Wednesday, March 31, 2010

GDAE Podcast - Episode 29

Can Left & Right Unite?

  • Today's Question: Would it be possible for principled people on the left and right join forces to challenge the establishment?
  • Relfecting on the rising right wing populist movement that gravitated to McCain/Palin rallies in 2008, held tea bag rallies, and disrupted town hall meetings on healthcare.
  • Home grown Music: Voice of a nine-year-old and rough rendition of "Sliding Down"...
  • Prosecute Bush: "Arrest Blair dot Com"... as in British prime minister Tony Blair?

Play Episode 29 from this page:

Click to Download Episode 29.

Previous Episodes & 60-Sec Promo:
GDAE Podcast 60-Second Promo

GDAE Podcast Episode 28 March 7, 2010
GDAE Podcast Episode 27 February 21, 2010
GDAE Podcast Episode 26 February 7, 2010
GDAE Podcast Episode 25 January 19, 2010
GDAE Podcast Episode 24 December 31, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 23 November 29, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 22 November 11, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 21 October 18, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 20 October 9, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 19 September 27, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 18 September 16, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 17 August 31, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 16 July 30, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 15 June 17, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 14 June 10, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 13 May 22, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 12May 5, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 11 April 24, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 10 April 9, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 9March 28, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 8 March 15, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 7 March 1, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 6 February 17, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 5 February 6, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 4 January 24, 2009


Monday, March 29, 2010

A New Politics

After a discussion about commonalities on the left and right of the political spectrum, a friend of mine summed up a compelling new politics. The "party" of Principled People versus what he called demagogues... it's not about "left" and "right."

Aside: I think he used the term "demagogues" for effect and simply meant "unprincipled" people. Admittedly, on controversial issues the notion of one's "principles" breaks down; the subject of abortion is one such example. But one can recognize principled people who conduct themselves in a fair and honest way.

Today's political situation is in flux and this "new politics," were it to manifest itself in electoral party politics, would be temporary. It would be an instance of moderate elements of the populist left and right asserting control to refresh a corrupted political system. Common people on the left and right recognize the corrupting influence of big money in both legislative and judicial elections.

Other areas of common interest between common people on the left and right include:

Concern about...

  • Consolidation of wealth perpetuated by Wall Street's culture of anything goes .
  • Consolidated control of the mass media
  • Consolidation of corporate control ... Big Business that outsources jobs and makes it impossible for small businesses to compete fairly.... monopolies, cartels, oligopolies.
  • We're concerned with what some call "activist judges"... like those Supreme Court judges who recently decided that corporations should have MORE influence over the political electoral process when the Citizens United case before them should have been decided on more narrow grounds.
  • We share a concern about police brutality

In other words, we share concerns about the consolidation of power among a small sector of our society.

  • We didn't like the bank bailouts that perpetuated this power when we had a chance to put the bankers in their place.
  • We believe in national sovereignty, something we give up with so-called "free trade" agreements written by transnational corporate lawyers.
  • We share opposition to warrantless wire tapping and other privacy invasions of the USA PATRIOT Act
  • We're mutually concerned about the erosion of of Posse Comitatus Act, which places limits on the US military's use of police powers for domestic law enforcement.
  • Similarly, we share concerns about the CIA conducting domestic operations contrary to its founding charter.
  • We share concerns about joblessness and homelessness
  • We share the concern that the two major political parties are increasingly out of touch with real concerns of the people, in part because we recognize they have been captured by a dysfunctional political system corrupted by the consolidated power referenced earlier.


GDAE Podcast Episode 29


Friday, March 19, 2010

Michael Moore St. Patrick's Day Broadside

The working class people who believe the propaganda against Michael Moore should examine the source of that propaganda... fact is, Michael Moore is on our side, the side of working people.

This is a long one from Michael, so I'll skip to the end in the spirit of this blog, which challenges both the Democratic and Republican establishment, among other status quo elites.

Thank you, Democrats. I'll sleep better knowing that you're looking out for all of us.

Yea, right. He's being facetious here.

The Green They Steal, The Greed They Wear

By Michael Moore

March 17, 2010


It was amazing. Every story on the front page of Monday's New York Times told the story of the Age of Greed during which a system known as capitalism is slowly, but surely, killing us:

Insurance company greed: "Millions Spent to Sway Democrats on Health Care"

War profiteers: "Contractors Tied to Effort to Track and Kill Militants"

There's no profit in repairing our infrastructure: "Repair Costs Daunting as Water Lines Crumble"

China, the bank: "China Uses Rules on Global Trade to Its Advantage"

You mean NAFTA didn't improve life in Mexico: "Two Drug Slayings in Mexico Rock US Consulate"

What happens when Big Food profits from hurting kids: "Forget Goofing Around: Recess Has New Boss"

There's now a daily parade of news like this -- well, not really "news," more like the media division of large corporations shoving your face into the dirt that is your life. You already know the schools are a disaster and the war is a boon for the Halliburtons and a bust for you. You don't need a newspaper to tell you the roads and electrical lines and the local sewage plant is in miserable disrepair.

And by now you've figured out that you don't really have any say in this, that what we call the "democratic process" is mostly a sham, pretty words that get repeated in the hopes we will all still fall for it. But the fix is in and we don't fall for it anymore. Admit it: Wall Street owns "our" Congress lock, stock and big barrel o' campaign cash. You want a say in this? Well, I don't see you on the Forbes 400, so shut the f@*& up and go fetch me another bottle of bubbly.

Within days, the House of Representatives will vote to pass the Senate health care "reform" bill. This bill is a joke. It has NOTHING to do with "health care reform." It has EVERYTHING to do with lining the pockets of the health insurance industry. It forces, by law, every American who isn't old or destitute to buy health insurance if their boss doesn't provide it. What company wouldn't love the government forcing the public to buy that company's product?! Imagine a bill that ordered every citizen to buy the extended warranty on all their appliances? Imagine a law that made it illegal not to own an iPhone? Or how 'bout I get a law passed that makes it compulsory for every American to go see my next movie? Woo-hoo! Who wouldn't love a sweet set-up like this windfall?

Well, the insurance companies -- get this -- don't like the Democrats' bill! That alone should be reason enough to vote for it.

Now, you would think these thieves would love this bill -- but they are actually fighting it. Why? Because it doesn't give them ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of the what they want. It only gives them... 90%! YOU SEE, pure greed demands all or nothing.

The insurance industry hates this bill because it puts a few minor restrictions on them. Six months after its passage they won't be able to deny children coverage if they have a pre-existing condition. How awful! Government interference! SOCIALISM!

But, hey, they'll still be able to deny these children's parents coverage until 2014! So if a parent gets sick and dies in the next four years, I'm sure someone will step in and raise these already-insured orphans.

And how big will the fines be if the insurance companies do deny someone coverage for having a pre-existing condition? Are you sitting down? A hundred dollars a day! That's it! So if you're the insurance company, and Judy is a customer of yours, and Judy needs an operation that will cost $100,000, what do you do? You take the fine! Let's say Judy lives another year after you've sentenced her to death, your $100-a-day fine will only cost you $36,500! That's a savings of $63,500! And trust me, my friends, that's EXACTLY what's going to happen.

There are some good things in this bill. Parents will be able to keep their children on their policy until the kids turn 26. A few things like that. So, yes, pass that.

But don't insult me and 300 million Americans by calling this "health care reform." At least you've stopped calling it "universal health care." We will not have universal health care or anything close to it. I wish the president and the Democratic leadership would just stand up and say, "We're sorry, America. We didn't get the job done you sent us here to do. We're weak and scared and unable to communicate the simplest of messages to the American people. Therefore, our bill will guarantee that 12 million of you will still have NO health insurance. And that's because we have decided to leave the greedy, private insurance industry in charge of our system. Forgive us for this and for continuing to allow profit to be the determining factor as to whether a patient gets the help she or he needs."

Please, Democrats -- just say that -- then pass this poor excuse of a bill. Pass it because, if President Obama takes a fall on this one, I don't know if he'll be able to get back up. And then NOTHING will get done. We can't have that. (And thank you Dennis Kucinich for hanging in there right up to the end and being the only one out of the 435 members to speak the awful truth.)

On the front page of yesterday's New York Times, the dateline was, sadly, once again, "Flint, Michigan." The story was about how doctors are no longer accepting Medicaid patients. Which means tens of thousands of poor can no longer go to the doctor. Last year, the State of Michigan also prohibited doctors from accepting Medicaid patients who had anything wrong with their vision, their hearing, their feet or their teeth. In a 16-county area northwest of Flint, there will soon be not one single hospital that will allow you to give birth there if you're on Medicaid. The official unemployment rate in Flint is 27% (unofficially, closer to 40%).

This is an American tragedy. And, as I've warned you for years, this tsunami is heading your way -- if it's not there already.

I've just turned on my new iPhone and it informs me that it has "apps" it would like to suggest I buy. One is called "Scanner." It will allow me to listen in on police scanners anywhere across the country. I buy the app. I see that the Flint police scanner is part of this. I turn it on out of curiosity. And this is what I hear, at one in the morning: A woman is being beaten by her husband... A home invasion is taking place ("16-year-old black male, wearing a white skull cap")... A child has been missing since noon today... Another woman is being beaten by her boyfriend... A diabetic, obese man is having trouble breathing and needs to be rushed to the hospital (there will be three more of these obese diabetics in the hours to come; the entire town is ill)... One more woman calling, screaming for help, "officers urged to use caution..."

...And on and on and on. This is what I have listened to before going to bed. I am filled with despair and helplessness as I hear my former neighbors crying out for help. I hate it. I have to turn it off. I start to cry. Thank you, iPhone. Thank you, Democrats. I'll sleep better knowing that you're looking out for all of us.


Michael Moore

P.S. I'll continue my jihad today on Dylan Ratigan (MSNBC, 4pm ET) and, for the first time together in the same studio since our, um, 2007 debate, I'll join Wolf Blitzer live in his CNN Studio (5-8pm, ET). I'll also be on live for the entire 11am hour this morning on the wonderful Diane Rehm Show on NPR. You can listen live online here.

The rest of the day I'll spend wandering the halls of Congress with my shillelagh and shamrocks, doing my best impersonation of St. Patrick as I try to drive the snakes out of Capitol Hill. Wish me luck...



Sunday, March 14, 2010


The establishment continues to promote the war on terror, and Obama plays along, because he is a prisoner.

Meanwhile about 40,000 people die prematurely in the exceptional U. S. of A. because we are SO SKEERD of the boogie men out there that we run around like the keystone cops “solving” all the wrong problems in cahoots with the corporations that are bringing all of this upon us by their get-rich-now activities that terrorize all living creatures.

I’d like to sneak up from behind the frigg’n establishment types and say “Boo!” from the unwashed masses.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Thank You Mr. President - Relay

The following came to me by e-mail. It seems appropriate for this site. This is a relay.

Thank You Mr President

The Video That Will Put Geithner Behind Bars

One Of The Greatest Crimes Ever Perpetrated

By Mike Whitney

March 13, 2010

Check it out:

The Future Is Now!
Peace Takes Courage
Together We Can Make A Difference!

Fix Congress First
American flag header image
U.S. Constitution: Preamble
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The Constitution of the United States of America (Text):
The Constitution of the United States of America (Audio):

Oath Of Office
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

GDAE Podcast - Episode 28

  What Motivates Political Action?
  • Corporate Power: Supreme Court sides with Coal Mine Profits over People.
  • Prosecute Bush: The Chilcot Inquiry into Britain's role in the Iraq war, a window into a US inquiry.
  • MUSIC: Francisco Herrera mixed with poetry, "Casas de Carton"... 
  • The Psychology of Motivating Action: Is "more" always better? Research suggests that isn't the case. 
  • Experimental psychology: The Gaza Strip test case.
  • Hope: A key ingredient in a person's decision to join a cause.

Friday, March 5, 2010

10 Steps to Start Taking Back American Democracy

The more interesting ones come at the end of the list...

1. Secure the Vote (Remove doubts from the voting process)
2. Expand Voter Participation
3. Increase Voter Choice with Instant Runoff Voting (Require the winner to have at least 50% of the voting public's support)
4. Scrap Winner-Take-All Elections (Proportional Representation)
5. Direct Election of the President
6. Overhaul the U.S. Senate
7. Reclaim the Airwaves
8. Minimize Money's Role
9. Reform the Supreme Court
10. Restore Faith in Government of the People.


Steven Hill book, "10 Steps to Repair American Democracy".


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Noose Tightening on Tony Blair

It might be true that Britain's Chilcot investigation is toothless, but such inquiries can take on a life of their own. On March 2, The Independent of the UK ran the headline:

"Blair warned in 2000 Iraq war was illegal: Secret papers withheld by Chilcot inquiry reveal Foreign Office fears over invasion"

An invasion of Iraq was discussed within the Government more than two years before military action was taken – with the Foreign Office warning that an invasion would be illegal...

Secret Foreign Office strategy papers drawn up by senior civil servants at the end of 2000 have been obtained by this newspaper and are published for the first time today. The Iraq: future strategy document considers options for dealing with the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

The document also calls into question Mr Blair's claim that using troops to bring down Saddam Hussein was only discussed after the 9/11 terror attacks on New York – and will increase pressure on the inquiry to call Mr Blair back to give further public evidence this summer.

At some point facts emerge that are an existential threat to a government's legitimacy. The potential loss of legitimacy forces the government into an inescapable calculus: Is it worse for the entire government to loose its legitimacy or is it worse to throw a former Prime minister under the bus? The calculus is easy, Tony Blair must be sacrificed for the greater good, for the stability of society that depends on preserving the legitimacy of the government.