Monthly Archives: February 2008

Left Behind Children In China Reveal New Issue

A new report by the All China Women’s Federation reveals nearly 58 million children have been left behind by parents who head for the cities and jobs in factories and construction. More than 40 million of these children are under the age of 14 and have usually been placed in the care of aged grandparents who are ordinarily compelled to continue working in fields raising crops. The report notes that in many areas of China there is literally a void in the presence of a generation due to so many having left for urban areas. The only good news is about 80% are in school and most apparently are not dropping out.

There are probably at any one time in China an estimated 180 million people who have left rural areas in search of jobs and economic advancement in urban areas. Their presence undoubtedly plays a major role in economic growth, but the new report reveals as they leave millions of children are without parents. China does not know the long term consequences of what happens when 58 mllion are abandoned. Although 80% are in school, an estimated 10 million are not. Are those children encountering difficulties in adjusting to a life without a mother and father?

Seven Myths Of Ralph Nader

Thge legacy of Ralph Nader in 1975 was vastly different than his legacy in 2008. In the 1960s and 1970s a young vibrant activist challenged the corporate American automobile industry in the name of consumer safety. In 2008, a tired meglomaniac is once again prepared to sell out America to the corporate world. This is not the first time a young liberal has become transformed into a cynic filled with his own self importance and prepared to take actions that satisfy ego needs regardless of the cost to America. Let me explore the SEVEN MYTHS being propogated by Nader:

1. Corporate Interests Are Best Challenged By A Nader Candidacy.
The interests of working Americans are best protected by ensuring regulatory agencies are controlled by sympathetic administrators who place the needs of workers over those in management. The Nader candidacy is all about a person, not a drive to control the legislature. A President Obama will appoint liberals to regulatory agencies like the NLRB or the FCC which will allow consumers and workers to protect themselves against corporate selfishness. We need to get rid of Bush appointees who support corporate interests that impact the well being of workers struggling to form unions, of forests, the environment, etc…. Nader’s candidacy will have absolutely no impact on accomplishing this goal. We need new legislation from Congress to raise wages, to push for compulsory child care in the workplace and paid leaves for those raising families. These can only come about with a Congress committed to change. How will the Nader candidacy lead to these changes?

2. Nader Insists There Is No Difference Between Parties
Does Ralph Nader really believe an Al Gore presidency would have resulted in apppointment of two Supreme Court Justices opposed to abortion rights? Does Nader really believe a Gore presidency would have failed to work with other nations of the world in order to achieve goals through peaceful means? Does Nader really believe an Al Gore would not have done everything possible to work towards confronting global warming issues? Nader cites the bombing of a factory in the Sudan by Clinton as a prelude to war in the Middle East. Jimmy Carter did nothing other than impose a boycott of the Olympics when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Clinton withdrew troops when some were killed in Somalia. There is no question the two parties operate differently when confronted with possibilities of major war.

3. Nader Insists His Candidacy Is Needed To Get Discussion Of Healthcare
I believe Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have discussed their commitment to healthcare and their different approaches in attaining that goal. The issue IS being discussed. Actually, the Clinton view is probably close to that of Nader.

4. Nader Insists America Needs To Hear Other Voices
If Ralph Nader is interested in offering America other voices he has many options other than running for president. He can conduct Internet campaigns, develop Facebook or MySpace efforts, appear on TV, write newspaper articles, put together a national campaign led by volunteers to hand out materials, etc…

5. Nader Insists He Is Trying To Change The American Political Scene
Although running for president in previous elections, Ralph Nader has done virtually nothing to build a viable effective national organization that might eventually create a new political party. Has he held national conventions to discuss issues or to nominate a candidate? Has he created a paid staff working full time to develop an effective organization? Of course not. Ralph Nader has no interest in creating a new political party. His only interest is furthering his grandiose narcissistic self centerdness.

6. Nader Insists He Alone Can End The War In Iraq And Achieve Middle East Peace
The American public is clearly in favor of ending the war in Iraq, it really doesn’t need Ralph Nader to tell them what must be done. Does Nader have a plan for ending the war in Iraq other than saying he wants it ended? Does Ralph Nader have a plan to achieve achieve peace and security for Palestinians and Israel? If so, would he please let us in on the plan. If he has such plans, why not become a delegate to the Democratic Convention and fight for the ideas to become party policy?

7. Nader Insists His Candidacy Does Not Impact The Election
His candidacy in 2000 did impact the election, it resulted in a Bush triumph. If 5,000 Nader votes had gone to Al Gore, the Bush nightmare never would have happened. Ralph Nader knows his entry will turn voters away from voting for Democrats and thus aid the Republicans. He is not a neutral person. He is a stalking horse for Republicans and the corporate interests he claims to oppose.

Truth Shall Set Ye Free-Publish Cabinet Meeting Notes

Great Britain’s information minister, Richard Thomas, said cabinet meeting minutes in which the Blair government discussed the legality of invading Iraq should be published and made known to the public. He believes the papers should be made public because “there is a widespread view that the justification for the decison on military action in Iraq is either not fully understood or that the public was not given the full or genuine reasons for that decision.” Thomas believes public interdest in disclosure outweighted the principles thatnormally allow the government not to have to publish minutes of cabinet decisions.

At the time of the invasion, the then attorney-generl, Lod Goldsmith, published a nine pararaph opinion claiming the invasion was legal. But, it subsequently appeared in a much longer legal opinon written 10 days earlier, Goldsmith expressed reservations about the legality of the attack. Thomas emphsizes “that a decision on whether to take military action against another country is so important that accountability for such decision-making is paramount.” He did agree if the minutes were published, the government had the right to delete certain sections due to security reasons.

Hopefully, a Democratic president next February will allow information that has been kept hidden by the Bush administration to be published so Americans can finally learn the ratinale for the invasion of Iraq.

Turkish Army Has No Plans To Quit Iraq Now

Turkishjet planes bombed positions of the Kurdish Workers Party in their nation’s continuing effort to wipe out members of the outlawed PKK, Air and ground operations are now in their fourth day and there is no indication they will end within the coming days. Turkey continues insisting “Our target is the PKK terrorist organization, not the Iraqis.” Government spokesperson Celik declined to give a time frame for the return of Turkish military and added, “Our troops will return as soon as the objective of the opertion is achieved.” Government sources claim 112 Kurdish rebels have been killed with loss of 15 soldiers.

The best estimate is the PKK has about 4,000 members and they are embedded in mountainous areas of Kurdistan. If past actions against guerrillas fighting from mountain positions have any validity, the Turkish campaign to wipe out the PKK will not be achieved within a few days or even months. Will Turkish troops remain in Iraq for the indefinite future? How will the government of Iraq react to the presence of forieign troops on its territory? What will be the position of the Bush administration if Turkish troops do not immediately withdraw? Who exactly in the American or Iraq government has explored the answer to these questions?

Another approach of the Turkish government might be focusing on economic development in Kurdish areas of their nation or making greater efforts to incorporate Kurdish leaders within government or working to end social discrimination of Kurds. These are not glamorous options, but they might provide more permanent achievement of how to end the Kurdish rebellion.

Al Qaeda May Be In Gaza Strip

Israel General Amos Yadin of Military Intelligence claimed al-Qaeda operatives most probably entered Gaza during the recent breakdown of conditions bordering on Egypt which resulted in thousands of Gazans being able to cross over into Egypt. Yadin told members of the Knesset that during the breach, Hamas was able “to bring back those who had left for training in Syria and Iran, including snipers, explosive experts, rocket experts and engineers.” He believes “copious amounts of weaponry had also been smuggled in.” Some Knesset MPs believe that Hamas is undergoing a militay remake much like Hizbuallah did in Lebanon and the result will be massive construction of bunkers and military equipment to confront any Israel invasion. They warned that Gaza might have to be held not for a few days but for months.

Yesterday, the Qatar government offered to serve as mediators with Hamas in order to resolve the situation. It believes the initial step is to cease pretending Hamas does not exist and to enter into negotiations that might result in long term peace. The Israel-Bush approach of ignoring the reality of Hamas has failed. In order to head off further explosive situations it is time to negotiate and after conclusion of such talks to create an international Muslim military force that will ensure peace in Gaza.

Terminator Governor Wants Deployment Termination

Governor Arnold Schwarenegger wants the Federal government to reduce its seizure of National Guard equipment for use in Iraq because of its effect on California’s needs. “I think it is not fair to the state for the federal government to go into a war situaiton and then to take from us the equipment. Every time our National Guards leave, they take with them equipment but they don’t bring it back. So there’s only so long they can do that.” The governor said his complaints have only resulted in a “sorry about that” attitude, but no assurances have been provided to rectify the situation. There are about 3,000 Guardsmen from California in Iraq and about 600 stationed on the border with Mexico. Governor Schwarzenegger was particularly upset at the loss of Chinook helicopter but was told it would take at least a year to get them returned.

In talks with Homeland Security head Michael Chertoff, the governor discovered only 3,000 of the supposed 6,000 additional Border Patrol staff had actually been hired. The entire use of National Guard men and equipment is a national disgrace. Men and women are being compelled to abandon jobs and families due to the Bush fiasco in Iraq without any sense of a termination to the entire process. Is the drain on the National Guard to go on and on? When will there be an end to this process? Unfortunately, for Arnold Schwarzenegger, in the movies the good guy achieves his goal within two hours. Sorry, Arnold, you are living in Bush America and nothing ever gets done within two years, let alone two hours.

Condi Rice Supports China On Taiwan Issue

Secretary of State Condi Rice told Chinese officials the United States will continue its support of the one China policy and regards any attempt of Taiwan to alter that relationship to be harmful to world peace. In talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jeichi, she reiterated her country’s opposition to any action on the part of the Taiwan government to take actions which would later the current relationship with China. She expressed opposition to a Taiwan proposal which would have a referendum on whether it should become part of the UN as an independent nation. Rice also urged China not to take unilateral action across the Taiwan Straits which might result in violence.

The Chinese government regards Taiwan as an integral part of its nation and any discussion about Taiwan is felt to be an intrusion into China’s sovereignty. Foreign Minister Yang welcomed Rice’s support because anything to the contrary would have resulted in a diplomatic incident. Taiwan has no support in the world for any desire on its part for independence. The people of Taiwan will simply have to accept the present situation and hope that in coming years a more democratic China will work out some form of mutual relationship that is beneficial to both parties.

Nader And Hitler-Two Minds In Search Of Purity

Let me make clear, I do not equate Ralph Nader with any actions of Adolf Hitler. I am focusing on the MIND PROCESSES of the two men. Both men have a sense they are creatures of destiny whose purity of soul far surpasses that of mere mortals. Both believe their actions are always correct and the consequences of whatever they do must be endured by the masses. During the concluding months of WWII, German generals tried to convince Hitler the cause was lost and some accomodation had to be made in order to spare the German people. His invariable response was that he would not waver in his quest to accomplish his goals and the situation was caused by failure on the part of the German people to work harder in order to gain victory. Hitler insisted his faith was still strong and the purity of his soul was unblemished. At points, he bluntly stated Germans would have to suffer because they had failed the ultimate test of gaining victory. In a sense, he displayed an “after me comes the deluge” attitude.

I find a similar thought process in the mind of Ralph Nader. He insisted in 2000 there was no difference between the election of Gore or Bush and the failure of Gore to win was due to an inept campaign, not to the two million votes drawn away by the Nader campaign. When the Florida election was brought up, Nader always insisted Gore lost it by not doing a better job of campaigning. In Nader’s mind, he is always correct, he never makes a mistake and if others do not do their job, they must then face consequences. Nader feels no sense of guilt for Bush’s triumph because, Ralph Nader remained true to his principles and his soul is pure and good.

Nader on “Meet The Press” said there was “not a chance” he would play the role of spoiler in 2008 and if the Democrats did not win by a landslide, “they ought to just wrap up, close down, emerge in a different form.” Nader claimed “American politics is saturated in taboos and self-censorship to a level where the greatest issues in the campaign are off the table.” He cited healthcare and global warming as two such issues. Of course, one of the biggest points of contention between Clinton and Obama has been healthcare, but in Ralph Nader’s world, only if things are discussed on the basis of his views can they be considered to be discussed. Clinton and Obama have consistenly raised issues of global warming, but all that is irrelevant to Ralph Nader.

Ralph Nader believes himself embued with the truth and his quest is not merely noble, but he alone knows how to speak about issues and he alone is in possession of the answers to political issues. If the American people refuse to acknowledge his truth, they must suffer the consequences. Ralph Nader votes in 2000 helped elect George Bush. Ralph Nader knows every vote cast for him in 2008 would have gone to a Democratic candidate, but if the Democrats fail to win, they have only themselves to blame and they must suffer whatever comes. His soul is free of guilt, he is pure in spirit and if America gets another Bush style leader, they only have themselves to blame.

Not once has Ralph Nader indicated a reflective soul who ponders consequences of his actions. He never second-guesses himself because he has complete belief in the purity of his goals. If one is pure at heart, then one can never be wrong. In that sense, he shares a remarkable similarity to the thought process of Hitler. He is NOT an Adolf Hitler in terms of actions. Both men regard themselves as embodying a purity of purpose that must be pursued to the bitter end and if people suffer due to their thinking, so be it. There is an aspect of Nader’s thinking which regards the disaster of George Bush as a positive thing because it arouses anger and may lead to the emergence of those whose purpose is pure at heart. He believes the more people suffer, the more they become aroused, and the greater the probability the end result is beneficial to society.

Mike Huckabee was asked his reaction to the Nader candidacy and he responded: “I think it always would probably pull votes away from the Democrats, not the Republicans. So naturally, Republicans would welcome his entry into the race and hope that maybe a few more will join in.” Ralph Nader doesn’t give a damn if his candidacy draws votes away from the Democratic candidate. The issue of his entry into the election is Ralph Nader — not the interests of the American people.

Smear Wars Smell Of Clinton Desperation

The clock of finality is ticking as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton get closer to primaries in Texas and Ohio so it is not surprising the worse side of people had begun to emerge. After the Drudge Report posted a picture of Senator Barack Obama wearing the traditional clothing of a Somali elder, the picture is now being circulated widely on the Internet and elsewhere. Officially, Clinton spokespeerson, Maggie Williams, denied any knowledge of the picture which apparently is intended to portray Obama as a Muslim, and boasted that “Senator Clinton has worn traditional clothing of countries she as visited and had those photos distributed widely.” On the other hand, unofficially, one Clinton aide emphasized, “wouldn’t we be seeing this on the cover of every magazine if it were (Clinton)?” The answer, of course, is no.

Actually, President Bush has been seen in traditional clothing of countries like Indonesia but the difference is eveyone knows Bush is an American Christian and nothing is being circulated around the Internet that he is a secret Muslim. The incident, in itself, is silly, but it reflects the “let everything go without drawing back” approach of Clinton who is nearing the end of her odyssey for the presidency. Barack Obama will have to endure such nasty vicious actions if he wants to continue his presidential run. The dogs of war hesitate at nothing in the quest for victory.

US-NATO Rift In Afghanistan-Who Is To Blame?

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has sparked a growing debate with America’s NATO allies over the course of events in Afghanistan. Many members of NATO blame the Bush administration for splintering an alliance which has endured for nearly fifty years. At a recent NATO symposium in Washington, speakers critcised the Gates policy of “blaming people” because it is a dead end approach to problem solving. “The second thing that’s not going to work is consistently emphasizing everything that’s wrong in Afghanistan,” said one speaker. He stressed the importance of coming up “with reasonable demands without consistently blaming.”

The Gates complaint that American forces are doing a better job of fighting in Afghanistan is certainly not one that will resonate positively in NATO nations where thousands of their troops are currently fighting in Afghanistan. In January, Gates decided to send 3,200 Marines to Afghanistan to help deal with military problems.

Perhaps, one continual problem is that after six years of fighting the region lacks overall clear goals as to responsiblities and what needs to be accomplished. The Afghanistan government still allows medieval minded clerics to enforce their version of what constitutes free speech or free press even though what they desire is exactly what the Taliban seeks. Many NATO nations want to know why their troops are fighting to preserve such a backward form of government.