But Obama has decided not only to take a hands-off position on the matter, which is a proper acknowledgement of prosecutorial independence, but to reinforce his “looking forward” message at every opportunity. Without taking a position on whether there should be prosecutions, the president certainly seems to be telegraphing one.
Obama has consistently opposed even a comprehensive investigation into human rights abuses and [possible] crimes committed by the Bush administration. His reluctance is understandable — but it’s wrong.
Given Obama’s ambitious domestic agenda, he could hardly be eager to have to spend time and political capital in pursuing transgressions that took place years ago on another administration’s watch. Inconveniently, however, torture and cruel treatment are clearly against the law. Holder is said to have been appalled upon reading the classified version of a voluminous report on CIA abuses. If there is credible evidence that crimes were indeed committed, I don’t see how the nation’s chief law enforcement officer — or its commander in chief — could just look the other way.
There are those who argue that such prosecutions would destroy the CIA’s morale. But giving interrogators and jailers a “just following orders” free pass is unfair to those in the chain of command who knew these alleged practices were wrong and tried to prevent or halt them. Waterboarding, to cite perhaps the most flagrant abuse, has been prosecuted by the U.S. government as a war crime. This history cannot have been unknown to all CIA employees and contractors.
If Holder’s reported decision to reopen the CIA cases does lead to prosecutions, there is one possible outcome that everyone should find unacceptable: that only the hands-on abusers are charged and tried. Proper investigations must work their way up the chain. In some instances, it may be a mid-level employee who overstepped clear boundaries and ordered subordinates to perform acts that might have taken place in a medieval dungeon. In other cases, illegal acts apparently were approved at the highest levels. Investigators need to be allowed to follow the evidence all the way to the top — into the White House, if that is where the trail leads.
I’m under no illusion that George W. Bush or Dick Cheney is actually going to be prosecuted by the Justice Department. But I want to know — and I believe the nation needs to know — the full, unvarnished truth of what they and others did in our name. [ Invading a country not responsible for 9/11; illegal and greedy deals and contracts, the death of our sons and daughters for an unjust war[s], creating laws in back rooms, going against the Constitution…etc etc etc] It’s probable that painful scrutiny and lasting disgrace will be the only sanctions that Bush and Cheney ever face. But history demands at least that much. E.Robinson Washington Post8.25.09
B’Man: My opinion about this is that is has served the Obama Administration a 4-pronged purpose: (1) To test to see if he could extend the American Empire the furthest yet — into a majority White, European, wealthy, nation, albeit one with very generous social policies and extremely sensible drug laws (2) the 4500 are people who were promised something special or are regarded as “dissenters” or “opponents” of the Demopublican/Republicrat government; probably just American private fund managers who made a lot of money betting AGAINST the value of equity and debt of companies favorable to the permanent corporatist government (4)Any chance to insert RFID tags, the USA government takes (4) knowing that the health-care “reform” plan would eventually be shown for the joke that it was and he’d lose this “victory” with “liberals,” the idea of FUCKING RICH PEOPLE (just not the super-rich or HIS rich) AND A FOREIGN NATION IN THE ASS would have tremendous populist appeal with both the “Ass-Whole Foods Liberals” and the “Town-Hallers/Birthers”.
What I guess he didn’t count on is that the same lack of attention to anything but American Idol which has allowed the entire BushBama Corporatist State to commit all its crimes and excesses with public and media approval, has prevented anyone really from caring about esoteric international bank and tax issues. Frankly, no one gave a shit. It would be better if a lot of people saw this bit of bullshit for what it was: a violation of national sovereignty and fascist overreaching by a police state and thus a direct threat to every American’s freedoms, be they rich or poor. It was good, though, that no one cared. Not even “eco-tourist” dickheads.
We’ll see what happens. It may blow over. All I know is any ex-pats who saluted the MAGIC MESSIAH and presented himself or herself at the US embassies around the world last week have to be the stupidest Sheople(tm) in creation!
I have read a few things regarding Mr Soetero’s previous life as a CIA agent, but never gave it much thought. But, after reading my friend Paul Barrow’s article, “Obama: The CIA Plant“, it begins to take a form that I can grasp and understand. Paul doesn’t go off on tangents and this doesn’t mean that Mr Obama was, in fact, “groomed” for the position, but Paul’s point is well taken: whether or not he was a CIA Plant then, he is now…
Written by Paul Barrow
A video made the rounds recently on Facebook along with links to it on other listservs featuring comments made by Australian journalist and author John Pilger in which he takes up a theme fostered lately by Chris Hedges that “ Obama is a Corporate Marketing Creation.” Hedges, who writes a weekly column for Truthdig, wrote an article in May called Buying Brand Obama and generally limits himself to the dangers in government of buying image over substance. Pilger is doing something more, however, than just proposing that Obama flirted with Madison Avenue on his way to the top. He is actually alleging something far more ominous. Pilger has insinuated that our hot and shiny new president was actually groomed for the job by the CIA.
That obviously begs the question, mommy: why does the CIA want it’s own president? Isn’t it supposed to be out overthrowing other governments?
Hmmm. He doesn’t provide us with any evidence for that, other than an allusion to Obama’s employment by an obscure international economics research publisher called Business International, which Pilger
proposes “has a long history of providing cover for the CIA with covert action and infiltrating unions and the left.” It’s true: our modern internet source of expertise Wikipedia says, that “According to a lengthy article in the New York Times in 1977, the co-founder of the company told the newspaper that ‘Eldridge Haynes [the other founder] had provided cover for four CIA employees in various countries between 1955 and 1960′ ”
“Obama doesn’t say what he did at Business International,” Pilger says in the video, “and there may be absolutely nothing sinister. But it seems worthy of inquiry and debate as a clue to perhaps who the man is. During his brief period in the Senate Obama voted to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He voted for the Patriot Act. He refused to support a bill for single-payer health care. He supported the death penalty. As a presidential candidate he received more corporate backing than John McCain. He promised to close Guantanamo as a priority, but instead he’s excused torture, reinstated military commissions, kept the Bush gulag intact, and opposed habeas corpus.”
Pilger supports a view he attributes to Daniel Ellsberg, “the great whistleblower,” who said that under Bush a military coup had taken place in the United States. Said Ellsberg:
“A coup has occurred. I woke up the other day realizing, coming out of sleep, that a coup has occurred. It’s not just a question that a coup lies ahead with the next 9/11. That’s the next coup, which completes the first.” See Consortium News September 26, 2007 .
That’s a mouthful coming from the author of the Pentagon Papers . This, Pilger also defended with the following facts: Robert Gates, a Bush family crony, has been retained as Secretary of Defense, and “all the Bush Pentagon officials and generals …have kept their jobs under Obama.” Obama has increased the military budget, expanded the war in Afghanistan, and like Bush has used the illusion of a threat by Iran against Europe “to justify building a missile system aimed at Russia and China.”
Chris Hedges said it much better:
“What, for all our faith and hope, has the Obama brand given us? His administration has spent, lent or guaranteed $12.8 trillion in taxpayer dollars to Wall Street and insolvent banks in a doomed effort to reinflate the bubble economy, a tactic that at best forestalls catastrophe and will leave us broke in a time of profound crisis. Brand Obama has allocated nearly $1 trillion in defense-related spending and the continuation of our doomed imperial projects in Iraq, where military planners now estimate that 70,000 troops will remain for the next 15 to 20 years. Brand Obama has expanded the war in Afghanistan, including the use of drones sent on cross-border bombing runs into Pakistan that have doubled the number of civilians killed over the past three months. Brand Obama has refused to ease restrictions so workers can organize and will not consider single-payer, not-for-profit health care for all Americans. And Brand Obama will not prosecute the Bush administration for war crimes, including the use of torture, and has refused to dismantle Bush’s secrecy laws or restore habeas corpus. “
But if this was just Madison Avenue on steroids, it would be easy to dismiss, because the marketing of any product including the president has become not only essential in today’s buy-me-a-new-president market atmosphere but a highly sophisticated craft that requires expertise that goes far beyond being a good organizer on the streets of Chicago or even a law professor. The deeper significance of what Pilger is proposing is that Obama might actually have been groomed for the job from the time that he was an employee at Business International.
Our president, he seems to be saying, is a CIA plant.
What is United Progressives?
United Progressives is a union. Although informal and unincorporated, we believe that a union best describes our purpose, which is to provide an equal voice for people who believe in the common values and causes described by our platform. No changes are made to our platform without asking for a vote from our membership. Our members decide.
Why do we need a union?
We believe that when progressives unite under one roof and vote together for the things we believe in, then progressives will have power. We can then speak as a body with the full force of the will of the majority who are the people of the United States.
The majority of people in the United States are progressive. 69% of Americans believe that we should begin a phased withdrawal from Iraq right now. A CBS poll March 1, 2008 says that 64% of Americans favor universal health care. An ABC/Washington Post Poll conducted from January 9-12 says that 57% favor a woman’s right to have an abortion in either most or all cases. Another CBS poll says 52% of Americans believe that the U.S. government should give high priority to global warming. A survey by Lake Research shows that an overwhelming majority of voters support public campaign financing.
As United Progressives, we can represent all those of you who believe in universal health care, in ending the war, and creating an economy that supports all of us, not just a privileged few.
We are a Constituency. We believe that strong membership-based organizations can strongly influence politics and legislation simply by speaking publicly about what their memberships stand for. We don’t endorse candidates. This obligates a candidate to nothing and he has the freedom to take whatever path he chooses. There is no discussion or agreement on issues. However, when candidates endorse us, by doing so, they express clearly that their views are aligned with ours and deserve our support.
Not a Political Action Committee. Political Action Committees direct their efforts toward certain types of legislation and attempt to influence Congress on support.This is not our mission. Our mission is to unite progressives. There are plenty of organizations which behave as PACs very well, and our members are free to participate in and support any PAC they wish. None of those PACs, however, are making an effort to unite the family of progressives because they need to be very focused on a specific piece of legislation. Many of these PACs decide which issue they will support on the basis of how fashionable it is, and therefore, how much money it will raise for the organization. Some issues never get heard. We also believe that such efforts fall far short of the energy that is needed to persuade Congress of the need for progressive measures. It’s going to be very difficult for us as a movement to do anything at all until we can speak with a common voice in unity. The priority, therefore, is to unite.
No Party Affiliation. Our union is not a political party. Parties are useless unless they have a candidate to support. The central focus of a party is its candidate and whatever name recognition or celebrity he or she has managed to garner. Our union stands for issues, not candidates.
No Candidates. Second, this is not a back door attempt to build a constituency for some undisclosed candidate for President. Our union is unaffiliated with any candidate and our strategy is to build a constituency for issues, not a candidate.
No Donations. No political organization should be founded, or dependent upon, money. We should not have to be paid to participate in democracy. We strongly believe in volunteerism, and the slogan made famous by Karl Marx, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” We won’t be asking for individual donations. We may at some point in the future raise the issue of annual dues but it would have to be approved by a vote of the majority of our membership, with a very clear and well-defined outline of its use.
J Street’s dangerous detour to the White House
By LENNY BEN DAVID
Yasser Arafat sought peace with Israel, Jeremiah was a bullfrog, the Brooklyn Bridge is for sale, Brutus was an honorable man and J Street is a pro-Israel organization. Not.
As a long-time student of American politics and the US-Israel relationship, I am fascinated by the J Street phenomenon and grateful for The Jerusalem Post’s recent exposé “Muslims, Arabs among J Street donors,” which raises additional questions about the group: How can J Street call itself “pro-Israel” while advocating positions that are at odds with the traditional pro-Israel agenda. Who stands behind the organization? Why hasn’t the organization drawn the attention of investigative reporters, or is the press reluctant to challenge an organization that has emerged as US President Barack Obama’s “toy Jews”? How did an upstart organization get an invitation to a White House meeting with the president just one year after its founding?
AS THE Post story made clear, one aspect of the lobby’s fund-raising is open to public scrutiny: the US Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) list of the J Street Political Action Committee (PAC) donors. It appears that the majority of J Street PAC’s contributors are liberal American Jews, but, according to the FEC and the Post story, the PAC donors also include the Saudi Embassy’s lawyer, Arab American leaders, student leaders at Islamic centers around the US, board members of the de facto Iranian lobby in the US and Arabist American foreign service officers. Among the organization’s advisory council are former US diplomats and public officials who later became foreign agents in the pay of the Saudis, Egyptians and Tunisians.
J Street proclaims on its Web site that (from $850,000 raised), it contributed $575,000 to candidates in the latest election cycle, “more than any other pro-Israel PAC in the country.” Do these well-known detractors of Israel know they are giving to an organization that advertises itself as “pro-Israel?” Or do the Arab-American and pro-Iranian donors give because they perceive that the goals of J Street match their goals: to weaken the State of Israel and undermine the US-Israel relationship?
In the classic chicken-and-egg question: Does J Street set its policies to attract their donations, or do the contributors set J Street policies? At the same time, do the well-meaning progressive and true friends of Israel know who else is filling the coffers at J Street and its PAC?
A pro-Israel organization’s bona fides should be judged by the company it keeps and the FEC documents suggest that J Street keeps questionable company indeed – a “not employed” man is really a Palestinian billionaire; a “self-employed” contributor is also a board member of the National Iranian American Council and serves on J Street’s finance committee with a minimum donation of $10,000; a “lawyer” who contributes $15,000 is a board member of the discredited and anti-Israel Human Rights Watch; a “housing specialist” is an anti-Israel activist in the Methodist Church; a “teacher” is a founder of an Islamic school indoctrinating students to be anti-Israel.
J Street’s director must take the Post’s readers for fools when he claims, “I think it is a terrific thing for Israel for us to be able to expand the tent of people who are willing to be considered pro-Israel.”
Why should a National Iranian American Council board member give at least $10,000 to J Street PAC? Perhaps it is because of the very close relationship between the two organizations. In June the directors of both organizations coauthored an article in the Huffington Post, “How diplomacy with Iran can Work,” arguing against imposing new tough sanctions on Iran.
The two organizations have worked in lockstep over the last year to torpedo congressional action against Iran. Why would a supposedly pro-Israel, pro-peace organization work so hard to block legislation that would undermine the Iranian ayatollah regime? Ostensibly, any step to hinder Iran’s nuclear development and aid to Hamas and Hizbullah would be a step toward regional peace. Deterring Iran through sanctions would lessen the need for military action against Iran. This, as well as championing Hamas’s cause, just doesn’t make sense.
THE POST also noted donations from individuals connected to Arab American groups.
In June, the director of J Street was a guest speaker at the annual conference of the Arab lobbying group, the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee. Appearing on the same panel was the J Street-endorsed Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Maryland), one the few members of Congress who refused to support a congressional resolution in January that recognized Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas. J Street’s PAC raised $30,000 for Edwards in June.
We come back to the questions: Do J Street’s Jewish and (really) pro-Israel supporters know about J Street’s alliance with Arab Americans and the Iranian lobby? And, echoing the questions surrounding the recently reported Human Rights Watch solicitation from Saudi sources, did J Street’s PAC actively solicit funds from these groups, and what was the message to them?
Supporters of J Street should know that their contributions to the PAC are a matter of public record. They owe it to their own reputations to see who’s on the roster alongside their names.
Does J Street’s leadership perpetrate fraud when it portrays itself as pro-Israel to pro-Israel and anti-Israel audiences at the same time? The question should be left to legal authorities, J Street donors and the court of public opinion to decide. In Jewish law there is a concept of gneyvat da’at – knowingly misrepresenting oneself. Of that, J Street is guilty.
J Street maintains three fiscal entities: its main organization, the political action committee and a campus education organization. Only the last two are transparent under US law, with contribution lists provided as public record to the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Election Committee. But what of J Street’s non-transparent main organization? Are there contributions from Iranian-related or Arab-American sources as there are to the PAC? Does J Street solicit money in the Human Rights Watch model?
Would that explain its opposition to Iranian sanctions? Does that explain its “evenhanded” policy on the issue of Israel’s war against Hamas? Its support for Caryl Churchill’s anti-Semitic play Seven Jewish Children?
Only opening all of its financial books will give J Street the kosher certification the progressive, pro-Israel, pro-peace community deserves.
Persian Jews by the way ARE NOT ethnic Semites. But they are still absolutely correct in this and are only expressing a common-sense PATRIOTISM any of you would.
It is one thing to listen to the drug warriors tell us how evil marijuana is and how bad for you it is, but it is another thing altogether when you listen to scientists and doctors tell you how good it is for you. The challenge is with the Sheople who get their fill of propaganda and don’t pay attention to anyone except your handlers. Sheople can be fed something long enough until it becomes what they survive on and even desire. It becomes the only real food they get.
Well, let me pull a Paul on you, by explaining that it is time to get off the baby food and on to something that is more satisfying for both your health and your soul.
Paul uses the metaphor of meat and milk several times in the NT. In 1 Corinthians 3:1- 2, Paul writes, “I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly — mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it.” Even though he tells us in 1 Peter 2:2, that milk is valuable for babies, he makes it clear that meat is more desirable and better for you than milk and that you should grow up.
Well, I will be Paul today and tell you that the milk that the government and its Corporate shills keep feeding you is keeping you immature and ignorant. In contrast to Paul, though, they will keep you on this milk forever, unless you seek to get the real meat. As long as they keep you childlike, immature and ignorant, you will never grow up and out of their control. It is exactly the same for churches and Christian believers as it is for the public in America.
The real meat is that the “evil weed” you have been brainwashed into believing as “evil” is far from that.
The entire 3rd chapter of 1 Corinthians is basically an analogy suggesting that understanding the difference between milk and meat is the same as understanding the difference between good and evil. (From the looks of the War-mongering cheerleaders in America’s Christian churches, the vast majority of you have yet to discern this difference between these)
So, what if you are ignorant and immature to the truth about cannabis? What if it is the milk that keeps you from better understanding and healing? What if cannabis actually cured cancers? What if it actually helped the blind to see (I wonder if Jesus used dirt from a marijuana patch to heal the blind)?
My point is that if Americans are still milk drinkers, by and large (and this is apparent that we are), then why don’t we try a little meat. Pete at Drug War Rant offers such meat:
Another day, another revelation that marijuana is… yawn… good for you.
Little things like
- A study showing that lifetime marijuana use is associated with a “significantly reduced risk” of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
- This study showing that marijuana has dramatically different effects on lung function than tobacco does, with findings on lung capacity and airway resistance for marijuana users similar to those who did not smoke tobacco.
- Another study showing once again that chemicals in cannabis can halt the proliferation of cancer [and now it's many types of cancer].
This is really getting old.
But you all knew this, right? I’m sure they taught this in the schools, and that the Surgeon General has gone on the TeeVee to tell everyone to vaporize a moderate amount of pot on a regular basis as a preventative for cancer, right? And I’m sure that the website for U.S. Health and Human Services has information about the valuable properties of this plant for people’s health, right? After all, that’s their job. And I’m sure the media has regular health columns explaining the best way to use marijuana to take advantage of its healthful properties, just as they have had articles on drinking red wine in moderation for heart benefits, or using aspirin to prevent heart attacks.
You know what would be really funny? If they took something with such proven benefits as marijuana and told people they couldn’t use it, even though it could mean that some people might die. Can you imagine how pissed off people would get? There’d be riots at town hall meetings and stuff.
Wouldn’t the new meat eaters finally come out of ignorance and demand change, if they knew the above was true? Maybe not, but what if they knew that the most common cancer found in men (prostate cancer) can be stopped dead in its tracks by the healing substance in marijuana (the cannabinoids). h/t VitalisNews and DeProgram:
Active chemicals in cannabis have been shown to halt prostate cancer cell growth according to research published in the British Journal of Cancer today.
Researchers from the University of Alcala, in Madrid tested the effects of the active chemicals in cannabis called cannabinoids on three human prostate cancer cell lines – called PC-3, DU-a45 and LNCaP.
The prostate cancer cells carry molecular ‘garages’ called receptors in which cannabinoids can ‘park’.
The scientists showed for the first time that if cannabinoids ‘park’ on a receptor called CB2, the cancer cells stop multipyling.
But Dr Lesley Walker, Cancer Research UK’s director of cancer information warned patients against smoking the drug. She said: “This is interesting research which opens a new avenue to explore potential drug targets but it is at a very early stage – it absolutely isn’t the case that men might be able to fight prostate cancer by smoking cannabis.”
Dr Walker added: “This research suggest that prostate cancer cells might stop growing if they are treated with chemicals found in cannabis but more work needs to be done to explore the potential of the cannabinoids in treatment.”
To confirm the findings the scientists switched off the CB2 receptors – or ‘closed the garage doors’- on the prostate cells. When cannabinoids were then added to cells without the CB2 receptor, the prostate cancer cells carried on dividing and growing. This suggests that cannabinoids connect with the CB2 receptors on prostate cancer cells to stop cell division and spread.
Professor Ines Diaz-Laviada, study author at the University of Alcala said: “Our research shows that there are areas on prostate cancer cells which can recognise and talk to chemicals found in cannabis called cannabinoids. These chemicals can stop the division and growth of prostate cancer cells and could become a target for new research into potential drugs to treat prostate cancer.”
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK- affecting more than 35,000 men in the UK each year. A quarter of all new cases of cancer diagnosed in men are prostate cancers
If you knew all the above, would you fight for this meat to be given freely to all who need it? Or would you continue to slurp up the milk being offered, even though it is tainted with lies and deceit leading many people to suffer and die when we have a natural substance “God put on earth” that could help, if not stop the horrors of cancer? Would you still deny its benefits to another suffering human because of the lying propaganda and your ignorance?
Let me leave you with this little tidbit that really struck me with understanding about the church, milk and maturity:
“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ [milk], let us go on unto perfection [meat]; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment” (Hebrews 6:1-2).
In these two verses, Paul basically tells us that most of what the church still teaches is baby food. Over 2,000 years later and we are still being fed milk by the leaders. Why? Because they have not ever progressed beyond the baby stage of Christian development. You’ll know it when they do, because they will stop teaching those issues like “eternal judgment”. In other words, the fear tactics and mumbo-jumbo would disappear, should Christians ever mature.
I wouldn’t hold my breath.
And leave it up to Lou Dobbs to point this out.
WHAT?!? LOU DOBBS?
I don’t know what his angle is, but the illumination from the MSM is needed. Leslie Savan, from The Nation wrote an article, picked up by Alternet and I saw the link at AfterDowningStreet. I couldn’t believe my ears and had to add it here.
Of course, even with the current system:
Mort Mintz, Nieman Watchdog - “We have to control the rate of increase in health care costs,” the chief executive officer of Aetna Inc., told Judy Woodruff the other evening on the News Hour with Jim Lehrer. Woodruff didn’t mention a glaringly obvious way for Ronald A. Williams and his counterparts in the health-insurance industry to slow the rise in those costs: slashing their exorbitant compensation. “Anyone who wants to know why health insurance is so expensive need look no further than the insurance company proxy statements,” Frank Schneider, of Chicago, wrote in the current issue of The Progressive Populist. According to the latest statement, United Healthcare paid its CEO, Stephen Hemsley, $3,241,042 in 2008,” Schneider said in a letter to the editor. “But don’t shed a tear; he was paid $13,164,529 in 2007. . . The top five executives of the half dozen of the largest health insurance companies took home $169,837,696 in 2008. And that was a bad year for executives, with the collapsing stock market.”
by Rivkin & Casey
President Obama has called for a serious and reasoned debate about his plans to overhaul the health-care system. Any such debate must include the question of whether it is constitutional for the federal government to adopt and implement the president’s proposals. Consider one element known as the “individual mandate,” which would require every American to have health insurance, if not through an employer then by individual purchase. This requirement would particularly affect young adults, who often choose to save the expense and go without coverage. Without the young to subsidize the old, a comprehensive national health system will not work. But can Congress require every American to buy health insurance?
In short, no. The Constitution assigns only limited, enumerated powers to Congress and none, including the power to regulate interstate commerce or to impose taxes, would support a federal mandate requiring anyone who is otherwise without health insurance to buy it.
Although the Supreme Court has interpreted Congress’s commerce power expansively, this type of mandate would not pass muster even under the most aggressive commerce clause cases. In Wickard v. Filburn (1942), the court upheld a federal law regulating the national wheat markets. The law was drawn so broadly that wheat grown for consumption on individual farms also was regulated. Even though this rule reached purely local (rather than interstate) activity, the court reasoned that the consumption of homegrown wheat by individual farms would, in the aggregate, have a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce, and so was within Congress’s reach.
The court reaffirmed this rationale in 2005 in Gonzales v. Raich, when it validated Congress’s authority to regulate the home cultivation of marijuana for personal use. In doing so, however, the justices emphasized that — as in the wheat case — “the activities regulated by the [Controlled Substances Act] are quintessentially economic.” That simply would not be true with regard to an individual health insurance mandate.
The otherwise uninsured would be required to buy coverage, not because they were even tangentially engaged in the “production, distribution or consumption of commodities,” but for no other reason than that people without health insurance exist. The federal government does not have the power to regulate Americans simply because they are there. Significantly, in two key cases, United States v. Lopez (1995) and United States v. Morrison (2000), the Supreme Court specifically rejected the proposition that the commerce clause allowed Congress to regulate noneconomic activities merely because, through a chain of causal effects, they might have an economic impact. These decisions reflect judicial recognition that the commerce clause is not infinitely elastic and that, by enumerating its powers, the framers denied Congress the type of general police power that is freely exercised by the states.
This leaves mandate supporters with few palatable options. Congress could attempt to condition some federal benefit on the acquisition of insurance. States, for example, usually condition issuance of a car registration on proof of automobile insurance, or on a sizable payment into an uninsured motorist fund. Even this, however, cannot achieve universal health coverage. No federal program or entitlement applies to the entire population, and it is difficult to conceive of a “benefit” that some part of the population would not choose to eschew.
The other obvious alternative is to use Congress’s power to tax and spend. In an effort, perhaps, to anchor this mandate in that power, the Senate version of the individual mandate envisions that failure to comply would be met with a penalty, to be collected by the IRS. This arrangement, however, is not constitutional either.
Like the commerce power, the power to tax gives the federal government vast authority over the public, and it is well settled that Congress can impose a tax for regulatory rather than purely revenue-raising purposes. Yet Congress cannot use its power to tax solely as a means of controlling conduct that it could not otherwise reach through the commerce clause or any other constitutional provision. In the 1922 case Bailey v. Drexel Furniture, the Supreme Court ruled that Congress could not impose a “tax” to penalize conduct (the utilization of child labor) it could not also regulate under the commerce clause. Although the court’s interpretation of the commerce power’s breadth has changed since that time, it has not repudiated the fundamental principle that Congress cannot use a tax to regulate conduct that is otherwise indisputably beyond its regulatory power.
Of course, these constitutional impediments can be avoided if Congress is willing to raise corporate and/or income taxes enough to fund fully a new national health system. Absent this politically dangerous — and therefore unlikely — scenario, advocates of universal health coverage must accept that Congress’s power, like that of the other branches, has limits. These limits apply regardless of how important the issue may be, and neither Congress nor the president can take constitutional short cuts. The genius of our system is that, no matter how convinced our elected officials may be that certain measures are in the public interest, their goals can be accomplished only in accord with the powers and processes the Constitution mandates, processes that inevitably make them accountable to the American people.