Blog continues on the page Blog 2012.
Party platform appears on the page Party Platform.
In his speech after the Iowa Republican Primary, Rick Santorum told a moving story about his grandfather, who came to the United States as an immigrant from Italy. He had to work long hours in a coal mine (probably 12 to 14 hours a day, 6 days a week), and wasn’t even paid in cash, but in company coupons. He had to live in a shack. His wages were so low that it took him five years to save enough money to pay for the ticket to bring his son to join him. This was apparently before there was Social Security, because he said his grandfather worked in the mine until he was 72! I was waiting for him to say “and he liked it!” But he did say that the source of our economic problems is that it costs 20% more to produce goods in the U.S. than in the countries that are our top 9 trading partners. Only 20%? It must be an average, because I’d guess it must cost about 50% more to produce goods in the U.S. than in China, and 60% more than in Haiti or Guatemala. Whatever the case may be, Mr. Santorum said the reason for this was…. government regulations! One can only assume he wants workers to live like his grandfather did, and workers in some developing countries do today, before there was overtime pay, a minimum wage, safety regulations, child labor laws, environmental protection laws, paid holidays, health insurance and social security, so that American companies can produce goods as cheaply as workers in any sweatshop anywhere in the world.
Or we could accept the fact that there are imbalances between the world’s economies, that we can’t possibly compete with countries where workers make $100 a month (for working 70+ hours a week), and not only put tariffs into place to protect American companies (and workers), but also require that imported goods be produced under the same labor and environmental conditions as in the U.S. (and give a preference to goods produced in countries with higher standards, like in Europe). We also need to penalize American companies that move production overseas, by restricting their access to the U.S. market. We are still the biggest market in the world (except for automobiles, more are sold in China now). Everyone wants access to U.S. consumers. That gives us a huge amount of leverage that we can use to uplift those whose working conditions are (or were) almost unimaginable for American workers. Workers in their 20′s who are fired after being crippled for life due to workplace accidents. Workers who die in their thirties from being poisoned in the workplace. Communities blighted by toxic waste. Sawdust and who knows what else in our sausages. Orphans living in the streets. Old people begging for food. Workers committing suicide to protest their intolerable working conditions. Union organizers murdered. Strikers fired upon by the national guard. Look around at the developing countries of the world. Do we really want to go back to those days?
Stephen Zunes writes about militarism among leaders of the Democratic Party in his article “Iraq: Remembering Those Responsible”:
“Even after the lies about the alleged Iraqi ties to Al-Qaeda and alleged “weapons of mass destruction” were revealed as such, most supporters of the war continued to rationalize for the invasion and occupation. Democratic Senators John Kerry, John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, Dianne Feinstein, Joe Biden and others continued to defend their decision to vote to authorize the war even after acknowledging the absence of WMDs or Al-Qaeda ties, thereby effectively admitting that their vote was not about defending the United States, but ultimately about oil and empire.
Given the tragic consequences of the war, one would have thought it would have ruined their political careers. Instead, many of them were rewarded.
Though only a minority of Congressional Democrats voted to authorize the war in 2002 and even though a large majority of Democrats nationally opposed the war, the Democratic Party chose to nominate two unrepentant war supporters – Kerry and Edwards – as their nominees for president and vice-president. As a result, many of us who opposed the right of the United States (or any nation) to engage in such aggressive wars refused to support the Kerry-Edwards ticket and, not surprisingly, they lost a narrow election as a result.
Senator Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination and ultimately the presidency four years later on his promise not just to end the Iraq War, but to “end the mindset that got us into war in the first place.” However, he ended up appointing supporters of the Iraq War to most of his key foreign policy and national security positions, including his Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Homeland Security, Chief of Staff, and Vice-President from among the right-wing minority of Democrats who supported Bush’s policy.
Meanwhile, pro-war Democrats in Congress continue to dominate such key positions as Senate Majority Leader, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Assistant House Minority Leader, and ranking members of other key House committees.
In effect, like the Republicans, the Democratic Party is willing to effectively reward failure.
And many of these Democrats are joining like-minded Republicans in threatening a new war with Iran.”
Full article at: http://www.truth-out.org/iraq-remember-those-responsible/1325433300
The Food and Drug Administration, in a stealth, holiday season announcement in the Federal Register, has decided not to move to restrict the feeding of human antibiotics to healthy farm animals. Instead of following the advice of researchers, who point to the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria in livestock, it has decided to… let the industry regulate itself! I’m sorry, I thought George Bush wasn’t president anymore. Do they realize that people are dying from eating food with antibiotic resistant bacteria? According to a story in The Guardian (a British paper that covers the stories the American media seem to overlook), 80% of antibiotics sold in the U.S. are given to farm animals.
“A growing number of scientific and medical institutions have urged action on antibiotic resistance. The World Health Organisation devoted a WHO day to microbial resistance. In September, several institutions, including the American Medical Association, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, wrote a letter to Congress, calling for them to to reiterate the link between antibiotic resistance and the overuse of antibiotics in food animals.
“Hundreds of scientific studies conducted over four decades have shown that feeding low doses of antibiotics to healthy food animals leads to drug-resistant infections in people,” they wrote in an ad. “In fact, America’s leading medical, scientific and public health organizations have been warning of the danger for years.”"
The European Union banned the use of antibiotics for growth promotion in healthy farm animals in 2006. But the FDA, which has waited 33 years to decide the issue, has decided not to take action. Whose government is this?
In response to a petition submitted on the Obama administration’s “We the People” website (“Your voice in our (sic) government”) , Phil Larson of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy has replied, “The U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race. In addition, there is no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public’s eye.”
However, scores of former government employees and military personnel have reported sightings of alien craft:
So someone is lying……
And at least one former astronaut, Edgar Mitchell, who walked on the moon, believes there has been a cover-up: