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In Parts One and Two, I discussed the support Kucinich has and the irrational fear also associated with electing Kucinich. Today, I want to focus on the secondary soundbite I have heard over the last few weeks about Kucinich. The Kucinich critics to have their work cut out for them because they need to go back THIRTY YEARS to find something to complain about. Their soundbite is "he drove Cleveland into bankruptcy." This, it turns out, is a lie. It is a Halliburton straw man with a touch of Sopranos level intrigue.
Dennis Kucinich started out as the Mayor of Cleveland in 1977 - the youngest Mayor of a large city in America. The city was hip deep in trouble with it's finances and crime. Not to mention, when Kucinich was sworn in, Cleveland was in one of its worst snow storms with winds of over 100 miles per hour - a sign of things to come.
He made good appointments and bad appointments for his administration and one of those, the Chief of Police, Richard Hongisto, proved to be real bad. The fiasco went so terribly wrong that a recall election was called and Kucinich won - maintaining control of the failing city.
One of his campaign promises was to not sell Cleveland's public electricity utility, Cleveland Public Power to Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company - a corrupt company with a stack of federal violations of anti-trust laws held against it. When Kucinich got in office, the mafia figured out that this young Mayor was actually going to keep his word and NOT sell Cleveland Public Power to Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company so the mafia put a hit out for the murder of Kucinich. Yep, Dennis Kucinich was the target of mafioso assassins, but that was nothing compared to the EXTREME pressure of the city council and local banks had placed on Kucinich to sell the utility. In the end, Kucinich still said no.
How many times have we wished for that tenacity in our politicians when dealing with Halliburton?
The main city creditor, Cleveland Trust, ignored all of Kucinich's debt restructuring plans and placed the city in default of payment. Here is the kicker - the bank's board had seven members who were on the payroll of Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company and they were also on that company's board. The collusion was right out of the Cheney Play Book. The bank was a major shareholder in CEI and thus the sale of the city's municipal light utility would have benefited the bank, not the citizens of Cleveland.
And again, Kucinich stood his ground. He put the decision to the people, vote to sell to CEI or vote for a .5% tax increase. Cleveland voted for higher taxes. Corporate interests lost and remarkably, the mafia recalled the assassin.
Cleveland never went into bankruptcy and the loan was paid and would have been paid if CEI and Cleveland Trust weren't involved in a conspiracy to rob the citizens of Cleveland of almost a third of a billion dollars, in 1970's money.
CEI was later acquired by FirstEnergy, the company was responsible for the 2003 blackout. Cleveland Public Power is still cranking out the watts to the city of Cleveland.
So that is the story, Kucinich is guilty of not bowing to Big Energy and ignored the deployment of assassins just to keep a campaign promise.
Here is my question, which of the "leading candidates" in this race; Clinton, Obama or Edwards would have withstood that kind of pressure?
Is it any wonder Ohio keeps sending Kucinich back to Congress? They know which side he is on.
Friday, August 24, 2007
"A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of our hearts, but it will out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
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Bush mentions the "killing fields" in his speech. I don't think most people know the killing fields were in Cambodia and not Vietnam, but the mention of it sent my brain into shock. Since Bush is now making the comparison, what are the other analogies? Is Iran, Bush's Cambodia? Yeah, yet another failed Nixon idea that Bush seems Hell-bent on recreating.
If this is now like Vietnam, when will the draft come about? General Lute (you know, the war czar) has been running around DC preaching the virtues of the draft.
The path ahead is dark and gloomy for sure with no end to the suffering in sight.
Maybe Bush is trying to be like Nixon? Some of those parrallels have already been seen. China for example.
Bush went to China and all I got was this lousy t-shirt made in Shanghai.
Mark Twain said the problem with the world was that "the lightning wasn't distributed right". He was wrong.
When Lightning Strikes
At the third GOP presidential debate in New Hampshire on Tuesday night, it was mostly same-old, same-old, in spite of the all the preshow hype over a possible John McCain/Mitt Romney smackdown on immigration. But then Mother Nature stepped in.Maybe you should take the hint, Rudy.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
"Some wealthy elitists in our country," he told the audience, "who cannot tell fact from fiction, can afford an Olympian detachment from the impacts of draconian climate change policy. For them, the jobs and dreams destroyed as a result will be nothing more than statistics and the cares of other people. These consequences are abstractions to them, but they are not to me, as I can name many of the thousands of the American citizens whose lives will be destroyed by these elitists' ill-conceived 'global goofiness' campaigns."
Posted by Bob Higgins at 4:41 PM
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
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Asheville is the closest North Carolina comes to San Francisco - the mountains, the culture, but that is where the similarities end. There is a very belligerent and ultra sanctimonious right wing in Asheville. Years ago, there was a rally to pray to boot out "paganism." Last year my wife and I happened visited town while a horrific anti-gay protest was in progress sponsored by local area "churches." This past week, Asheville saw one of it's own arrested for holding a protest sign.
On Wednesday August 15, I was standing alone with my sign for about 10 minutes, when I was approached by Police Officer Russell Crisp. He asked me how long I was planning to stay there and I told him just a few more minutes because I had to go to work at 8:00. He asked for my ID and I obliged. I asked him if I was doing something wrong, and he said that his Sergeant was on the way and he was going to wait for him. SO, I went back to my sign holding over the interstate.
Someone needs to call Mayor Bellamy and ask her when Civil Rights will be reestablished in Asheville? Or does she intend to allow the gestapo to operate freely in his city?
The below is PUBLIC information:
Mayor Terry M. Bellamy
Office of the Mayor
Mayor Terry M. Bellamy
P.O. Box 7148, Asheville, NC, 28802
Location: Asheville City Hall, Second Floor, 70 Court Plaza
Phone: (828) 259-5600
Fax: (828) 259-5649
firstname.lastname@example.org police chief
email@example.com assistant city manager
firstname.lastname@example.org city manager
And fell free to send them a copy of this cartoon!
Monday, August 20, 2007
From The Boston Globe:
At least two prominent board members of the regional Anti-Defamation League have resigned in protest over the national ADL's decision to fire the regional director for acknowledging the slaughter of Armenians during World War I as genocide.
A brief history lesson (expurgated text from here):
For three thousand years, a thriving Armenian community had existed inside the vast region of the Middle East bordered by the Black, Mediterranean and Caspian Seas. The area, known as Asia Minor, stands at the crossroads of three continents; Europe, Asia and Africa. Great powers rose and fell over the many centuries and the Armenian homeland was at various times ruled by Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and Mongols.
As the Ottoman Empire crumbled, the Armenians began a push for reform, but the Sultan Abdul Hamid's response resulted in the massacre of over 100,000 Armenians. Armenian hope was renewed with the ascendancy of the Young Turks, who pressed for a constitutional government and human rights protections. But, when three of the Young Turks seized the levers of power, and embarked on a nationalist push for a new "Turanism," the problems for the Armenians began in earnest. The new government seized the weapons from the Armenian population and Armenian members of the Turkish military were reassigned to "slave labor battalions."
The decision to annihilate the entire population came directly from the ruling triumvirate of ultra-nationalist Young Turks. The actual extermination orders were transmitted in coded telegrams to all provincial governors throughout Turkey. Armed roundups began on the evening of April 24, 1915, as 300 Armenian political leaders, educators, writers, clergy and dignitaries in Constantinople (present day Istanbul) were taken from their homes, briefly jailed and tortured, then hanged or shot.
Roughly 75 percent of the million plus Armenians marched through the desert died of starvation, dehydration, and other causes; many of them children and elderly. In the end an estimated 1.5 million Armenians were determined to have been killed by massacre and march. The Turkish government continues to deny the genocide of the Armenian people.
Scanning the titles of blog posts over the past few weeks, I've seen a number of people touting Hillary Clinton for one reason or another. It always seems to boil down to "strategery"--some sort of calculus that states, no matter what we think of her personally, HRC is the Dem who can win. For the most part, I stay out of those discussion. Once you've said "No way, no how am I ever going to support her!", and ticked off the reasons, what is there to say?
It is an extraordinary evolution. An extraordinary evolution. Essentially it means that politicians have to acknowledge something that's been true for a long time. Which is, power is loaned to us--we don't own the power, and we need to earn the power every two years.Does James Carville believe that? I doubt it. I imagine he must live in fear of the day that the majority of Americans actually start to think that way.
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There are a LOT of explanations as to why the stock market has been up while the impact on the middle and lower class has been largely negative and ignored. Somehow it is the fault of Democrats and the rich paying too many taxes.
Remember back in the 2006 elections when the Republicans used the meme "investment class?" That was probably the best way to say "rich, white men" they could find.
For the rest of America, little improvement has been seen. Manufacturing has disappeared from America and that was the engine that drove the economies of Middle America. Thanks to NAFTA and other associated trade "deals," we no longer balance our trade policies with tariffs to offset things like SLAVERY or environmental destruction. Nope, now it is a "free market." I guess you get what you pay for.
Illegal immigration is another problem that is abused by the aforementioned "investment class." There are some jobs you just can't export so the best way to replace the wage slave workers overseas is to bring them here. America has an over-abundance of unskilled and undereducated people who will work below minimum wage and those workers have diluted the pay base for those jobs to UNDER what Americans can afford to work at. PLUS, many of these illegal aliens are working in construction - further driving the insane overproduction of housing that is bottom-feeding on sub-prime lending rates.
We are down to skilled workers. That's safe. Right? Nope. Welcome to the land of H-1B visas! I remember back in 1995 and 1996, someone could go to a tech school and get a degree in IT Systems Administration and within a few years be making 50k - 60k a year. A very decent wage. Not shabby at all. That is gone now. With H-1Bs, companies harvest IT workers from India, Pakistan and elsewhere to come to the United States to replace American IT workers at half or a third of the cost. The same thing is happening with nurses. The dichotomy here is when we have an alleged "skilled worker" shortage, instead of building new colleges or funding more scholarships, we import talent from abroad and ignore the workers that are already here.
So we have cut working wages to the bone during the last six and a half years and moved what production we could offshore. The offshore production was the cheapest we could buy and we really didn't pay too much attention to product safety or worker safety - just the bottom line. The domestic labor costs was forced down by using illegal workers and when that wasn't enough, we imported workers and under-payed them.
The synopsis is this, Corporate America has done everything in it's power to avoid paying Americans living wages. That way they can extract the last bit of money from personal savings and retirement funds. It then gets funneled into their corporate accounts - thus driving up the stock market.
So why is the stock market so high? That is America being looted and thoroughly milked dry.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Posted by Bob Higgins at 3:44 PM