Friday, August 31, 2007

Had enough yet?

On the eve of the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Director Robert Greenwald and Brave New Foundation join together with a coalition of social justice groups from across the country to launch When The Saints Go Marching In. The three minute YouTube video reveals the devastating reality of hurricane survivors still struggling to rebuild their lives and the amazing hope they maintain about the future.

When The Saints Go Marching In launched today and can be seen at The video is spreading rapidly across the internet with the help of partner groups like Plenty,, and Think New Orleans. When The Saints Go Marching In includes footage of NOLA residents working to make the city home again, and ends with a call to action for viewers to urge the Senate to pass Senator Chris Dodd’s (D-CT) Gulf Coast Recovery Bill (S. 1668).
Please sign the petition here.

This entire post was copied from Crooks and Liars

Friday, August 24, 2007

Oh, the games people play now...every night and every day now

In 1990, I helped a 60 Minutes producer (Isadore Roesemarin) do a segment on aspartame/NutraSweet, the artificial sweetener. When Searle Pharmaceuticals got NutraPoison approved, their president was a man by the name of Donald Rumsfeld. They then sold the company to Monsanto. A 30-year-old named Clarence Thomas was then Monsanto's lawyer. A congressman by the name of John Ashcroft had received the greatest number of political donations from Monsanto. That's just a bit of trivia and not the primary point to be made here...

At that time I carefully went through Searle's research. They had submitted 112 studies to the FDA for approval. The FDA designated 17 of those studies to be "pivotal." By naming a study "pivital" it had to be available to the public in its entirety. So...I filed a Freedom of Information Act request forthe 17 studies. One of them was performed at the Universityof Wisconsin on Rhesus Monkeys. After day 300 of that one-year study every single one of the monkeys (low dose, medium dose,and high dose groups) developed grand mal epileptic seizures.

Although I totally reject animal research, I recognize that the performance and review of such research is THEIR game. THEY set the criteria. When lab animals suffer adverse affects, THEY are responsible for telling the truth.In this case, THEY ignored the truth. I discovered the truth.

One month before the report aired, I met with a man by the name of Michael Friedman, a high level FDA bureaucrat. I shared the results of the study with him. FDA had approved aspartame by concluding that there were no adverse affects on laboratory animals. I found that FDA had erred. Friedman had my information.

I also found an ex-FDA employee willing to testify regarding internal FDA pressures to ignore the facts and approve NutraSweet.There was fraud and deceit at FDA. The public was about to be intentionally poisoned.

When the actual 60 Minutes piece aired, they left the testimony of the FDA employee on the cutting room floor. Furthermore,Friedman, armed with my information, was interviewed and said,"There were no adverse affects on lab animals." He lied and I was angry and disappointed. The man represented pure evil to me.

Three months later he was named FDA Commissioner. Six months after that he left FDA to become the newpresident of the NutraSweet company.

Now, I get to the real point of my story.

While I was addicted to Oxycontin, the FDA fined the manufacturer, Purdue Pharmaceuticals, $634 million for deceptive practices... for not revealing that Oxycontin was more addictive than heroin. This week after weaning myself from this powerful drug, I learned that the acting president of that company is the very same Michael Friedman.

I live in a world of conspiracy theories, and I do too much research for my own good. The paper trails seem impossible for investigative reporters to follow, while they are marked with day-glo paint for me. Call it my curse. I do what I do for the public, I guess. I keep no secrets. I immediately write about them. Perhaps, in a conspiracy theory world, that is what keeps me alive. I do not really give a damn any more about my safety. Their crimes against mankind are so serious that I must do what I do.

My Woodstock generation.. .we were going to change the world, remember? Remember our phony ideals and how everybody we know sold out and became our own parents?

Am I just wasting my time?

Robert Cohen

See Robert's web site

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Control the the election

Whatever your favorite political issue (you know...the one that gets you off your butt and into the voting booth), it is hard to argue with the importance of having your vote count as it was intended when cast. The issue of election theft has been an ugly reality for Americans since the Supreme Court handed George W. Bush proof of their corrupt devotion in 2000 rather than following through with a ballot count that would have settled the issue with less doubt than ultimately ensued. With GW in the WH, voting machine companies stormed the gates of our polling places, and combined with voter caging and strategic line lengthening, the Rove legacy seemed to be displacing the concept of democratic elections.
With another election knocking at the door, we need to renew the effort to return to paper ballots that are counted by hand while the American voters watch. Nothing else will dislodge the GOP leech from the body of true democracy.

Brad Blog posted this video: (check out black box voting also)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Thursday, August 09, 2007

You Go, Buzzflash


It's become a bit of a cliché to compare the rise of Cheney-Bush fascism to the ascendancy of the Third Reich, but the analogy does reveal a fundamental truth about power and politics.

Fascists or Bolsheviks (just look at the short-lived Alexander Kerensky republic in Russia that fell to the Soviets in 1917) proceed on a premise that liberals are ambivalent about asserting power -- and take full advantage of that weakness.

Bush may be a tin horn cowboy propped up by Rove and Cheney, but almost all of his power at this time is derived by the unprecedented unitary authority granted to him by a Democratic Congress. In short, an utterly failed president guilty of illegal activity, whose poll numbers are in the dust, is able to make enough Democrats fearful that they give him power when they should be aggressively taking it away from him.

In the narrative of "toughness" that Rove has created for Bush -- and that Cheney has backed up with Franco-like substance -- Bush emerges as a "strong" figure, ironically, only because the timid Democratic leadership is so weak.

We are in a moment of history, when the Democrats should be controlling the debate and have Bush, Cheney, Rove and Gonzales cornered. Instead of impeaching Gonzales, they -- due to a lack of party discipline -- just gave him the power to legally spy on Americans without any real accountability, even after he has confessed to at least two programs of illegal spying.

The right wing depends upon a fundamental weakness in the character of "liberals" to achieve its authoritarian goals.

At this point in time, after having failed to protect us from 9/11 -- despite being warned of terrorist acts by bin Laden about to happen in the U.S. -- and years of a failed war against terrorism that has consumed the financial resources of our nation and all too many lives, the Democrats should be making Bush quiver in his boots about the next terrorist attack and how his ineptitude has allowed it to potentially happen.

Instead, the Democrats fear a guy who spent the first ten minutes after 9/11 reading a story about a pet goat with grade school students until his handlers could figure out what to do with him -- and then he went AWOL, just as he did in terms of avoiding service in Vietnam.

The Weimar Republic fell because the advocates of democracy in Germany were too timid to fight back against the thuggish tactics of Hitler's storm troopers. They passed the "enabling act" after the Reichstag fire (read terrorist act) that gave him virtually omnipotent power to "protect the homeland."

The right wing is right about one thing: the Democrats in Congress don't have the will or the wherewithal to put up a fight for the Constitution. Bullying works against a caucus without a backbone.

Hitler's power was legally granted to him by those who thought that the "homeland" faced grave threats.

The gravest threat, of course, that the German homeland faced, was Hitler himself.
That is an analogy to Congress's abject surrender to Bush that is, indeed, worth repeating.