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Daniel Ellsberg, Other Whistleblowers Want Obama's 'Transparency Award' Rescinded

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: President Obama, Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers, Transparency, Secrets, Freedom of Information Act )

- 2954 days ago -
A group of noted whistleblowers including Daniel Ellsberg, the leaker of the Pentagon Papers, has written an open letter asking that the "transparency award" given to President Obama by five open government organizations be rescinded.


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Sheryl G (359)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 7:25 am
As I have been a life long registered Independent I will call out either party when they are not doing the right thing in my mind as a citizen.

"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." -- Wendell Phillips, (1811-1884), abolitionist, orator and columnist for The Liberator, in a speech before the Massachusetts Antislavery Society in 1852

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 7:35 am
(scroll to bottom of page)
Thanks for posting, Sheryl!

Sheryl G (359)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 7:40 am
Thank you my dear friend for being so quick and posting this Petition. xoxox

Ben O (129)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 7:50 am

Kit B (276)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 8:00 am

I'm a democrat and still have NO problem calling out any one for their misdeeds. Obama has followed along in the soiled and sorted foot steps of Bush, by not rescinding many policies that serve no purpose but to infringe on our rights as citizens and give the government a cloak of secrecy. (signed)

Judith K (93)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 8:07 am
Signed and tweeted

Past Member (0)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 8:52 am
Thanks Dandelion...signed.
Thanks for Supporting Whistleblowers and Transparent Government

Pat B (354)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 9:45 am
Thank you for this, Dandelion, and C, for FW. Signed. Passed on too!!

Kelly C (176)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 10:11 am
Signed on, good job and thanks so much Sheryl.

Jim Phillips (3247)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 10:24 am
Petition signed.

TY, all...

Constance F (418)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 10:33 am
Thank you for posting. Thank you Carole for forwarding, and link. Happily signed - O for so many reasons.

Joan for Peace (413)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 11:17 am
thanks dandelion

wooddragon xx (88)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 11:34 am
Cheers Dandelion...


Kathy Chadwell (354)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 11:44 am
Noted & signed
Thank you Dandelion & Carole for the forward
Democrat here who also believes it shouldn't matter what party you are, doing the right thing is more important

Rand Martin (27)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 11:56 am
Signed the petition. The President should be ashamed.

. (0)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 12:15 pm
For Kit B - did you read the article, or just skim it? These are OBAMA'S misdeeds, not Bush's.
People complained about The Patriot Act, and here we have a President that not only ignores it, but has spent s fortune in covering up.

Sheryl G (359)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 12:22 pm
I believe that is what Kit said Allan, even though she is a Democrat she is calling Obama out on his misdeeds.

Past Member (0)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 12:29 pm
Your assuming that they have been squashed on purpose as opposed to being poorly managed. Rest assured he might be just dithering.

Henriette Matthijssen (154)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 12:45 pm
Obama is only operating as a puppet for the evil Illuminati! The whole EVIL government is nothing but absurd! We must remove the head of the snake, the top corruption! How long will we stand for TYRANNY? Thanks Dandelion.

Michael Carney (217)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 1:11 pm
Noted, and signed

Barbara W (342)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 2:42 pm

I volunteered for the Obama campaign and worked on it for two years because I wanted to believe that Obama was more then a charismatic talking head. What were/are America's choices? Both parties have merged! Years back the major corporations were bestowed with an open season on this nation so they could take over everything within their grasp. Monopolies have been allowed to grow and now these abusers of power own both political parties and exert a stranglehold over every aspect of this nations well-being.

President Obama, "What would your mother & grand mother have to say about the boy they cherished and put through higher education? Would they be pleased with the man, leader, President, you've become?

Jeannette A (137)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 2:59 pm
The sad part is that we have come to expect dishonesty and abuse from our government officials. When was the last time that we had a real reason to stand up and cheer for a politician and point to him or her as a role model for our children?

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 3:00 pm

So (sadly) true, Jeannette.


Sam H (410)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 3:18 pm
...and then there's that nobel peace prize!

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 3:19 pm


I was trying not to mention that, Sam.


Robert S (111)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 3:23 pm
Kit, expressed my sentiments exactly.

Allen Dorkowitz, did you read Kits comment, or just skim it?

Edward Catterton (14)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 3:33 pm
More than happy to sign, thank you Dandelion, aho.

Jonjon Hoy (146)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 3:39 pm
I'm a Democrat and gladly signed

Tony Isaacs (40)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 3:46 pm
Yes, they should also take back the Nobel Prize Bring home the troops, my arse - dang sabre rattling war expanding so -in-so!

Is there a Pinocchio award?

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 3:49 pm

Ummmmmmmmm . . . Not that I'm aware of, Tony. (But, definitely, something to consider -- although the list of potential recipients would be disheartening.)


Sheryl G (359)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 4:07 pm
*rotfl*.....Pinocchio Award......your right Carole, there would be a long list

. (0)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 4:51 pm
Ditto to all comments, there is a saying that is appropriate here.....".A fish rots from the head down"

Eternal G (734)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 4:55 pm
Thank you, signed, my very alert sisters!

Yvonne White (229)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 4:57 pm
I'm a Democrat, but that used to Mean Something! Obama and the entire Democratic Party needs to get back to basics - cast off Bu$h League left-over shadows & re-instate the People's Liberties & Securities!

Robert S (111)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 5:13 pm
It was my impression that the award was given with an eye towards what Republicons call Obama's "apologizing" for America, i.e., efforts at diplomacy,for which "Patriotic Americans" have never ceased beating him.

I am every day full of anger with Obama and will not argue his case as regards prosecution of Whistle-blowers among other things... I think it terribly wrong. Despite my disgust with this, and various other disappointments however, Bush and Obama are not yet synonymous to my mind. Context and details (complexity) are everything though "many" do not like to bother with all that. "They" so far have gotten us an extreme right wing house, with all we are now seeing unfold as the result. I wonder what our disappointed citizens will do next to help us on the path toward peace and righteousness.

Robert S (111)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 5:15 pm
I did sign, if there was any doubt.

Robert S (111)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 5:27 pm
To clarify, the award of which I spoke was the Nobel Peace Prize. I must admit, I was not even aware there was or that Obama had gotten a.... "transparency award".

. (0)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 5:59 pm
This transparency award and the Nobel Peace Prize need to be returned. Both are important awards and have now become undervalued because they were given to someone so undeserving. Yes, I voted for Obama and I am sure I will again. I just don't think he deserves either award.

Past Member (0)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 6:24 pm
And well it should be.

Robert S (111)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 6:54 pm
Fair enough Hugh.

The giving of the NPP was an embarrassment to Obama, did discredit to the The Norwegian Nobel Committee and the Award itself.

Obama himself, to his credit, said, upon becoming aware of it. "I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments."

Many believe he received it for not being Bush.

Since the TA was directly related to his and supposed support of whistle-blowers...and even considering the other things considered...which he HAS done, I have to agree with Daniel Ellsberg and most of you. He does not deserve either award. And still, for reasons I've oft stated, and for doing so received some ridicule (no biggie), I will vote for him.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 7:42 pm
The chillingly (and very convincing) reasoning for the whistleblowers who co-authored the petition:
•    President Obama has not decreased but has dramatically increased governmental secrecy!  According to a new report to the president by the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) -- the federal agency that provides oversight of the government's security classification system -- the cost of classification for 2010 has reached over $10.17 billion.  That's a 15 percent jump from the previous year, and the first time ever that secrecy costs have surpassed $10 billion. Last month, ISOO reported that the number of original classification decisions generated by the Obama administration in 2010 was 224,734 -- a 22.6 percent jump from the previous year.  See "The Price of Secrecy, Obama Edition".
.•    There were 544,360 requests for information last year under the Freedom of Information Act to the 35 biggest federal agencies -- 41,000 requests more than the year before. Yet the bureaucracy responded to 12,400 fewer requests than the prior year, according to an analysis by the Associated Press.
•    Obama has invoked baseless and unconstitutional executive secrecy to quash legal inquiries into secret illegalities more often than any predecessor.  The list of this President's invocations of the "state secrets privilege" has already resulted in shutting down lawsuits involving the National Security Agency's illegal wiretapping -- Jewel vs. NSA and Shubert vs. Obama; extraordinary rendition and assassination -- Anwar al-Aulaqi; and illegal torture -- Binyam Mohamed.
•    Ignoring his campaign promise to protect government whistleblowers, Obama’s presidency has amassed the worst record in US history for persecuting, prosecuting, and jailing government whistleblowers and truth-tellers. President Obama's behavior has been in stark contrast to his campaign promises which included live streaming meetings online and rewarding whistleblowers. Obama’s Department of Justice is twisting the 1917 Espionage Act to press criminal charges in five alleged instances of national-security leaks -- more such prosecutions than have occurred in all previous Administrations combined.
•    The Obama DOJ's prosecution of former NSA official Thomas Drake who, up till June 9, faced 35 years in prison for having blown the whistle on the NSA's costly and unlawful warrantless monitoring of American citizens typifies the abusive practices made possible through expansive secrecy agreements and threats of prosecution.
•    President Obama has set a powerful and chilling example for potential whistleblowers through the abuse and torture of Bradley Manning, whose guilt he has also publicly stated prior to any trial by his, Obama's, military subordinates.
•    Obama is the only president who has reenacted Fahrenheit 451 by actually having his agency collect and burn a book due to a never-justified classification excuse: Lt. Col Tony Shaffer’s Operation Dark Heart.
•    Under President Obama, the FBI has launched a series of raids and issued grand jury subpoenas targeting nearly two dozen antiwar activists.  Over two thousand six hundred arrests of protesters in the US have been made while Obama has been president, further encroaching on the exercise of First Amendment rights.  
•    President Obama has initiated a secret assassination program, has publicly announced that he has given himself the power to include Americans on the list of people to be assassinated, and has attempted to assassinate at least one, Anwar al-Aulaqi.
•    President Obama has maintained the power to secretly kidnap, imprison, rendition, or torture, and he has formalized the power to lawlessly imprison in an executive order.  This also means the power to secretly imprison.  There are some 1,700 prisoners outside the rule of law in Bagram alone.
•    The Obama Administration is also busy going after reporters to discover their sources and convening grand juries in order to target journalists and news publishers.
•    President Obama promised to reveal White House visitors' logs.  He didn't.  In response to outrage over his refusal to reveal the names of health insurance CEOs he had met with and cut deals with on the health insurance reform bill, he announced that he would release the names going forward, but not those in the past.  And going forward he would withhold names he chose to withhold.  White House staff then began regularly meeting lobbyists just off White House grounds in order to avoid the visitors' logs.
•    President Obama has sent representatives to aggressively pressure Spain, England, and Germany to shut down investigations that could have exposed the crimes of the Bush era, just as he has instructed the US DOJ to avoid such matters.  This includes his refusal to allow prosecutions of the CIA for torture, following a public letter from 8 previous heads of the CIA informing him that he had better not enforce those laws.

Toni C (508)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 7:49 pm
Thanks, Carole, for the petition... I gladly signed it because the longer Obama's in office the less I can understand where he's coming from. We need a strong President in office... not one that waffles on every decision.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 7:54 pm

Thank you, Toni!


Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 8:04 pm
My above-stated declarations come from the same petition I have encouraged others to sign:
Rescind Obama's "Transparency Award" Now!

helen s (0)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 8:41 pm
Kit may have been calling Boy-Chief out on his misdeeds, but why couldn't she do it without
mentioning Bush?? Couldn't resist the urge, eh Kit? Typical Democrap!! Can never make a
point without mentioning the Bush name. Too sad. Too bad.

Past Member (0)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 8:44 pm
All whisleblowers should be assasinated! Just ask Sarah Palin. Thank god for Ellsberg and Assange, they have made the world a better place.

Patrick Donovan (344)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 9:28 pm
Noted and signed.

T. A. H (39)
Thursday June 16, 2011, 10:32 pm
I didn't realize he had received such an award and agree completely. Anyone interested in the specifics of just one case, go to The New Yorker website and search for Thomas Frank (I believe that's his name), who is facing federal prison time of 35 years for whistle blowing on the NSA's botch of a $6 Billion security project. CBS 60 minutes also covered this in some depth within the past month. Thanks for alerting us!

Arild Warud (174)
Friday June 17, 2011, 1:20 am
Signed and shared on FB,thanks Dandelion.

Ronald N (3)
Friday June 17, 2011, 2:19 am
It's pretty obvious that he's working for the covert military industrial complex. We don't need a verse by verse attributes to prove it, but it's all there. I truly believe when he went into office the makings of a warlike image of President Obama just couldn't be recognized because of his charisma and smoothness during his campaign. However the truth is, it would be a pipe dream in such a turbulent time and especially when the political coup actually took place in 9/11/01. After all the military system doesn't seem as if they are controlled by the civilian government. It has a life of it's own and they are part of a structure much more powerful than a mere President! For that alone Ellsberg is part of a time in history when corrupt politicians were still vulnerable to the press and to an uncovering of corruption. After 9/11/01, corruption became rampant and unchecked and we can all see that whatever President Obama does rolls off like he was covered with teflon just as much as Bush. To answer the question posed by Helen H., I think of Obama as only an extension of Bush. Even at that, neither of these presidents have had absolute power, it's only an illusion given to folks in the position of president. It is the Military Industrial Complex that rules in this instance, and definitely, they are not very transparent about their agendas. So here we sit watching our president and the strings of power so absolutely powerful, more than ever! They are living the roles given to them. I don't think Obama has the guts to do anything different!

Parvez Zuberi (7)
Friday June 17, 2011, 3:37 am
Noted and signed

Veronique L (209)
Friday June 17, 2011, 3:49 am

Bill C (93)
Friday June 17, 2011, 5:58 am
Done. Thanks for forwarding, Sheryl.

Mary Anne Bell (202)
Friday June 17, 2011, 7:01 am
And this is Transparency? -

White House Secret Meetings To Negotiate U.S. Staying In Afghanistan For Decades!(Click Here)

Robert S (111)
Friday June 17, 2011, 7:33 am
With some Republicons wanting out, Obama should take this opportunity, now.... while those who would usually brand him as cut and run Obama, chant along with us...end the wars, end the wars. Not all Repugs however are on the bandwagon, and level attacks even now, on their own, as they would normally do on the Dem...any Dem...

They can't do that to Obama at the moment. He has taken away that card from them, which I agree is dismaying to we who voted McGovern. But McGoven lost, and loosing has pushed the left to the right, so we find ourselves here.


(Boy Chief?) Of course thats not Bigotry. I wouldn't want to play the "race card" as we all know how inocent the right is. Why bother. Of course none of this is about politics and winning for some of you, as you dwell in a simpler world where being for peace is not crucified as weak, and we don't end up with a Repub who oddly isn't so eager to get our troops out... after being elected. Of course it couldn't be worse than now....right?

Sheryl G (359)
Friday June 17, 2011, 7:46 am
I will always be proud of the fact that I voted for and lived in the State of Massachusetts which was the only State to vote for McGoven. However I knew after we had, and was the only State to be the majority that we would be given hell for our actions. Had I known, that not only we would, but as you say Robert, much did all over this Country.

Ronald N (3)
Friday June 17, 2011, 10:14 am
It seems everything became an "about face" by President Obama after he took affice. Everything including issues on Guantanamo haven't been resolved, as he allowed the same as what Bush allowed in Guantanamo. He still allows extrodinary rendition, that is any citizen of the United States is vulnerable to our present "police state". Our country, of course removed the Habeas Corpus and essentially we are in a state of war. This allows our president the extreme measures of calling anyone a security risk and he and this security nation may decide whatever they want to do to citizens without any rights. We are seeing these things of course with the Wikileaks and Pvt. Manning who is presently imprisoned. But as I think, presently Obama has his hands tied. He is compelled to do and act within the confines of our present security state. Shameful! I can only say we are seeing humanrights and propagandization at it's height while Congress seem powerless and the executive branch with the bulk of the power. Congressman Kucinich's lawsuit against this administration that President Obama's violation of the War Powers Act truly needs to be looked at. Even Congressman Boehner made such a statement that the executive branch has way too much power, and he is nothing close to helping the general public. I think the powerlessness of Congress is really having an effect upon them.

Sheryl G (359)
Friday June 17, 2011, 11:51 am
Insightful comment Ronald and one can only hope that as the pendulum sways too far in one direction the gravity of it all will begin to pull it back.

patricia lasek (317)
Friday June 17, 2011, 1:04 pm
Signed. I am getting sick and tired of his continuation of these secrecy policies.

Robert S (111)
Friday June 17, 2011, 4:43 pm
The analysis by the Associated Press piece also said:

Steven Aftergood, the director of the Federation of American Scientists’ government secrecy project, said he has noticed “improvements in FOIA processing” under the Obama administration. And he said the administration is responsible for some “epochal” disclosures.

“For the first time last year we were given an unclassified description of the size of the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal,” he said. “That is something we have not seen for over a half of a century. We have been banging on the door for 20 years or longer for that.”

And last month, the government disclosed, for the first time, its intelligence budget request — $55 billion for next year.

“I sued the CIA in 1999 asking for total intelligence budget request. They fought back and I lost the lawsuit. The court agreed that this would damage national security,” Aftergood said. “Within the world of secrecy, these are epochal changes. They are entirely to the administration’s credit.”

Just though I'd point this out as no one else here will, and note that a fifteen percent increase in classification costs is not in itself earth shattering, nor does the figure having reached 10 as opposed to 9 for the first time mean anything more than that is was less than ten previously and has gone up. Why is 10 significant? The numbers are stated as if they hold great drama, and prove much something in themselves. I don't think they do.

Still Obama has continued far too much of Bush's crap. I with disgust agree, but I also find it of concern, that those who said nothing when it was Bush doing these things, have now found their voice and join happily in the Obama bashing that goes on here by those "above party" who I think destructively, sing in chorus with those who wish Bush were left out of it, and never mentioned as duped idealists who shoot all of us in the foot as they sing Kumbayah with the enemy who no doubt smiles, and will "revert" as soon as Obama is brought down with a little help from our "friends", to the same people they have always been who excused anything and everything done by Bush, but now join you in outrage over Obama. Only half of the mob are dupes...the others have a plan.


Sheryl G (359)
Friday June 17, 2011, 5:32 pm
This is good to know Robert, 15% increase is still an increase and heading in the right direction. I for one also gave it to Bush as well, in fact even lost a few friends over it, as they thought I was being too harsh on him. I feel that when someone's policies may lead to the death of someone how can my few words be so harsh as compared to actual death caused by his actions.

Caitlin M (104)
Friday June 17, 2011, 6:08 pm
I agree with Kit and I agree with Robert S., who has explained well the complexity of the situation. Why wasn't all this protest at the ready when Bush was perpetrating all the frauds he did...the biggest being the "Patriot Act." The name itself is insulting to anyone who knows what a patriot really is. A patriot is one who fights for the right no matter what party is in office and no matter what his own party leader wants him to do. I did sign this petition although I still have the feeling that President Obama needs us to stick with him through all this that looks so bad for him. The sense that I have of the man does not jibe with the lack of transparency that's going on in his administration. Not all information comes to us through statistics and appearances. Right now I'm keeping my eyes open for data but also have other senses that give room for belief in this brilliant, adult man who is the head of a beautiful family. Now maybe that's thought... If Michelle would run....

But there's one thing I do know: I haven't seen one person in the field of Rs or Ds that I'd vote for... except possibly Bernie Sanders, but I don't think he's running. So what are our choices? And who should we stand behind more than Obama?

Caitlin M (104)
Friday June 17, 2011, 6:12 pm
Thanks, Dandelion, for the good discussion point.

Kit B (276)
Friday June 17, 2011, 6:36 pm

Fellow democrats, liberals or independents:

So what's next kids? We are not really satisfied with the job to date from Obama. It seems he has crapped out on many things we wanted changed, and hasn't fought for things we want to see progressed...I'm not voting for any of the republican choices. Any brilliant ideas out there or is this just a complain session?

Robert S (111)
Friday June 17, 2011, 6:55 pm
I think you mean the wrong direction based on the theme here, of more money spent on classification being a bad thing...
I don't know the history of the numbers and most things go up, so it just seems a condemnation without weight or substance on its own. Though some of what is offered as "chilling" is indeed... much is also one sided without context, and or unsubstantiated, but simply stated as fact...and has an agenda.

I'm not surprised that you "gave it to Bush as well". Perhaps you should put friends in quotes as regards those you "lost". Just a thought.

We may even thank Bush for the power, now resting with the Presidency which concerns us, and which now... held by a Democrat, is of such concern to those who thought you too harsh with Bush.

I have often said, and its true, that power is easily given back once gotten. But Obama was only given what Bush had fought for/stolen, in terms of creating the "Unitary Executive". Sure we and our Reps., (congress) should push back even now, though sooner would have been better, and that push back was conspicuously absent up till now. In my opinion, while we push back, we must be aware and guard against giving that Bush created power... back to his friends. You think its being abused now? It could be increased as before with a Repub Pres, and again compliant Congress full of Puglies.

As implied by my earlier question, I think it could be much worse.

You may safely "go after" Obama without thought of loosing me as a friend, as long as you do not imply I mislead, or call me a marionette for being what I consider to be a realist faced with not only the estimable right, but ideologues and conspiracists who are so called "none party" who are full time, all about self righteously knocking Obama, seemingly hell bent on giving power back to those whose minions join them here and whole heartedly agree.... Those on the "other" side...(which of course doesn't exist), who cheer them on, are themselves... ALL about party... As long as its Neo- Conservative and anti Obama.

I lost some "friends" here too. I only miss my illusions of them.

Robert S (111)
Friday June 17, 2011, 7:09 pm
Please don't tell me again that I have to get off my ass again Kit, as I'm only on it when I here taking to you guys.

Brilliant...I would not presume, but Congress is key to a successful second term with more of what we would like to see. I majority big enough so that Obama (not a king in spite of rumors) can work without fanatical filibustering evil clowns mucking up the works.

Robert S (111)
Friday June 17, 2011, 7:11 pm
"when I here"...see, told ya, not brilliant...

Past Member (0)
Friday June 17, 2011, 7:15 pm
Bipartisan politics are impossible?

Sheryl G (359)
Friday June 17, 2011, 7:29 pm
I have stood on things with Obama and the Democrats, I'm on the threads in other news stories. I will not lend an effort to the Republicans as they have gone so far to the extremes they'd have us back in the Dark Ages.

I will however call out anyone in power to remind them that I'm watching even if no one else is. You do a good job Robert, you are a Warrior for this Country, your Community, and an asset on Care2. I do not weep for the ones who got upset with me on Bush, true friends will not always agree on everything and I did stick to policy and did not attack the individual, so sorry they couldn't accept that.

So I'll not call you a marionette and as Caitlin said a good discussion. I enjoy learning others points of views, I am one who does read others thoughts and input, mull it around, and if need be I do tweak my thoughts. I've always found your opinions and viewpoints Robert very thought provoking and you present a lot of informative information and knowledge to the subject at hand. Much of the time we are very closely alined. Kit I also read as she also presents a lot of good ideas and well informed offerings as well.

Robert S (111)
Friday June 17, 2011, 8:17 pm
I agree on our alignment and thanks for the very kind appraisal dear Dandelion, and I also agree, Kit is and does.

Thanks also Caitlin for you very thoughtful comment. I like Michelle too and Bernie, but he has no chance IMO for we live in a country filled with fear reinforced daily by those who even now, when we are down and they are at cause, reach for guns at the thought of paying even what they paid under Clinton. They consider that socialist, as it involves thinking it terms of a bit less for them, and helping/investing in "US", instead of bleeding "US", for every rotten penny they can get, by robbing "US" with lobbyists and sending our work to China. I'll never forget Bush as he smiled after giving tax breaks to his outsourcing friends, then turning to privatizing SS, one day said to a woman who told him she had three Jobs...

Tues Feb 8 2005 9:27:01 ET

Last Friday when promoting social security reform with 'regular' citizens in Omaha, Nebraska, President Bush walked into an awkward unscripted moment in which he stated that carrying three jobs at a time is 'uniquely American.'

While talking with audience participants, the president met Mary Mornin, a woman in her late fifties who told the president she was a divorced mother of three, including a 'mentally challenged' son.

The President comforted Mornin on the security of social security stating that 'the promises made will be kept by the government.'

But without prompting Mornin began to elaborate on her life circumstances.

Begin transcript:

MS. MORNIN: That's good, because I work three jobs and I feel like I contribute.

THE PRESIDENT: You work three jobs?

MS. MORNIN: Three jobs, yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Uniquely American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that you're doing that. Get any sleep? he said...and laughed.

Sorry I got off on a tangent. But the point is, I still remember. I will never forget. This was Bush, but it reflected what both he and his friends still have in mind for us. I won't help them. Ever. So Caitlin, until I see another way forward that will stop them, I stand with Obama. Thanks again.

David, I will dignify your question with a response. I was possible but has been eroded from Reagan on. Right from my perspective, we must beat them while not becoming them. Easier said then done.


Past Member (0)
Friday June 17, 2011, 8:29 pm
Thank you for dignifying my question Robert. I feel so honored.

Robert S (111)
Friday June 17, 2011, 8:48 pm
Don't be. Someone had to do it, or... mistaken for another attempt at cleverness it may have been considered rhetorical ( existing only for your amusement) and ignored. Your welcome. :)

John Farnham (52)
Saturday June 18, 2011, 4:37 am
David Buchan Nipartisan politics are part of public poltical discussion by 'lawmakers'.....supposedly. As to what we actually have there are articles in Wikipedia that would shake one up : definitions of kleptocracy ( particularly narco kleptocracy ) for instance. But I'm an old cynic.
C started me off on my hobbyhorse in the past and it's included in a recap I just posted.
And it may well be offensive to some. I merely ask you to hold your sense of outrage in check long enough to try 'walking a mile in the other guy's shoes.' The KKK picture was for purposes of showing the power of persuasion in motivating mobs. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Jean A (14)
Saturday June 18, 2011, 9:29 am
I am happy that you all have vented. All is done by the powers that be. Bush and Obama are just spokesmen just like reporters of network news. They are told what to report. We are an enslaved people just short of the mideastern countries. The big corporations now are running the show along with wall street and banks. We the people do not stand a chance and I should say how obvious it is with the foreclosures of homes and loss of jobs and now entitlements are going in the dump. The powers that be did not expect this housing depression so we have to live with it. To me Obama is a good president with his hands tied.

Robert S (111)
Saturday June 18, 2011, 9:48 am
One can be a holocaust denier under the moniker "cynic" as well as one can say one is a "cynic" as one claims there is no proof of mans contribution to climate change. One can argue facts unending, and in the case of climate change, the whole point as observed by me, is to postpone indefinitely, any conclusion, and thereby postpone indefinitely... any action. The question that can and arguably "must" be asked in a search for why? and to what end, is an assertion/argument made...

Thanks you John Farnham (the singer?) nahhh... for a thought provoking comment, though this reader be skeptical of its intent.

As long as we are careful to be cynical of evidence and conclusions arrived at, by so called cynics, and "their" motives. Fair enough. Whats good for the goose and all that...

"Scratch the surface of any story and you’ll find rumors, hoaxes, and conspiracies. The conspiracy theory is the most intriguing of them all, for it combines total skepticism with total credulity. The same person will challenge every assertion made by the government or the mass media about Roswell or the Kennedy assassination, and then proceed to embrace the most cockamamie theory without even doing a minimum of legwork to test it.

Cyberspace is the perfect place for this contradiction to thrive, for it is both “the Petri dish for paranoids” and also the home of Snopes and other scam trackers. Wikipedia is a battleground between conspiracy hounds and the thousands of amateur sleuths who aspire to do at least as good a job as the fact-checkers at conventional encyclopedias (whether they do so is a matter of considerable debate, including within Wikipedia itself). The Internet is full of bunkum and debunk ‘em. Like matter and anti-matter, they should cancel each other out. But the relationship more aptly resembles that between bacteria and antibiotics. Develop an effective tuberculosis vaccine, and the TB bacterium will develop a stronger resistant strain. The American body politic, weakened by successive waves of government lies, media oversights, and the relentless repetition of demagogues, is susceptible to these highly infectious theories.

Most toxic of all perhaps are the myths generated by 9/11. Over the years, I’ve received lots of letters about 9/11 and why it was an inside job. One recent letter insisted that Osama bin Laden was not behind the 2001 attacks, that an Israeli firm in the Twin Towers “received a fax warning them about the 911 attack that would come in a few hours” (which presumably allowed it to warn Israelis and/or Jews to evacuate the building), and that it was not a plane that struck the Pentagon on that fateful day.

Although bin Laden initially denied responsibility, an overwhelming amount of evidence surfaced that linked al Qaeda to the attacks (including, of course, bin Laden himself eventually claiming responsibility). As for the Israeli firm, Odigo, it did receive such a warning, but it was an instant message, not a fax. The message arrived at its office in Israel, did not identify the location of the attack, and was hostile rather than friendly. It in no way demonstrates that the firm, which didn’t even have offices in the Twin Towers to evacuate, was part of a U.S.-Israeli plot to bring down the buildings. As for Flight 77, there were lots of eyewitness reports of its crash into the Pentagon in addition to calls made by people on board. And where exactly did the flight go if not into the Pentagon? I could go on — about the misrepresentations of the size of the hole in the Pentagon, other hoaxes involving advanced warnings of 9/11, and all the other fanciful theories about who was behind the attacks.

The “9/11 truthers” are as resistant to rebuttal as the right-wing “birthers.” They both draw strength from their deep-seated distrust of government and the mass media. They believe not in Occam’s Razor, which argues for building a case on the fewest new assumptions, but in Occam’s Hairball, a partially digested lump of every new assumption that has stuck in their craw.

Long before the Internet, historian Richard Hofstadter warned of the “paranoid style” that periodically grips the American body politic and directs the crowd’s fury at Masons or Jesuits or Jews or Communists. In his recently updated book on conspiracy theories, legal scholar Mark Fenster takes a more benign view. Such theories reflect populist suspicion about the concentration of economic and political power, a suspicion “that can have violent, racist, and antidemocratic effects (as well as salutary and democracy-enhancing ones) on the political and social order, but a strain that is neither independent from nor necessarily threatening to the country’s political institutions or political culture.”

I agree that conspiracy theories do not threaten the status quo, for they usually distract attention from more serious and systemic problems (for instance, bridges and highways and buildings are collapsing all over the United States because of the defunding of infrastructure, and the Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth focus all their energies on explaining how an exploding plane could never make the Twin Towers collapse?). And yes, before you prepare your flaming emails, some conspiracies turn out to have a basis in fact (the Iran-Contra affair, for instance, or the right-wing mobilization to bring down Bill Clinton).

The danger of conspiracy theories lies not so much in whether they are right or wrong but in how they erode our democratic institutions. Instead of democratizing the state, conspiracy theorists tend toward a libertarian downsizing of government; instead of breaking the corporate control of the media, conspiracy theorists create their own dogmatic blogs and websites. Conspiracies sap our will, for who except Jesus or Keanu Reaves can stand up to The Matrix? In fact, conspiracies are the exception to the rule of big institutions, which err on the side of incompetence more often than not. Conspiracies overstate the power of the powerful. As the Iran-Contra affair demonstrated, even authentic conspiracies are fairly inept.

I fear that conspiracies have become the only way for us to organize the unruly flow of information that assaults us daily. We create all-encompassing, quasi-religious explanations to make sense of the supernova of our post-modern experience."

John Feffer


John Farnham (52)
Saturday June 18, 2011, 10:00 pm
'the Singer' naaah
Now you know why I didn't blog under my name : I'd never surface from under the overwhelming media coverage of a very popular performer.
I didn't really agree that when the think tank PNAC stated what it would do and went ahead and did it that it would be accepted as a 'conspiracy theory'. I'm talking about taking the U.S. Presidency by fair means or foul and attacking Iraq. And though I really haven't followed Jesse Ventura much, I certainly agree that government has repeatedly lied to the people....not something that was a surprise in my youth BTW
I was told, for instance, that the BOMARC missile nuclear tips were taken off the missiles after American servicemen revealed their existence - despite prior government assurances that we would not be made a nuclear target by their presence on Canadian soil. This was part and parcel of the Avro Arrow fiasco which destroyed working airframes..
As for 911 : I never worried about debunking a tale cooked up within 24 hours to explicitly explain events that incinerated alleged perpetrators and evidence both. Even for B.S., that's fast work.
As for Antropogenic Global Warming - a scam on steroids - I have 2 recent scientific group links saying the whole scenario is manufactured hysteria far overstating any possible reality of causation. Since my blogpost on climate fraud fell foul of Blogger malfunction I have been looking for new material...and it's coming fast and furious without my having to look for it.

Angelika R (143)
Sunday June 19, 2011, 2:46 am
Thanks for Supporting Whistleblowers and Transparent Government- signed with thanks to Sheryl.
Much has been commented here, little to add. But to be honest, I had to read multiple times to believe it, a WHAT award?? A secrecy award seemed more appropriate to me as well. But then, as also stated here above, what do we actually know and hear, particularly me from a distance. But judging by all that I read here over the past weeks and months, it did and does seem as though Obama is more and more adopting a Boris Jelzin style policy, nothing one would expect from America....
Yet you need to stick with him, also true. So sad that the only choice you guys have is obviously between bad and worse..

Marty H (119)
Sunday June 19, 2011, 3:34 am
Also done!

Robert S (111)
Sunday June 19, 2011, 9:28 am
Kudos on your Governments stance toward, or should I say...away from Nuclear, Angelika.

I am warmed by any hint of understanding coming from any quarter, showing understanding of our choices. I think Obama is also confronted with choices, and while President, he must also play using only the cards he is dealt. I don't forgive him, and am at a loss often to defend his actions, but don't find a comparison (while colorful), to Boris, either useful... or accurate. Peace.

Tuesday June 21, 2011, 8:36 am
This is the most transparent administration in history LOl wistle blowers get real

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Tuesday June 21, 2011, 11:33 am
Obama Wins Nobel War Prize
As the July 2011 deadline for Afghan troop withdrawal nears, President Barack Obama is gearing up for another significant milestone, the Nobel War Prize awards ceremony, which will be held in Oslo next month.
Obama has been selected as this year's winner of the first inaugural prize to commemorate the world leader who has "best advanced the goals of war and militarization across the globe," amongst a notable cast of runners-up that includes NATO's head Anders Fogn Rasmussen, China's premier Wen Jiabao, and former President George W. Bush.
The selection committee includes a host of venerable war-makers in their own right, including Syria's Bashar al-Assad, Yemen's Ali Abdullah Saleh, and Libya's Muammar Gaddafi -- each of whom will be honored in a special category celebrating the "Leaders that Wage War on Their Own People."
Among Obama's list of war accomplishments, the committee highlighted Obama's decision to double the number of troops and expand the number of private contractors in Afghanistan, as well as his dramatic escalation of drone strikes and targeted assassinations in Yemen and Pakistan. According to one committee member, "Two years ago, we worried that President Obama would rollback Bush administration policies and pursue a peace agenda, but in fact he's expanded the militaristic Bush approach to counterterrorism. He's managed to get the U.S. involved in three wars in the Middle East, keep Guantanamo open, and dramatically expand the use of covert CIA capture/kill operations across the globe. We could not think of a more worthy candidate for this award."
News this week that the CIA is building a secret military base in the Middle East had the committee buzzing with excitement. One judge noted, "We applaud Obama for presiding over 865 military bases abroad at a cost of over $102 billion annually. At a time when the country is faltering from the economic crisis, Obama's decision to approve the construction of more bases deserves praise."
<!-- google_ad_client = "pub-1948223620103741"; google_ad_width = 300; google_ad_height = 250; google_ad_format = "300x250_as"; google_ad_type = "text_image"; //2007-01-25: Op google_ad_channel = "2444761858"; //-->
Obama's speechwriters are hard at work preparing the his acceptance remarks, and PolicyMic  managed to obtain a preview of the speech from a source inside the White House. The president will begin by thanking congressional Democrats "for campaigning in 2006 on the antiwar agenda, and then turning around once in office and funding the war they claimed to oppose." He will also thank Congress for "stepping aside and allowing me to go to war in Libya without Congressional approval and once again approving the Patriot Act despite years of supposed opposition."
Obama will also thank America's young people for "accepting the status quo," and allowing the U.S. to "spend $2 billion every week in Afghanistan while over 9% of Americans, and young people with college degrees, can't find jobs."
Ceremony organizers carefully timed the event in order to nudge Obama toward breaking his pledge to begin a significant troop withdrawal in July -- a course the president is strongly considering.
They are urging the president to permanently take the Nobel Peace Prize down from his bookshelf and replace it with the war prize next month.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday June 21, 2011, 3:05 pm
The only transparency of the US government comes to us via whisleblowers and WikiLeaks. The more 'whisleblowers' the merrier.

Sheryl G (359)
Tuesday June 21, 2011, 3:10 pm
If he doesn't pull it down from the shelf I suppose he could add it next to the Peace Prize....what an oxymoron.


Robert S (111)
Tuesday June 21, 2011, 3:31 pm
This marionette, so called by Carol, is sure the baggers who wait gleefully for her next Obama bashing post, take much comfort from it, and must slap their hands to keep from sending stars, and bite their lips to keep from expressing gratitude.

Sheryl G (359)
Tuesday June 21, 2011, 3:36 pm
I thought CrossTalk that I put on brought up valid points all around the subject. It was NOT one sided but did get into various points about his getting the Peace Prize so on and so forth looking at it from various ways.

Mary Anne Bell (202)
Tuesday June 21, 2011, 3:39 pm
Send a Green Star to Dandelion G.
Sending a Green Star is a simple way to say "Thank you"
You cannot currently send a star to Dandelion because you have done so within the last week.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday June 21, 2011, 3:45 pm
"Obama bashing post" - ?

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Tuesday June 21, 2011, 3:49 pm

THANK YOU for that video (24:30 minutes), Sheryl. Excellent find . . . thanks for sharing!

I've watched/listened to it (expecting it to be comical), but was impressed with the serious, well-considered, differing opinions and the fairness and respect to all parties with which the discussion was handled.


Thursday June 23, 2011, 11:26 am
Peace is not just. It like everying in life is something we work on a daliy bases. Being President doesnot change that. President Obama is working on Peace around the world. And without war as one tool to get Peace. Nobel Peace Prize was given to Obama for that reason. But if people are being jerks saying the only reason we are in war is just OIL Then we as country need to think. Get more alternative energy ideas invest in them get off oil as our only. The country needs to wake up and support Obama's Green Ideas and show the Republians the NO is getting old and we need to go forward not backward.

Thursday June 23, 2011, 11:29 am
Yes It is has no concern for any of the Rebublian Party. Now Obama has the weight of ending this war which by the the way was never paid for. The Rebublians are jumping ship. Obama has it coming at him from all directions. It is much harder to end war. Because you can not just walk out and leave the mess. That would be heartless

Carole K (195)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 12:19 pm
Back from vacation now & was still able to sign. TY, Dandelion for this opportunity! I missed so much while away w/o good computer access......
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