Allison Kilkenny explains it best

•29 October, 2008 • Leave a Comment

The Huffington Post has been a pretty strong Obam-apologist over the last year.  I’ve bitched about them in this space before.  If you believe in ANY progressive/human values, you’re wasting your time hoping that the Democrats will make this country any better of a place to live, yet HuffPost writers outdo each other making excuses for Obama.

So I have to give Allison Kilkenny some props for saying what nobody else will:

The so-called Progressives today are allowing Barack Obama to compromise on everything from FISA to the anti-war movement. But even as he votes for telecom immunity and talks about Afghanistan as the good war, Obama has never lied about being a Progressive. In fact, he seems rather confused that any of his followers think he’ll be anything but a centrist in the White House. Progressive groups that score Obama with a 50% approval rating seem confused by this as well.

The Progressives have pinned their hopes and dreams to a man they have asked nothing of, and they’re going to be sorely disappointed when he, in turn, does nothing for them.

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We don’t need to worry about McCain any more

•17 October, 2008 • 3 Comments

With all the polls now showing Obama with a large, and widening, lead over John McCain, I’d like to take this moment to encourage all the progressives who vote Democrat for fear of Republican rule to now consider voting for Mr. Nader.  The corporations have already chosen Obama to be the president, so you need not fear the possibility of a McCain presidency.

Nader is the only candidate with a true progressive platform that includes free health care, decreased military spending, and impeachment of President Bush.  Nader is also the only candidate who rejected the bailout bill in its entirety and would have vetoed any such idea to reward corporate failure by penalizing the public with more debt.

You don’t need to fear McCain anymore.  Let’s vote Nader and show our numbers.

Gallup fails to include Nader, Barr on questionnaires

•7 October, 2008 • 4 Comments

Gallup polls show Ralph Nader with 0.1 percent of the national popular vote.  So Nader called them up and asked how that could be.  The response?  They don’t include the names of third-party candidates on their polling questionnaires!  Gallup’s data, therefore, are not truly representing popular opinion.  CNN and Zogby both show Nader with as much as five percent of the national popular vote.  Read my letter to Frank Newport, editor-in-chief at Gallup and feel free to write your own to: frank_newport@gallup.com

Mr. Newport,

I’m writing to call into question the judgment used in Gallup’s polling procedures.  It’s come to my attention that poll questions do not include the names of so-called “third party” candidates.  My concern is that this leads to inaccurate results and may skew audience opinions.

For example, CNN polls have shown Ralph Nader to have as much as 5% of the electorate nationwide.  In a contest as close as this year’s may turn out to be, that 5% might make a big difference in the outcome for the Republican and Democrat candidates.  Meanwhile, Libertarian Bob Barr likely has a chance to garner support from dis-enfranchised evangelical conservatives who feel McCain isn’t the best choice to represent their values.  Barr and Nader could create a dynamic that your polls are missing entirely.

I’m not sure as to your criteria for including a candidate’s name in your polling questions, but Nader at least has his name on 45 state ballots and possibly as much as 10% of voter support in Michigan, an important state in every election.  Barr is on 46 ballots with a chance at 49.  Ballot access laws require petitions and thousands of signatures, so to have gotten such widespread access means that Americans believe other options should be available on election day.  By excluding these candidates, the accuracy of your organization’s polling data seems questionable at best.

For the purposes of accuracy, I urge you to include presidential candidates Bob Barr and Ralph Nader as well as others with a reasonable amount of ballot access.

Regards,

Daniel

Americans want open debates

•17 September, 2008 • 11 Comments

An August Zoby poll shows a significant number of Americans want open presidential debates, including Libertarian candidate Bob Barr and the independent Ralph Nader.

The debates, the first of which is scheduled for Sept. 26, are invitation-only and those invitations come from the “independent” Commission on Presidential Debates.  Selection criteria include:

  1. Evidence of Constitutional Eligibility
  2. Evidence of Ballot Access (In enough states to potentially win 270 electoral votes)
  3. Indicators of Electoral Support (“… requires that the candidate have a level of support of at least 15% (fifteen percent) of the national electorate as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations, using the average of those organizations’ most recent publicly-reported results at the time of the determination.”)

I take issue with everything following number 1.  Indeed, number 2 shouldn’t be necessary if this country had fair and democratic ballot access laws.  Then there’s number 3 — which is the obvious way that the CPD can keep out alternative voices.  It’s actually self-fulfilling.

Independents and candidates representing “third” parties would possibly see an increase in support following a debate.  Dis-allowing a candidate from debating ensures they never reach the 15% support level.  Indeed, it helps maintain the image that those candidates and their platforms cannot be taken seriously and would be “wasted” votes.  With a near-blackout of media coverage on these candidates, many Americans might not even be aware of them when polled.  Allowing them into the nationally televised debates would give them the wide audience enjoyed and “duopolized” by Republicans and Democrats.

The American people deserve to hear all of their ballot choices speak on the issues.  By dis-allowing Ralph Nader, Bob Barr, and other candidates, the CPD does the public a dis-service and actually disenfranchises voters by keeping them ignorant of all possible choices.  American voters should demand that all presidential candidates be invited to the nationally televised debates, something they apparently support from the Zogby numbers.

The “end of world peace”

•29 August, 2008 • 1 Comment

Apparently, we had world peace for the last four years.  This according to the Christian Science Monitor. I know what you’re thinking:  “What about Darfur?  Israeli agression against Lebanese civilians?  Myanmar’s police state cracking down on monks?”

These don’t count against “world peace,” at least not in the views of the article’s authors.  Heck, even US occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan don’t really count!  No, only state-on-state violence counts against “world peace.”  So who ended the world peace?  The authors blame Russia, despite the body of evidence suggesting Georgia was the aggressor in that conflict.  There is also evidence the US had a hand in the affair, as bodies were found among the dead with US flags on their sleeves.

Obama-Biden: Upholding the Zionist narrative

•26 August, 2008 • 1 Comment

The Radical Mormon grabbed some good footage of Joe Biden on Shalom TV, claiming to be a Zionist.  It reminds me again of Obama’s own pandering to the Zionist establishment, particularly AIPAC.  Obama says words like “hope” and “change” but with Israel it will be the same old routine, especially now that Biden, with his 30 years of Washington experience, joins the ticket.

Some of the highlights from this video:

Obama say there’s a “special connection” between US and Israel.  He’s right, that relationship is based on massive military funding and arms deals.

Obama also calls Israel a “Western democracy” in the Middle East, like it’s special.  In fact, Israel is only partially democratic.  It denies many rights to non-Jewish ethnicities.  It’s also not the only place in the Middle East that has democratic procedures.  Iranians have universal suffrage and a constitution that allows popular elections of many officials.  More details on Iranian government can be found here, under the heading “Government.”  So Obama is wrong on both counts.  Israel has democratic procedures but I would not call it “Western” as long as it excludes ethnic minorities from certain rights and privileges.  It is also not the only country in the Middle East that has a democratic form of government.

Biden: “I am a Zionist.  You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist”

That quote pretty much speaks for itself.

There will be no change in US foreign policy under Obama-Biden.  The US will likely continue funding Israel’s military with no stipulations on the spending of the money.  Israel will surely continue terrorizing its neighbors militarily, and be used as a US client state in the region.

Tell the government it’s time for a change.  Vote Nader in November

The persistent myth

•24 August, 2008 • Leave a Comment

The San Francisco Chronicle has a story detailing increased attempts to close the Canadian border, focusing on a Vermont community that literally straddles the imaginary line.  According to the story, the community’s history includes cross-border intermingling and sharing of resources, including sewage, water and emergency response.

Why is this suddenly a problem?  This quote from the story pretty much sums it up:

“It was freer before, but we live in a different world now,” said agent Mark Henry, the operations officer at the Border Patrol’s Swanton Sector, headquartered in Swanton, Vt.

Yes, a border patrol agent admits that Americans have lost freedoms.  The justification?  Take a guess.

“9/11 changed everything,” said Border Patrol agent Fernando Beltran, the operations chief for Swanton Sector’s Newport station, which includes Derby Line.

Seven years later, the events of 9/11 still justify taking away Americans’ freedoms.  Granted, border security is a complex issue and certainly a necessity at times, but it seems like every argument removing our personal liberty gets reduced to “9/11 changed everything.”

There is a time and place to sacrifice liberty for the common good, like not watering one’s lawn during drought conditions.  In the case of 9/11, I fail to see how immediate government reactions made any difference, let alone justify any sacrifice of Americans’ personal liberties seven years hence.