portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts global

political theory

More on Howard Dean "I was against the war, but I wasn't a protester."

My Dean rant continues, as I attempt to wake up the Amerisheep to who Dean really is. Read on. At this point, I'd almost vote for Kerry instead, since at least Kerry is up front about being right of center, about supporting Bush et al. But the likes of Dean try to trick everyone, and that's even worse.

As it is I'm voting Green. Hopefully Nader will run again. In CA, a recent poll of potential candidates in the governor recall election also put Green Party's Peter Camejo neck and neck with the most likely Republican candidate, even with ALL the newspapers ignoring Camejo's candidacy!
More on Howard Dean - "I was against the war, but I wasn't a protester."

Tilting Democrats
Even so-called liberal Howard Dean is diving toward the political center.
By Norman Solomon

Dean is already sending a message to his announced supporters among peace and social-justice advocates: Thanks, suckers.

Usually, major-party candidates wait until they have a lock on the presidential nomination before diving to the center. Eager to avoid being hammered by the national press corps for supposed liberalism, Dean hasn't bothered to wait.

Dean's reiteration of his opposition to the war in Iraq, which has motored his campaign thus far, was noteworthy for his newly minted opposition to the Bush doctrine of "preventive war" -- given that he'd endorsed the concept in a speech just a few months ago.

. . . "I said I was going to tone down my criticism of the president once the war began," Dean explained as he made his way from a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the posh Sambuca restaurant to a private fundraiser for his presidential campaign. "I'm not gonna change my policy. I support the troops but I haven't changed my views on the policy."

Wearing a blue pinstripe suit, with a CBS Evening News crew clip-on microphone adjacent to an American flag lapel pin, Dean was then asked if the presumably antiwar crowd wouldn't enjoy hearing from a credible Democratic candidate who -- unlike his war-supporting Democratic rivals Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri, or somewhat more nuanced, less gung-ho supporters like Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts and John Edwards of North Carolina -- had carved out a firm antiwar stance? Dean politely disagreed.

"Most of the people I know who are against the war don't want to talk about it anymore," Dean said. Really?

Dean also raised concerns on the prospect of war with Iraq, stating that President Bush must show the American people proof that Saddam Hussein has nuclear or biological weapons and the means to deliver them, and he must make it clear that American troops could be on the ground there for 10 years.

Elections analyst Stuart Rothenberg, who writes a column for "Roll Call," related an exchange that he had with Dean during a meeting with the paper's editorial board in January.

"I asked him about gay rights and civil unions and his commitment to it, about how he always talks about it as a moral principle on which he has staked his reputation and doesn't care about the political ramification," Rothenberg said. "I said, 'If that's the case and you use it as an example of why you are different, why did you sign [the civil unions] bill in cover of darkness with no public event?' I told him a Democrat from Vermont had told me that. And he turned his body halfway around as if he were reaching back to throw a fastball, and he yelled 'That's bull----! Nobody from Vermont said that. Nobody from Vermont told you that.'"

. . . Dean comes from money -- his father, grandfather and great-grandfather were investment bankers; he summered in Sag Harbor, part of the Long Island playground that includes the Hamptons, and went to Yale. During the Vietnam War, he received a medical deferment from the draft for an unfused vertebra in his back and moved to Vermont in 1978 for his medical residency. Entering politics there was relatively easy.

. . . He insisted on balancing the budget above all else. He went from being against the death penalty to supporting it in limited cases. He refused to fund social programs without making sure the state could pay its bills first.

"His being called a liberal is one of the great white lies of the campaign," said Tom Salmon, a fellow Democrat and governor of Vermont for two terms during the Nixon-Ford era. "He's a rock-solid fiscal conservative," Salmon said, "and a liberal on key social issues. But we're talking key issues."
. . . Dean says he doesn't mind being called a liberal and welcomes progressives to the campaign. ("I'd be delighted if the Greens supported me!") But he chuckles at the liberal label, considering that "I am probably the most conservative of the candidates when it comes to gun control." It's a states issue, he says, and his state, with its low crime rate, doesn't need it.
"I think it's pathetic that I'm considered the left-wing liberal," Dean said. "It shows just how far to the right this country has lurched."
* On gay marriage: Dean, whose state recognized gay civil unions during his tenure and portrays himself as the most outspoken of candidates on this issue, hedged when asked whether if he would, as president, seek to recognize licenses for gay couples married in Canada, which just began to recognize such unions. At first he launched into a long, windy answer about how the real issue is not gay marriage but equal rights.
But when pressed by Russert whether he would seek to recognize those legally married in Canada, he said: "I can't answer that question because it's a legal question, but I can tell you what I will definitely do. I will definitely make sure they have exactly the same rights as married people, which is what we've done in Vermont. I can't tell you about the marriage question. I think the answer probably is they are legally entitled to be recognized, but I don't without--I'm not a lawyer and I don't know the answer to that."

It remains unclear why Dean can't answer a "legal question." Perhaps he will clarify later.
* On the death penalty: Asked where he stood now on the death penalty, Dean explained how his opinion shifted from opposition to support for the ultimate penalty. Then he launched into a soliloquy that seemed to make the case against the death penalty before concluding: "And thirdly, I don't believe the death penalty is a deterrent, but I think there may be one instance where just possibly it could be and that's the shooting of a police officer. If you're about to pull a trigger on a guy who's in uniform and you know that you're going to get the death penalty and if you don't pull the trigger something different will happen, maybe that might save the police officer's life. The only three instances that I support the death penalty are, one, murder of a child, two, a mass murder like a terrorist and, three, the shooting of a police officer."

There's nothing wrong with having conflicted opinions about an issue as emotional as the death penalty. But Dean's answer seemed to come off somehow as politically calculated to neither offend voters on the right or left.

* On military defense and Iraq: Dean, who has argued that the military is understaffed in Iraq, was asked a series of questions about the military. The exchange was too precious to paraphrase:

Russert: "Let's talk about the military budget. How many men and women would you have on active duty?"

Dean: "I can't answer that question. And I don't know what the answer is. I can tell you one thing, though. We need more troops in Afghanistan. We need more troops in Iraq now.... And what I would do in Iraq now is bring in NATO and bring in the United Nations, because our troops on the ground deserve better support than they're getting."

Russert: "But how many troops--how many men and women do we now have on active duty?"

Dean: "I can't tell you the answer to that either. It's ..."

Russert: "But as commander in chief, you should know that."

Dean: "As someone who's running in the Democratic Party primary, I know that it's somewhere in the neighborhood of one to two million people, but I don't know the exact number, and I don't think I need to know that to run in the Democratic Party primary."

Russert: "How many troops would you have in Iraq?"

Dean: "More than we have now. My understanding is we have in the neighborhood of 135,000 troops. I can't tell you exactly how many it takes."

The exchange went on an on, with Dean expressing a mixture of defensiveness and testiness. Some may argue that Russert was baiting Dean. But Russert's interviewing tactics in this case were valid. If a candidate is going to take a position like the one he was taking, he had better be ready with the facts.

They were valid tactics 14.Jul.2003 12:06


But Russert was extremely aggressive throughout the interview. I was pleased and displeased as I watched the Meet the Press interview. (A while ago now). Pleased that Russert was actually going after a presidential candidate, asking some tough questions, following-through. But displeased my preferred candidate wasn't quite on the ball.

Dean is often combative during interviews. He's acknowledged that fact in other interviews. It's something he's definitely got to work on, I think.

But come on -- he got the answer right. We have close to 1.5 mil troops, he said between 1 and 2 million.

It's strange that you claim Dean is deceptive, claiming to be far-left -- and then you use his own quotes saying precisely the opposite to prove your point?

What's your real motivation? Typical activist antagonism? I mean, I don't really understand. You'd rather vote Kerry than Dean, even though Kerry is further to the right? It makes no sense. You make no sense. Dean never claimed to be the progressive candidate -- that's been heaped on him by the media, and his campaign has been trying to change that image. (With the quotes you posted).

Dean is largely centrist, and he hardly hides that fact. Please -- name one way in which he has claimed to be the most progressive of the candidates, instead of posting the numerous times he has specifically claimed not to be.

Vote Kucinich in the Primary! 14.Jul.2003 13:04


Kucinich is the only candidate for the Democratic nominations that seems to be honestly and fully against Bush's war, is not tainted by corporate lobbyists, and promises to restore full employment and shift the tax burden to those who can afford it. All in all, Kucinich is almost as progressive as Nader, and it would be great to get a genuine populist back among the Democrats. Perhaps the party can be saved, let's just hope he gets the nomination. I sure hope so. Bev Stein (an ex-socialist) almost got it in 2002 here in Oregon. Let's turn the Democratic Party into the Social Democratic Party!

Dean is Pro Zionist, does that matter to anyone 14.Jul.2003 13:05

Trooth Mamiddlename

Dean says his political view of the middle east is the same as the ultra zionist Jewish pressure group AIPAC.

So, why don't we have any candidates who support the Palestinians? Anybody know the answer to that question?

Dean never claimed to be the progressive candidate 14.Jul.2003 13:10


Exactly, but as he's stated, he'd 'love it if the Greens would support him,' even though he violates most of the 10 key values. Dean is an asshole. And don't say that 'the media heaped it on him,' - it's clear that he's willing to do anything to gain votes on both sides, and saying one thing while his policies suggest he has only the most bare support for it, or only with certain conditions, etc. The media weren't heaping until Dean was spouting to the left that he was so anti-war, pro gay rights, etc. And now when the curtain gets pulled aside and we see what's behind Dean's words, all you Dean supporters have to admit you want Bush lite, instead of Bush dark.

Do you live in Florida by any chance? My point in saying I'd vote for Kerry is to show how low Dean has gone in my opinion. I won't actually vote for Kerry, I'll vote Green.

Yes, but 14.Jul.2003 13:25


Kucinich is clearly an activist candidate, yet I'm sure he'd love it if the neocons voted for him. Or the centrists. Or whomever else. Everyone would love it if everyone would vote for them. It's common sense.

Dean was "spouting" that he was anti-war, pro-gay rights because he is. Would you prefer it if he didn't stress the major points of his candidacy?

Calling Dean BushLite is ridiculous. When you say that, most people laugh at you and hold onto their wallets. You can't possibly hope to have any affect on the process with such preposterous words. You won't change anyone's mind, you'll just be marginalized and disenfranchised.

You've yet to present any evidence of Dean trying to manipulate the views of the public. Any evidence that he's gone "low." I'm still waiting.

Trooth Mamiddlename -- yes. If any one thing about Dean's candidacy could change my mind, it's that fact. (Though I'm not sure we should be supporting the Palestinians, I'd very much like to support a candidate who will come out in favor of tearing down every last settlement, ending the economic stranglehold, withdrawing from Jerusalem, creating a contiguous state, etc).

I don't think Dean expects any of your votes though. Hell, I'm often surprised the folks around here are even supportive of Nader.

James, the classic Dean supporter 14.Jul.2003 13:31


"Though I'm not sure we should be supporting the Palestinians"

This is about all we need to know about James and Dean. According to Dean, the problem with the Palestinians isn't about resistance or anything complicated like the history of the relationship with Israelis, but about 'terrorism itself.'

Please don't misrepresent my Palestinian position 14.Jul.2003 13:59


I'm not sure I've stated it clearly on this board before. Regardless, I doubt you know much of it. Also, a bit of an ad hominen/poisoning the well attack, wouldn't you say?

As a matter of fact, I do view the Palestinian position as one of resistance. In my view, the creation of the state of Israel (or at least the creation of the state in that particular area -- they were offered many other spots) was a mistake. I think the Israelis are every bit as guilty of terrorism as are the Palestinians.

Yet I'm not sure we should involve ourselves in such things. That means remaining neutral. It means an end to support of Israel. It means helping with the negotiations process. But it does not mean forcing either side to do something.

In this particular case, we've supported Israel for so long militarily and otherwise, I think we might have some duty to set things straight. But even that I'm not sure of.

And this is the thrust of my point: Upto this point, our involvement has primarily been a hinderance. Our support or disapproval constantly changes with the presidency of the day. While the Palestinian issue is tragic -- and I completely believe they're getting the short end of the stick -- it doesn't nearly rise to the level of genocide that we see in places like the Congo, or even the Balkans in the '90s. I can't see any justification -- any standard -- for our involvement for that reason.

So how about those examples of Dean claiming to be progressive?

Dean's words are all he's got 14.Jul.2003 15:06


Dean's strategy is to pick a handful of issues - the war, gay rights, healthcare - and spout off that he's so against Bush on these issues, that Bush is so wrong, etc., but when examined in more depth, Dean shows that what he offers isn't 'progressive' by any stretch, but is actually fairly similar to what Bush offers.

So for Amerisheep who aren't paying close attention, they hear that he supports one issue, say gay rights, and they are sure - when you ask them - that he couldn't also support the death penalty, the views of AIPAC, be against the Kyoto Protocol, have supported the concept of illegal preemptive war, etc., and they're often quite surprised to hear that this is the case.

I'm glad you support eliminating the settlements, etc., but then why would you think that suddently, after 90 billion in aid to Israel, that the US shouldn't be involved? We've helped to create a huge anger toward Israel in the region by pumping them full of weapons and loans and to suddenly let them loose and not aid the Palestinians at all, seems reckless. I'd support international peacekeepers, but the Palestinians as a people deserve support. They do have over 50% unemployment, and the US has helped make it this way by supporting Israel for so long. Similarly, Israel has murdered a number of internationals, UN workers, AP reporters, etc., and should have consequences. Just walking away won't be the answer.

My point is, it's a very complex issue, and Dean's response that the problem is 'terrorism itself' and attributing it to one side, is flat-out wrong.

Why support a candidate that both the right wing and the corporate media are pushing, when Kucinich is far better? Bush-lite Dean won't be any different, just as with Gore we'd have been in Columbia going after oil, as opposed to Iraq.

Well 14.Jul.2003 15:50


From my standpoint, Dean is pretty damn good, because I hold fairly right-wing (libertarian) views myself.

I support gun rights, I'm opposed to Kyoto (Kyoto as a special case -- I don't believe in global warming, as a human-caused effect anyway, thus I don't think it's important to reduce carbom emissions. Further, Kyoto is completely unfair to the developed world. That being said, I think there are numerous and obvious other reasons to reduce pollution. I just think the focus on carbon emissions is wrong.)

Dean's libertarian-leaning campaign suits me pretty nicely.

I don't like his universal health care proposal. (I don't like universal healthcare). I don't see anything wrong with subsidies for those who need it. (e.g., Medicare is horrible, because Grannies with a cool million in the bank get free healthcare, while the poor suffer). But it's opt-outable, which is at least somewhat redeeming.

I don't like his stance on the death penalty. To my mind it makes no sense. Either it's morally wrong for the state to kill or it isn't. Deterrence is no issue at all. His idea that it would deter someone from shooting a police officer is ridiculous. When people shoot people, they either aren't thinking, or don't expect to get caught. Noone thinks "Gee, if I shoot this police officer, I'll only get life in prison -- it's worth it!" They think "I'm going to shoot this police officer and then run away. Noone will see me. I won't get caught."

I don't like his stance on Israel, because he's in favor of supporting the country.

But I have so many more problems with Kucinich, Nader, Kerry, Graham -- and especially Lieberman and Gephardt -- that I'm willing to compromise for now on those issues.

I'd rather see a libertarian candidate in office. But I know that's not going to happen. I wish we had a preferential voting system, but we don't. Thus, if the elections were today, I'd vote Dean as a vote against Bush.

I've yet to see a perfect candidate in my lifetime. So I'm compromising.

I tried for a while to convince some on this board that they should vote Dean, as I believe he's electable, whereas Kucinich is by no means electable. However, I've long since stopped that, since I realize most here would never vote for Dean.

Still, the anti-Dean posts kind get to me. Especially the idea that he's somehow manipulating people. As he has said "The fact that [he's] considered the far-left candidate is pathetic." He's not trying to dupe anyone. He's just stating his views and making his case. Some of his opinions are progressive, some are conservative. I like that about him. I like that he doesn't kowtow to the party-line.

I'm not sure that we should simply end our engagement of the Israel/Palestine problem. But two wrongs don't make a right. Some in the country are vehemently pro-Israel and some are vehemently pro-Palestine. How do you make everyone happy? (That is the point of democracy, right?). How do we engage in the process without hurting it?

I'd prefer to just stop supporting both countries, become neutral, and help in negotiations in whatever way we can.

Also 14.Jul.2003 16:29


Dean seems to have switched his opinion of media de-regulation recently, according to his post to Larry Lessig's blog. (That's okay -- I did too).

Here's his post: ( http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/lessig/blog/)

"It's been a busy day, but it's great to blog here on Larry Lessig's blog.

I'll be writing all week, but if there's a day I can't make it, Joe Trippi, my campaign manager, will fill in for me. Thank you Professor Lessig for inviting me.

The Internet might soon be the last place where open dialogue occurs. One of the most dangerous things that has happened in the past few years is the deregulation of media ownership rules that began in 1996. Michael Powell and the Bush FCC are continuing that assault today (see the June 2nd ruling).

The danger of relaxing media ownership rules became clear to me when I saw what happened with the Dixie Chicks. But there's an even bigger danger in the future, on the Internet. The FCC recently ruled that cable and phone based broadband providers be classified as information rather than telecommunications services. This is the first step in a process that could allow Internet providers to arbitrarily limit the content that users can access. The phone and cable industries could have the power to discriminate against content that they don't control or-- even worse-- simply don't like.

The media conglomerates now dominate almost half of the markets around the country, meaning Americans get less independent and frequently less dependable news, views and information. James Madison and Thomas Jefferson spoke of the fear that economic power would one day try to seize political power. No consolidated economic power has more opportunity to do this than the consolidated power of media."

We'll have to agree to disagree 14.Jul.2003 16:30


The thing is, why just opt to have a couple of issues you like be satisfied? To me, not liking more than 2 of Dean's most important issues - healthcare, death penalty, and foreign policy around Israel Palestine - is pretty major. Dean is in the hands of the corporations and the power elite. As Nader stated incredulously - Dean hasn't said anything significant about corporate corruption, Enron, etc., and this is a huge concern. But why hasn't he? Because these are his friends. Do libertarians support mega-corporations? Dean has already shown his support by selling out the beauty of Vermont to horrific big box places. If you've ever been to Vt you'll know this is sickening to do in a state as beautiful as that. One can say - well everyone does that - but not everyone does, and lots in Vt are furious about it.

I'm surprised that you're against universal health care and I'm wondering why you'd want to keep a system going in which health care is FAR more expensive and lucrative for massive pharmacuticals and insurance companies, than universal health would be. Why choose to benefit corporations just to make sure a rich grannie doesn't get something? And have you ever looked at how much it costs you anyway, every time a homeless person goes into the emergency because they have no regular care? It's a complex system, but the longer we go with the same system, the more we will demonize those who we falsely percieve as the cause of our problems, such as homeless people or previously, 'welfare mothers,' which account for almost nothing of the GNP. In the meantime, corporations are making slaves of us all. This is the biggest danger about Dean - he's already sold out and has shown that's his policy in Vt.

Politicians try to cover for themselves, saying that they're appealing to the right wing by letting corporations off the hook, but the fact is, even the right wing is upset about it, and Nader has managed to forge ties on the right and the left on this issue because we're being eaten alive by corrupt corporations that profit more and more every day.

Think about how much it costs to pump gas right now. There's no reason for it.

We sure will :) 14.Jul.2003 16:56


Our differences of view are so fundamental that it's no surprise we can't see eye-to-eye on a single candidate.

Statements like that from Nader are one of the major reasons I dislike him. I don't want the government to regulate businesses anymore. They're regulated enough. I want the market to sort things out. Note that the government played small roles in the Enron and Worldcom scandals. (In my view, were it not for the SEC itself, these scandals never would have happened. The SEC serves as a rubber stamp for corporations. Market analysyts don't have to bother scrutinyzing corporate returns -- that's the SEC's job. Trouble is, like most government bodies, they're asleep at the wheel.)

If a company deceives its shareholders, let the shareholders sue the directors.

If a company deceives its customers, let the customers sue the company.

Punitive damages have a regulatory effect all their own. Directors are already fiscally responsible for monetary damages caused as a result of willfull misallocation of resources, deception, etc. Their fiscal duty is to the shareholder -- and if they betray that duty, they can be held to account. As we all know, these men care about money above all else. Thus, this is an effective balance of power.

Health care is only more expensive because of the massive waste in Medicare. Private medical spending in this country is 7.5-8% of GDP. Public spending is 5-6%. But the public spending provides healthcare only for 45 million, while the private health care provides for 190 million. To wit, Medicare spending -- which is the vast majority of public health care dollars, around 400 billion/year -- doesn't even provide prescription drug coverage. (Yes, yes, I've seen the study showing how much more efficient Medicare is than the private sector. It's baloney. Those numbers are incredibly deceptive precisely because Medicare lacks prescription drug coverage, which is where most cost increases are coming from).

The profits in the U.S. healthcare industry help everyone. Just ask Canada. They'd shit their pants if the U.S. switched to socialized health care. (Note: single-payer, any-provider style Universal Healthcare would avoid this problem. I realize that).

Anywho, don't want to get off on a Medicare tangent.

Disagreeing with 3 major points (hell, I disagree with more than that) sucks. But that's what it is. There are 280 million people in this country. We have to compromise. We have to. Culture and ideas and political beliefs wax and wane and change over time. But in the now, we have to compromise. That's what democracy is.

That's not to say you should vote for Dean. Maybe voting for Nader is a compromise for you. I don't know. It's just my justification for voting for Dean, whilst disagreeing with many of his stated positions.

where did Dean say, "I was against the war, but I wasn't a protestor"? 14.Jul.2003 17:24


Is that Fred's idea of a paraphrase of Dean? I'd appreciate a clarification.

I suppose the article is interesting, but I find it to be a collection of disjointed quotes, most of them presented without a discernible point by Solomon. I don't care much for Howard Dean, but this article lacks sufficient clarity to make any case to me or to be useful in making a point to others.

I must say, I find the criticism of Dean as being deceptive because he's "not really liberal" to be a bit silly. I suppose the point does have to be made in order to disillusion Progressives and to get them to really look at Dean before it's too late. But I've seen no evidence that he's gone out of his way to "deceive" people into thinking he's "liberal". And does anyone dispute that he actually IS more liberal than most of the presidential candidates in the primaries in either major party in 2000 or 2004, especially more liberal than what the establishment deems as the "electable" candidates?

In my opinion, Dean is a pretty astute politician, while probably being less compromised than most (although, any real integrity or idealism may be quickly eroding away). But his ability to ride the spin while neither being thrown out of the ring nor having to resort to outright deception is to his credit. Unfortunately, it seems many "liberals" are willing to settle for that as their major criterion, which, to me, is no criteria at all.

(un)level fields & voting Kucinich 14.Jul.2003 17:33


James advocates that we all play the game of retributative fairness on the near-cliff like field of american corporate civil court instead of simplying electing public servents to remove the pro-corporate bias and level the playing filed. Civil court currently suffers in that it takes very large sums of money to challenge any non-human coporate entity in court as they can simply out-spend and out-live any-body. Similarly, James would have us wait until somebody or some corporation transgresses against us before any action is taken (often in the form taking some aspect of our health, the health of others, or the health of our environment). The entire reason to be in civil court is usually very time-sensitive (money for human, environmental health restoration) and we needn't be harmed in the first place. Finally, the punitive damamges James advocates only inspire the near infinite resources of companies to find SOME avoidence strategy regardless whether or not it produces another harm. Good regulations, on the other hand, outline specific steps that minimize all harms IN ACCORDANCE WITH DEMOCRATICLY PASSED LAWS (ie what the citizenry want). Finally, underfunded regulatory agencys do not "asleep-at-the-wheel" make. If we want our government to do certain things we need to make sure that enough money goes to the agencies where we want things to happen most. Regulatory agencies by definition are often watchdog in nature. That means we cant just fund them to prepare reports. We need to properly fund investigative aspects of regulatory agencies, else compliance will slip with new ways to evade compliance. Remember, regulatory agencies are constantly fighting something. They are not like the military, which is directed to complete a certain task. That all being said: Kucinich has shown (better than Nader) that he can level that playing field as an elected public official, not just as a good attourney. Also he has shown that he can be trusted to do what is right not what is simply politically expediant.

Yep 14.Jul.2003 17:59


That's definitely the opposing view. If I had the slightest confidence in government, I'd certainly agree. But time and my experiences have made me extremely cynical of the entire concept.

I don't think the problem at the SEC is underfunding. They get 770 million dollars a year. At $100,000/year, that pays for an army of 7,770 accountants. Presumably the accounting of smaller companies is not all that complex. Which leaves plenty of man-hours to sort through the intricacies of the accounting webs woven by the largest corporations.

(Also, one of the major reasons corporate accounting is so complex is because of the corporate tax, and more to the point, the complexity of the said tax. We should get rid of it, and tax the dividends and higher-level income to make-up for the revenue loss. (Or cut spending if you prefer)).

Show me an example of government regulation that works and works well. Which works better than the market alternative. I concede that in certain simple cases, regulation works well. But you're speaking to someone who's opposed to the FAA in any capacity beyond air traffic control, to give you an idea of my distrust of government.

Activist government and libertarian government will always be opposing each other, just as the optimists and pessimists do.

Civil lawsuits sometimes (often?) fail those in quick need of relief. But the idea is that egregious behavior be punished by massive civil penalties, thus discouraging corporations from similar behavior in the future. It only takes one runaway jury with a $2 billion judgement to quickly reverse the policy and internal culture of a health insurance company, for example. (And their like-minded competitors).

Democratic government is in a constant state of flux, changing with the ebb and flow of the news cycle, economic conditions and culture of the day. We install an activist government today, create a massive new regulatory system which performs its task admirably. But tomorow we elect a centrist government keen to remove the regulatory hurdles. But now the same regulating market forces are gone, taking long to effectively recover. You'll never convince a majority of the people of your ideals 100% of the time. Governments will come and go, but the market will remain vigilant.

People get hurt by the market, no doubt. But also are they hurt by their own government. By inclination, the larger the government, the larger the number hurt. (And the less accountability afforded them).

To keep this somewhat on topic, this is largely why I support Dean over Kucinich and/or Nader.

What I Don't Understand Is... 14.Jul.2003 18:23

Please Explain

Why would anyone vote for a sack of crap like Howard Dean? His views are pretty similar to Lieberman's, and Lieberman is more electable. Why not vote for him?

James, it's not so simple 14.Jul.2003 18:26


"That's what democracy is"

First off, we don't have a democracy. We have a republic that operates as a Duoploy. Why? Because corporations run the government and control the country in general.

Our 'democratic' choices are between Crest and Colgate, Coke or Pepsi, Bush or Bush-lite. We fund targetted assassinations into dense urban areas. We use drones to murder people in other countries. We use the Supreme Court to elect our president. We have private compaines controlling out voting machines with no public rights to oversight. This is not a democracy.

Here's an example of excellent government at work - in the energy sector - the Long Island Power Authority. Look it up. Kucinich also promotes public power. But do we have that in California? No, because our state deregulated and privatized and now we're about to go broke and get the governor recalled.

If you want an example of what 'the market' demands, look at the new private militaries that are above the law and being used by corporations like Chevron to crush dissent and to murder 'rebels.' This is what privatization looks like - lawless, chaotic, bloody, and growing by the second.

James, the idea of the market creating any sort of balance went out the window once the limitations that were supposed to be put on them were dissolved. Now we have huge powers with no human conscience attached - and market forces around corporations, as the private armies can tell you - don't give a f** about humanity.

Lieberman's electability 14.Jul.2003 18:41


Anyone espousing the view that Lieberman is electable is smoking some crack and reading far too much into polls. (Of course he was ahead in the polls months ago -- he was the only name anyone recognized. To this day, only 30% of the public can name a single Democratic candidate. Today, the highest totals goto Kerry, Dean and Gephardt -- each with around 7%. Kerry, Gephardt and Dean are now statistically tied in a head-to-head race. And Dean is among the top versus Bush. (according to the latest Newsweek poll)). Lieberman has about as good a chance as I do. Lieberman is one Democratic candidate where the BushLite label fits.

Who is it, do you think, that would actually vote for Lieberman? It'd be a landslide Bush victory. I'd guess Lieberman would get about 30% max diehard Democrats who always vote Democratic. The rest would indulge themselves in BushDark, as others have put it. Why would you vote BushLite when you can get the real thing? It'd be a Reaganesque landslide electoral victory in 45 states.

Dean and Lieberman are altogether different beasts. If you can't see that, I think you need to take a step back from the cliff of extremism -- you're about to fall off the edge.

Fred -- I think we'll always be able to find good examples of government working for the people. (I'll try and remember to take a looksie at LIPA a bit later). But we'll also always be able to find examples of government gone horribly wrong. And I think those examples outweigh the positive. (After all, it'd be a hard case to make that the private armies of corporations operating in foreign lands are nastier than our very own public armies -- military or otherwise).

There's no doubt these are thorny issues. And we needn't necessarily pick one extreme or the other.

We still have limitations on the market. And we need some, because capitalism isn't perfect. But I'd sooner trust my life to a private industry group regulating airline travel -- weary of public perceptions and lawsuits -- than I would trust it in the hands of the FAA. Just an opinion, to expand on an example I used earlier.

I've not had the opportunity to hear Dean speak in person. But he sounds like a nice guy. He sounds like he genuinely cares about public policy. He sounds angry -- which he should be, given the current state of affairs. His grassroots campaign appeals to be. He's able to excite people in a visceral way, a quality lacking in Gore, Dukhakis and others. He's not perfect. He's not a steadfast free marketer. And he's certainly not socialist. He's centrist. But he's far enough left of center to satisfy me. Couple with the genuine excitement and interest swirling around his campaign, I'm supporting him.

James 14.Jul.2003 19:37


"Fred -- I think we'll always be able to find good examples of government working for the people. (I'll try and remember to take a looksie at LIPA a bit later). But we'll also always be able to find examples of government gone horribly wrong. And I think those examples outweigh the positive."

This is a tactic that simply tries to squelch debate. While your meaning is that there are too many examples to cite properly, you end up sidelining the huge issue that government CAN work very well when corporations are not pigging at the trough. The point isn't to add up which side has more pluses because there are few of these examples. Why? Because corporations, as David Korten states, 'Rule the World.'

Private armies are bad not because they're 'worse' than our government armies, but because they don't have to exist at all, and didn't until corporations began to get huge enough and lawless enough to really start to make use of them. They're now on the rise, hugely. So not only are corporations deciding what happens to you at the polls (they own the machines afterall, if you do the research you'll see that many of the recent Republican candidates in congress who won, were curiously low in the polls before the elections, but *somehow* managed to win, all with the same vote machine company: Diebold) but corporations also will decide when we will go to war (just look at the corporate media coverage of the Iraq war - practically not a drop of blood shown and now HUGE profits for corps like Bechtel) and they'll decide when to murder who ever they like in the name of profits. If people don't like Chevron, right now, they can still decide to pump elsewhere. But pretty soon, we'll lose virtually all ability to choose. And then ANY argument about 'the markets will solve things" is lost - there *is* no market, only slavery.

Tell me James, if the US government folded tomorrow, what would corporations do? They'd institute slavery. Why? Because they can. It would only take a few large ones (as they are right now) to crush virtually all competition (as Walmart does, if you're aware of their marketing strategy), and then create a slave situation. There's no market at all when there aren't any rules. It's slavery. Would workers revolt? It would be easy for corporations to figure out ways to pacify people. And this is the direction we're headed.

The problem isn't 'government,' it's the balance of power shifting from people to private corporations. Take a look at how much tax you pay relative to a corporation and then take a look at it 30 years ago. You'll see that you now pay a huge amount compared to them, but you used to pay very little. This clearly indicates that the corporations are infiltrating for their own profit, off our backs. 'Government' isn't the problem. The problem is that the 'haves' are taking more and more and more. They would *love* to see the government dissolve. They've got workers on the ground thinking it's all about the damn congress, etc., but in fact, the state of the government is a symptom, not the root of the problem.

But if you hate Nader, then you're just waiting to be vicitimized even more by corporations.

BTW - Nader has saved more lives than any of the other candidates combined with his public safety work over the years.

I just thot I'd ask, 14.Jul.2003 19:52


since the quote, or sarcastic paraphrase, "I was against the war, but I wasn't a protester", was what led me to the article.

When James's and Fred's dialogue got into about the third tier of exchange as I was still composing my first comment, I decided to refrain from making a suggestion that the significance of calling for international election overservers in 2004 probably outweighed the importance of who any of us cast a vote for in a Democratic Party primary.

But I'd still like to know, for clarity, where the statement in quotation marks, attributed to Dean by Fred, came from. Thanks.

It's even worse than it appears, but it's alright 14.Jul.2003 21:09


"This is a tactic that simply tries to squelch debate."

I don't think so. I think it's a valid point. As government grows larger -- through whatever means -- as their field of influence grows, their abilities and dispositions tend towards oppression. My whole point was meant not to sideline the good government can do -- I went out of my way to allow for public good -- but rather to point out the drawbacks of both extremes.

There is a significant amount of history to confirm that fact. What's the longest a government has gone without actively oppressing its citizenry? Not very long, and some argue the United States is the leader.

"Private armies are bad not because they're 'worse' than our government armies, but because they don't have to exist at all,"

Point taken.

There is real truth to the idea that corporations have an extraordinary amount of power. When arguing in favor of capitalism, I always qualify my remarks with the acknowledgement of the tendency towards monopoly and the essential role government can play in busting that proclivity.

Still, I'm currently oppressed by my government in numerous ways, but I find myself hard-pressed to cite an example in my own life of a domineering corporation exherting much influence over myself.

I'm no anarcho-capitalist; I have no misimpressions about the minds or motives of the corporate tycoons. I'd no rather live in a world with no government than I'd prefer to live in a world with only government. But I'd like as little government, as little regulation as possible to check the power of the market.

I don't hate Nader. I hate Bush. I just think Nader is misguided. You mention that I'm just waiting for corporations to vicitimize me again -- I know you don't know me personally, but in general, can you come up with some way that I've been vicitimized thus far? I sure can't.

The idea that power in the hands of the corporations is /less/ free than power in the hands of the government strikes me as ludicrous. If the people stop patroning the business, the business shrivels up and dies. If the people stop paying the government, they come remove you from your home by force and place you in a penitentiary.

Since you brought up the corporate tax, I'm forced to mention my obligatory corporate tax remark:

There is no such thing as the corporate tax, in the sense commonly understood. Without legislating away profits (socialism), the corporate tax is a regressive tax on the poor. Under capitalism , corporations will always make a profit. Thus, one of three things will happen, or a combination thereof:

1. Workers perform more work for the same wages
2. Workers perform the same work for less wages
3. Prices rise (which disproportionately affects the poor)

I don't give two hoots about Nader's public safety record. Let him go back to Consumer Reports. I don't see how it prepares one at all to execute the duties of the Presidency.

Not ludicrous, true 14.Jul.2003 23:24


"The idea that power in the hands of the corporations is /less/ free than power in the hands of the government strikes me as ludicrous. If the people stop patroning the business, the business shrivels up and dies."

Let's see, where do you turn when the price of gas skyrockets? Not too many options, are there. Every station you go to has the same prices, not much you can do but pay it. And they don't shrivel up. How about the price of those bombers? I'd like them to be lower. Not much I can do about Boeing's prices, is there.

"If the people stop paying the government, they come remove you from your home by force and place you in a penitentiary."

The same as if you take an article of clothing out of a store without paying for it, or eat at a restaurant without paying the bill. You are paying in taxes for police, libraries, schools, post offices, stop signs, roads, highways, sewers, etc., etc. You use these services every time you get in your car or ride the bus. Privatizing them won't make them any less necessary. If you decide to simply leave, or assuming you can go off the grid and live in the woods, live in a homeless shelter, make less money than than whatever the lowest limit is, etc., you can not pay taxes and get away with it. You can make change in government just as you would in your capitalistic efforts where you stop buying a product - you go to city council meetings and you fight, organize.

Dance 14.Jul.2003 23:31



This is where Dean says he was against war but didn't protest.

FYI - a good way to find things like this - i.e., a phrase someone has said - is to just type the phrase into google with quotation marks around the entire phrase. That way google looks for *just* that phrase, not the words in the phrase separately.

James is the one smoking crack 14.Jul.2003 23:44

BS Spotter

James says: "I don't believe in global warming, as a human-caused effect anyway"

Hm, let's see, why does every scientfic group recognize global warming now, but not James?

This is from a recent article in the Independent UK:

"In an astonishing announcement on global warming and extreme weather, the World Meteorological Organisation signalled last night that the world's weather is going haywire."

"In a startling report, the WMO, which normally produces detailed scientific reports and staid statistics at the year's end, highlighted record extremes in weather and climate occurring all over the world in recent weeks, from Switzerland's hottest-ever June to a record month for tornadoes in the United States - and linked them to climate change."

And James is against Medicare! Now go do a poll of retired people and ask them if they want to get rid of Medicare because a few millionaires can abuse it!

James is an ideologist, and like all ideologists he argues not about people and facts but according to what he thinks supports his ideology. He has found a 'belief system', a fantasy of how the world works similar to a religion, and he views everything through this ideology.

Libertarians cannot look into the assumptions of their ideology (free market, small government), because that would threaten the basis of their belief. James is a 'true believer', so don't expect him to be able to discuss rationally the false assumptions of his belief system.

Fred 15.Jul.2003 01:30


Thanks for the source. And the hint on searching quotations.

When I post a quote on indymedia, I generally provide the source with the quote if it's that noteworthy. I'd also be inclined to supply the entire quote when it is as short as it is in your source, or I'd at least acknowledge the context. (Although, I do find Evelyn Nieves's use of that quote to be frustratingly short and edited, also, with not much more clarity about the context of Dean's original utterance.) Clearly, however, his intention was to explain his relationship to ideologues, not his position on war, nor necessarily his current view of protests. "I distrust ideologues," Dean said, "and that's being played out now at anger at the right. It played out in college at mistrust of the left. . . . I was against the war, but I wasn't a protester."

But, apparently, you regarded it as a famous catchphrase that didn't need attribution. It was the first I'd heard of it.

Hang it up and see what tomorrow brings 15.Jul.2003 01:39


BS Spotter -- No need to talk past me. I'm right here. Feel free to address me.

As I'm sure you well know, not nearly "every scientific group" supports the global warming theory. I don't want to get totally offtopic. But I'd just point out that the Earth may well be warming a few degrees. But according to everyone -- absolutely anyone researching the issue -- that type of climate change is well within historical fluctuations. Ever heard of the ice age? It's a cyclical event, with a warming-trend and a cooling-trend. Thus, I don't believe in -human-caused- global warming. Just an opinion. A single wildfire or volcanic eruption is capable of emitting massive amounts of carbon dioxide, on par or surpassing human contributions.

Ultimately, the entire problem is self-correcting. Take, for example, cloud formation. If we assume a rise of a few degrees centigrade, that inevitably leads to large increases in cloud cover. That cloud cover then reflects a large quantity of light away from surface, reducing temperatures. Plants and algae will grow faster and use more carbon dioxide. Temperatures will rise and temperatures will fall. Just a couple of decades ago these same scientists told us we would shortly be heading into an iceage. Etc, etc, etc.

"The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the average temperature for the contiguous United States from June through August was 73.9 degrees (23.3 degrees Celsius), the third hottest summer since records began in 1895. Summer officially ends on Sept. 22.

The only summers warmer were 1936 and 1934, when vast numbers of farmers were driven from their land by drought."

Gee -- I guess it must've been those Ford Model T's causing the warming in the '30s, eh? (GRINGO - If you're around, I'd love to hear your opinion on this. Really. Seems right up your alley.)

But that's completely offtopic. (Though it may make for an interesting thread on its own, if someone wants to make the effort).

"And James is against Medicare! Now go do a poll of retired people and ask them if they want to get rid of Medicare because a few millionaires can abuse it!"

The millionaires quip was hyperbole. (Though it's a real problem). The fact of the matter is that 7/10 seniors on Medicare could afford health care on their own. They don't need the government subsidy. (Let's call it what it is, it being based on a ponzi scheme). Meanwhile, 40 million other Americans simply can't afford it at all.

How about we poll the 40 million uninsured about how they feel about bourgeois/wealthy seniors sapping limited government resources, while they're turned away from the doctor? I'm not proposing that we cut Medicare simply for the thrill of it. I'm saying it's a misallocation of limited, finite resources which could be better applied elsewhere. Have I taken a wrong turn in my logic? You'd think this would be a position progressive-types would support. But it runs a bit against the grain and dogma of the movement, so I guess not.

"Let's see, where do you turn when the price of gas skyrockets? Not too many options, are there. Every station you go to has the same prices, not much you can do but pay it. And they don't shrivel up. How about the price of those bombers? I'd like them to be lower. Not much I can do about Boeing's prices, is there."

That's the beauty of the market. It's self-correcting. Without artificial market support from the government, eventually competition will win-out and the price fixing will be ended by the very same greed which caused these gasoline manufacturers to collude together in the first place.

If it doesn't, it's a target for anti-trust action by the government.

If the cost of production is genuinely higher, than government wouldn't be able to get it to you any cheaper either.

Same thing goes for Boeing. If Boeing's bombers are too expensive, bid the project to Lockheed. If Lockheed is too expensive, bid it to AirBus. If AirBus is too expensive, bid it Northrup Grummond. Even if this competition didn't exist, again, this would be a target for antitrust action. Just as AT&T was split into its many parts and Standard Oil fragmented, so too could we break-apart Boeing.

Even if we didn't, inevitably some newcomer would see the opportunity in the market and enter the process.

"Privatizing them won't make them any less necessary."

I'm not that anarch-capitalist. I don't want to privatize everything. But I do want to privatize some things.

You seem to assume that I only have two choices -- pay for every service offered by the government, or pay for none. That's not at all true. Perhaps I use the roads, but not the buses. Why should I pay for the buses? (Okay, bad example -- mass transit has significant neighborhood effects. But the notion is sound. It's late.)

"you go to city council meetings and you fight, organize."

This works well with small government, but not at all with overbearing government. What if the government shoots me in the head if I organize?

The market is a fourth check against the powers of government. Yet another balance on the scales. Like I said, I don't want to get rid of government. I just want to make it smaller.

Blah 15.Jul.2003 01:51


I just re-read my post, and found the following somewhat contradictory statement:

"If we assume a rise of a few degrees centigrade, that inevitably leads to large increases in cloud cover. That cloud cover then reflects a large quantity of light away from surface, reducing temperatures. Plants and algae will grow faster and use more carbon dioxide."

Strike the last sentence from the post. I blame the glaring lapse on lack of sleep.

I stand by the general idea though.

Anywho, just wanted to point that out before someone calls me stupid. (Which I'm sure will happen anyway, but...)

- James

Dance 15.Jul.2003 07:21


I do regard that phrase as important because it illustrates an important underlying idea about Dean - he talks a good talk but when it comes down to it, you find he won't walk the walk. His policy against the war didn't become clear until he realized his opponents were supporting the war, and as many more citations can show, his actual policies as stated are not radically different from Bush.

There's nothing wrong with being against a war and not protesting, as long as you're doing *something* and not nothing. Too many people I knew went shopping, complained a little, listened to NPR, and said protesting wouldn't change anything.

But the amazing thing about these recent protests was being on the streets with 80,000 people and knowing we all were out there to try to stop this thing, and the feeling that gave to all of us, about the real use of the street, about trusting each other, about accepting our diversity, about spontaenous acts (like the drum circles or the black bloc events), about making music on the street in movable containers, about seeing everyone's new slogans and ideas . . . it was one of the most incrediable things . . . and if you looked closely at the internet, you'll know it happened all over the world, millions, in every corner. I was able to find protest pictures from Paraguay and Taipei, amongst the deluge.

My point is that to me, Dean is crafting his platform to simply get votes - which would be fine - but in the end the corporations own him and so it's their agenda, not ours, that he'll enact. We don't own Dean, Dean won't represent us any more than he does now, and he comes with no allegiance to us. Other candidates at least make their positions clear - Kerry :"I'm Bush lite, take me or leave me." Or, as with Kucinich, "I'll go as far as I can to stop the corporate mess and the attack on human lives, and I'll take on the corporations on things like NAFTA. But I won't switch to Green."

But Dean is saying "I'm against the war, but in the end, I won't get out in the street with all you people - the hippies, the students, the black bloc, the grandmothers for peace, the tree huggers, the lovelies and wierdos . . . I'm not willing to really go any farther than Bush lite in practice, but LOOK, LOOK, LOOK at ME! I'm against the war!"

It's symbolic of the disconnect in his platform.

And if you're wrong, James? 15.Jul.2003 08:40


James - "Ultimately, the entire problem is self-correcting."

And if you're wrong, we're looking at extinction. What would the harm be in making whatever small efforts we can now?

Did you see the reports after 9/11 that the average temps changed (difference temps) between night and day once the jets weren't flying anymore? We aren't talking Model Ts. We're talking massive transport.

James -"If it doesn't, it's a target for anti-trust action by the government"

Look at Microsoft James. The corporations are exceeding the government. Anti-trust is being squeezed out on all sides. Once again, you're showing a level of faith that doesn't make sense for the direction we're going. Microsoft has not and will not be split into any parts. Those days are going by the wayside.

James - "If the cost of production is genuinely higher, than government wouldn't be able to get it to you any cheaper either."

That's the whole point - the cost ISN'T higher. But the profits are.

"What if the government shoots me in the head if I organize?"

This seems to be the crux of it. The government won't be shooting you in the head for organizing unless they want another Kent State. And seriously James, it's been awhile since that event. Police often shoot people of color for no reason. But this would probably be even worse if the po pos were privatized.

In fact, the private armies ARE shooting people and killing them, with no consequence to their corporate masters. Naturally, this occurs in other countries and so the American talk shows never pick it up. The market has found that corporations can profit in other countries off the blood of organizers, and get away with it. This is what today's market is about - exploitation of the weak for the benefit of the powerful.

Acting at the city council on the local level is one way to build connections toward gettting your congress person to listen to you. But don't bet on it - Microsoft will be in the door before you . . . long before.

Take what you need and leave the rest 15.Jul.2003 13:34


"And if you're wrong, we're looking at extinction. What would the harm be in making whatever small efforts we can now?"

That's just a little dramatic, don't you think? That said, depending on the small effort, there's not much harm and a whole lot of good. We should have strick air quality standards. We shouldn't pollute our rivers. And and there are any number of alternative energy products we could look at (increased-efficiency solar (plants are currently much better than our silicon-based photovoltaics), biomass, wave power, etc). I don't understand and can't defend the pro-pollution policies on the right. But I can defend the idea that Kyoto is bad policy, because it is. Even if you accept the global-warming theory, Kyoto hardly solves it. It barely makes a dent. And it's completely unfair to us.

"Did you see the reports after 9/11 that the average temps changed (difference temps) between night and day once the jets weren't flying anymore? We aren't talking Model Ts. We're talking massive transport."

Yes, I saw a study done over the course of a couple of days. An interesting read while I'm on the throne, doing my business, but not good for much else.

"Look at Microsoft James. The corporations are exceeding the government. Anti-trust is being squeezed out on all sides. Once again, you're showing a level of faith that doesn't make sense for the direction we're going. Microsoft has not and will not be split into any parts. Those days are going by the wayside."

I don't think Microsoft should be split. It doesn't rise to that level. They should be enjoined from certain business practices, like retaliatory OEM licensing. But that's good enough. The fact that I can buy a new computer from Dell with RedHat pre-installed (or no OS at all) is good enough for me.

Antitrust action doesn't have to be a large macro-lever, smashing companies into pieces for every offense. Absolutely any remedy can be had.

"Acting at the city council on the local level is one way to build connections toward gettting your congress person to listen to you. But don't bet on it - Microsoft will be in the door before you . . . long before."

As well they should be. Microsoft represents the interests of 50,000 of their members (employees). So too would the AFL-CIO be let in before me.

Corporations are nothing more than private groups of people. In the case of corporations, they're (usually) just arranged in a hierarchical fashion, with the goal of making money and distributing it (in various amounts) to their groups members (employees).

The only trouble comes if Microsoft is exherting undue influence. That may well happen...in which case the proper remedy will be had at the polls come elections. If not, it evidently wasn't egregious-enough a breach of trust to evoke the wrath of the public.

Fred 15.Jul.2003 15:20


My concern is that I believe it's important to use good journalistic practices even if we think we're "just posting to Indymedia". (And, to avoid appearing guilty of carelessness similar to what I'm criticizing, I'll clarify here that is NOT a quote from anyone - just a potential attitude.)

I realize that - because we don't have editors checking our work before it just goes on line when we press the submit button - it's easy to overlook something when we post on this website. That makes it all the more important to be true to our sources, give a thought to balancing brevity and completeness, acknowledge credit where due, proofread our entries for clarity and typos. To do otherwise is disrespectful to the information or viewpoint we're sharing and to the readers' time. When we are careless in how we prepare, present, and submit our postings it can damage the credibility and usefulness of our article and of Indymedia. I particularly find titles on Indymedia to be a potential pitfall , because I usually add the title AFTER I've composed the text of the article. I've found that after I've come up with the "perfect title", which ideally attracts attention, gives a clue as to the content, and is integral to the article itself, I need to recheck my article or comment for clarity and consistency with the title and to avoid undesired repetition.

Funny you should speak of a "disconnect in his platform".*

Apparently the problem wasn't just your failure to share the complete context of your quote from Dean, it was also your misunderstanding of it. It seems clear Dean was referring to his position and activity regarding the Vietnam War. Your most recent comment to me blithely discusses his statement as though it were about demonstrations around the recent war on Iraq. The fullest version I've seen (and printed in my last comment above) includes the statement, "It played out in college at mistrust of the left. . . . I was against the war, but I wasn't a protester."

*My point is, if, as you say, you regard the phrase as important AND you place it in the title, those are two reasons for being clear on the quote in its entirety and its context and for making clear to the reader why you are referring to that quote. After scouring your intro and Solomon's article for a reference to it, I finally decided that my initial assumption that it was a quote was in error and that you were merely writing a sarcastic description of Dean's attitude on opposition to war. Did you think we'd all heard the quotation before? Although web-searching shows me that the Evelyn Nieves source article has been discussed by others in subsequent articles, I don't think that quote from Dean is widely known on Indymedia or elsewhere. If your intent was to make it known, and/or to criticize Dean for saying it, it needed source attribution or explanation. You thought it important enough to put in your title, but not to explain it.

I know I'm being very preachy, but it annoys me that someone who apparently can think would be so lax about entitling a post and then be completely oblivious to their sloppiness, even after someone asked for clarification. (Would you be that thoughtless in naming a child? -- Some people are.)

And, btw, what is your evidence that "in the end the corporations own him". The potential seems likely, because I'm not clear he's grounded in an alternative vision or allegiance, and it would take significant determination NOT to be controlled by the corporations (if they'd even permit such a person both to win an election and to live). But as a politician in a small state like Vermont and an underfunded presidential candidate, he APPEARS to be an exception so far. I can't find it now, but I think I once read a remark by Dean where he criticized the domination of our society by corporations and that it needs to be changed. I know its not much, but if he volunteered the statement, it puts him at a higher level than most candidates. I've been looking for detailed programs - or even passing comments suggesting awareness and concern - about corporate rule by presidential candidates beginning in 1996. And the only ones forthcoming in either of those elections was Ralph Nader. (Kucinich actually has a position on "Corporations" on his website, although, disappointingly, its not explicitly among his "10 key issues".)

In various amounts? 15.Jul.2003 15:25


James - "with the goal of making money and distributing it (in various amounts) to their groups members (employees)."

In various amounts? Wow, where do you work James? Do you have any idea how much more corporate executives make than the employees? Even *with* stock options, etc., it's sickening. There was, a couple of years ago, all that stuff about how much money Bill Gates makes per second, how they can't give it away fast enough, etc. You might think this is fine, but you're being victimized every day. No doubt you'd think it was all in the way the market works if you were asked to cut your salary for the sake of the corporation, while the CEOs rake in the 6 figure profits.

The goal of a corporation (apart from making a product, etc.) is to make a handful of people massively wealthy while the thousands of employees are slightly better off than your average Joe, maybe able to pay off thier $600,000 house at some date close to their death while average people never will.

As was mentioned at Ari's last press conference, why are the Republicrats taking millions of dollars in contributions from convicted criminals? Since corporations have most of the same rights as humans, and many of the huge ones have been convicted of crimes, this is a reasonable question, and gets at the absurdity of our system and the level of control that corporation wield.

And why would the fact that the temperatures changed after 9-11 be of no interest to you? It was sure interesting to scientists all over the world. But naturally, if you're arguing (at the potential expense of our entire ecosystem) that humans have no significant effect on climate or warming, you'd have no interest in any *facts* that punch holes in that theory.

Dean's a fraud 15.Jul.2003 17:24

Support Kucinich

kucinich can't win 15.Jul.2003 18:05


how many people who have believed G.W. for this long are smart enough to spell kucinich let alone pronounce it. I think he needs to change his name to one (at the most two) syllables so that the morronic american public (myself included) can remember his name and spell it out on nifty cardboard signs. The last election looked so good on tv. with G O R E ballanced evenly with B U S H. just kidding around folks Kucinich looks like the best choice to me too, lets hope more americans learn to read and write before 2004.

Just a few more problems, for those who haven't read them yet 15.Jul.2003 22:19


The Problems with Howard Dean

I had to really dig to find some of these stories that were formerly listed on google, and now are completely gone. Even the search on Commondreams no longer lists the major anti-Dean stories - I had to go to Portland imc just to find one that someone reposted. That sort of thing alarms me, when sites are actively trying to lose all negative mention of someone.

Is Dean really worth all this just because he's pro-gay rights?? He's not an environmentalist (brought big box places to beautiful Vermont), he's against medical marijuana (a doctor!), he only decided to be against the war in Iraq when it became clear that the others he was up against would support it (so he could distinguish himself), he is a self-described pro-AIPAC Zionist, and he believes the Palestinian violence is not due to the occupation but to 'terrorism itself.'

Wake up Dean supporters! Switch to Green or vote Kucinich. Dean will sell us all out in a heartbeat. He only appears 'liberal' because Vermont voters forced him to be. Take a look at some of these stories, and decide for yourself.

Published on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 by CommonDreams.org
Howard Dean: Hawk in Dove's Clothing?
by Stephen Zunes

". . . when it came to Israel and Palestine - the former Vermont governor declared that, while the United States should become more engaged, he did not have any fundamental objections with President George W. Bush's policies. Dean called for an end to Palestinian violence against Israeli civilians, but he did not call for a cessation of Israeli violence against Palestinian civilians. Similarly, there was no call for an end of the Israeli occupation, for Israeli compliance with UN Security Council resolutions, or a withdrawal from Israel's illegal settlements in the occupied territories or even a freeze on the construction of new settlements."

"When asked by the Jewish newspaper Forward late last year as to whether he supported APN's perspective, Governor Dean replied 'No, my view is closer to AIPAC's view.'"

Published on Monday, April 14, 2003 by CommonDreams.org
As Baghdad Falls Howard Dean Folds Back into the National Security Establishment
by Charles Knight

"In effect this supposedly 'anti-war' Democrat has announced his support for a policy in which Washington will decide which countries are allowed to have nuclear weapons and will reserve for itself the right to forcefully disarm those who do not voluntarily disarm by U.S. dictate. In this crucial regard Dean's position is in close accordance with the Bush doctrine of coercive disarmament and preventive war."

Tuesday, June 10, 2003
Presidential Hopefuls Push Energy Alternatives, Pan Kyoto
by Katherine Stapp

"Former Vermont governor Howard Dean has sided most closely with the Bush administration, endorsing the National Governors Association policy, which opposed the Kyoto Protocol unless it included mandatory emissions cuts for developing countries. The policy recommended that the United States "not sign or ratify any agreement that would result in serious harm to the U.S. economy."

"Of the Democrats now running, only Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich has stated, "the U.S. must ratify the Kyoto Protocol."

Published on Tuesday, June 3, 2003 by the Madison Capital Times
Kucinich Draws Crowd, But Not Media
by John Nichols
"Dean, a self-proclaimed fiscal conservative with a so-so record on issues of concern to working people, has been dubbed the acceptable "liberal" by the inside-the-Beltway crowd."

JUNE 3, 2003
3:23 PM
CONTACT: Marijuana Policy Project
Bruce Mirken, 202-462-5747 x113
Medical Marijuana Becomes Presidential Campaign Issue Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana Begins Organizing in New Hampshire

"Vermont Gov. Howard Dean killed a medical marijuana bill that was on the verge of passage in 2002, ignoring pleas from the medical community, AIDS patient groups, and others."

"This week, U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio became the first Democratic candidate to stand up for patients, telling the San Francisco Chronicle on May 29 that he supports legal access to medical marijuana 'without reservation. ... I have known people who have had cancer and who have been in horrible pain. Anything that can alleviate their suffering should be available.'"

APRIL 25, 2002
4:31 PM
CONTACT: Marijuana Policy Project
Bruce Mirken, 202-462-5747 x113
Vermont Senate Panel Approves Medical Marijuana

"'The pundits in Montpelier and elsewhere pronounced the medical marijuana bill dead on arrival when Representative David Zuckerman (P-Burlington) introduced it earlier this year,' Rogers said. 'H. 645 has overcome powerful opposition from Governor Howard Dean because courageous medical marijuana patients -- who risk arrest and imprisonment every day -- delivered powerful testimony in House and Senate committees. Patients convinced legislators that seriously ill Vermonters shouldn't go to jail for the simple act of taking their medicine. A vote for H. 645 is a vote to protect patients and a vote against H. 645 is a vote to put sick people in prison.'"

Voter Guide
Name: Howard Dean
In short: Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean is the only candidate who has actually killed a medical marijuana bill. Because of Dean's actions, Vermonters with AIDS, cancer, and other terrible illnesses still face arrest and jail under state law for using medical marijuana. In recent statements he has attempted to sound reasonable, but his actions have shown that medical marijuana patients can never trust him. The only reason we give Dean an F+ and not a straight F is because the latter grade should be reserved for Bush, who is as cruel and heartless as anyone could possibly be on the medical marijuana issue.

February 22, 2003
Meet Howard Dean
The Man from Vermont is Not Green (He's Not Even a Liberal)

"As the son of a wealthy Long Island family (his father was a prominent Wall Street insider), Dean's used to having his golden path well greased. After dutifully attending Yale and then medical school, Dean looked for a state to launch both a private medical practice and a political career. He chose Vermont as much for its beauty as its lenient mood toward carpet bagging politicians, thus joining Brooklynite Bernie Sanders as a born again Vermonter.

Dean became Vermont's accidental governor in 1991 after Governor Richard Snelling died of a heart attack while swimming in his pool. Dean, the lieutenant governor at the time, took the state's political reins and immediately followed through with his promise not to offend the Snelling Republicans who occupied the executive branch. And Dean carried on with his right-leaning centrism for the next eleven, long years."

Dean replacing critics on environmental advisory panel
April 8, 2001
(from the Regional news section)
Staff Writer

MONTPELIER - A leading environmentalist was asked to leave Gov. Howard Dean's council of environmental advisers after she criticized the governor's short-lived proposal for a coal-fired power plant in Vermont.

Elizabeth Courtney, executive director of the Vermont Natural Resources Council, was one of 20 members of the governor's environmental council, which meets about once every three months with the governor.

But after Courtney wrote a newspaper opinion piece faulting Dean for his brief advocacy of a coal plant, she learned she was no longer welcome on the council. David Rocchio, the governor's legal counsel, wrote her late last month to say she will be replaced on the council by VNRC's board chairman. The move came after she had written the governor on energy issues and showed his staff her draft newspaper piece, Courtney said.

Is Howard Dean For Real? Well, Not Entirely
By Morton M. Kondracke
Roll Call Contributing Writer
January 27, 2003
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean ought to do well in the Iowa Democratic caucuses unless the anti-war folks out there find out where he really stands on Iraq.

Gov. Dean's Slander of Mumia / Protesters
Bob Witanek ( bwitanek@IGC.APC.ORG)
Mon, 19 Aug 1996 21:13:31 -0700
More on Vermont Governor Howard Dean's slanderous attack
against the six protesters arrested last summer during efforts to
halt the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal. The following is an excerpt from Peter Freyne's column "Inside Track" in the August 7, 1996, issue of Vermont's weekly newspaper, Seven Days.

Phatty 15.Jul.2003 22:26


This is what the mainstream media *wants* you to believe - they are actively involved in trying to 'dumb down' the US public to far worse than we actually are.

Most people that are so stupid that they'd vote based on the name, are actually too stupid to vote at all.

Kucinich may not get nominated - all the more reason to vote GREEN. No other democrat will be worth putting in office. Remember, the democrats voted in John Asscroft, gave us NAFTA, voted in the PATRIOT Act, put so many black men behind bars during Clinton Gore for minescule amounts of drugs that they LOST THEIR OWN VOTING BASE! Those numbers dwarf any influence that Nader had.

The ABC's we all must face, and try to keep a little grace 16.Jul.2003 01:21


Fred - you've made some good points, and it's good that you've compiled this. The "Dean replacing critics" story was interesting (and I hadn't seen it yet), as it's somewhat telling about his demeanor. (Most of the other articles seemed to be entirely crafted of strawmen).

Dean is not progressive and he doesn't claim to be. So the articles refuting his status as a progressive still kind of bother me. Dean is a definite subscriber to Clintonian-Blairisian "third-way, left-of-center" politics.

Electability is a huge issue. I often hear people suggesting that if Nader were to finish strongly, it would raise awareness and lead to a future Green Party victory. I think the first part of that proposition is true -- it obviously would raise awareness, and some would vote for the Green's in the next election as a result. But I'm positive the latter is not; like it or not, most Americans simply dislike the policies of the Green Party. Raising the awareness won't help -- they just don't agree.

Voting Nader in this election is a sure-fire way to get 4 more years of Bush. I wouldn't fault you for it, if that's the strength of your conviction. But it's a valid point. And assuming it did affect the outcome of the election, it would assuredly have real life consequences. What if Bush is re-elected, and in 4 years we find ourselves in the same situation we did a couple months ago, prosecuting another preemptive war? With tens of thousands of civilian casualties?

Dean is no pacifist. But he was truly against the Iraq war. I've heard him speak about it. He's angry about it. It wasn't just to differentiate himself. That seems like outright defamation to me. It's unfair. Despite his reluctance to speak out definitively against the entire doctrine, it's fair to say if Dean were the current President, we wouldn't have gone to war with Iraq. I don't like politicians to speak in the absolute anyway -- I can think of scenarios where the preemptive doctrine might be appropriate. It just so happens that Iraq didn't nearly rise to that level.

I consider my vote 1/2 pro-Dean, 1/2 anti-Bush.

A couple more points 16.Jul.2003 11:49


"most Americans simply dislike the policies of the Green Party"

Not according to the polls, although you may perceive this amongst your friends, since you seem to generally support privatization and corporations. When asked, most Americans do support most of the ten key values:
There are some many would definately not support - decentralization - but the fact is, most Amuricans don't know a thing about the Greens. Why? Because the Greens don't make money for corporations and are grass roots volunteers, aside from being left, and thus naturally not adopted in full by ALL Amuricans, but not opposed by 'the majority.'

"But he was truly against the Iraq war."
He may sound angry, and he is angry about Bush, and true, he may not have gone to war - yet - in Iraq. But the aspect of the overall doctrine, which you're not interested in, is actually fairly important. It means that he supports a doctrine of imperialism and nation building - he'd just like to get a little more evidence before heading in and toppling leaders.

"if Dean were the current President, we wouldn't have gone to war with Iraq"
Possibly, but his doctrine leaves open the possibility, wider than the average Dean voter would realize. Why? Because they've seen how angry he is and they believe that he means he wouldn't do the things that Bush is doing. And he won't. It will just mean he needs more evidence and won't try to hide how long we'll be in there in the same way Bush did.

"I don't like politicians to speak in the absolute anyway "
I appreciate if they do on certain things. For example, the issue of gay marriage has an article in the NYTimes today. Does Dean support it? Kerry,? Lieberman? No. Only Kucinich and Sharpton do. As Sharpton states, "It's like asking me if I support black marriage or white marriage?" He's right. When you say we all have equal rights, then we ALL have equal rights. This is an absolute. Time and again we all have to get used to widening our set boundaries of 'what's right.' At one point it wasn't right for women to vote. Today it isn't right for gays to marry. Dean says what the majority want him to say, just like Kerry, Lieberman, etc.

"I can think of scenarios where the preemptive doctrine might be appropriate"
Then you don't agree with the many nations of the world, including the US, that signed the UN Charter and treaties which show that preemptive war is illegal. Why is it illegal? Because all nations of the world have a right to sovereignty and independence. As Putin essentially stated earlier this year, when international law goes out the window, all nations must live in fear of war and invasion. And what does that lead to? Huge arms build-ups, chaos, arms trading like crazy, nuclear development, etc. When nations and leaders become huge problems, the UN meets to figure out what to do as a world body. The UN will never authorize pre-emptive war or invasions because they are illegal. The UN will implement peaceful means to problems, and the UN was primarily created by the US to keep the world in peace, not war. If we ignore the UN laws, we are bringing chaos to the world, not just the US.

Dean doesn't seem to realize this.

The Bush argument is that terrorism redefines things. However, you could just as easily rewrite history - "the colonists rebelling were 'terrorists.'" It doesn't make the idea that all nations deserve a right to sovereignty and independence any less viable because the means for resistance around the world is taking a different form. You can - at this moment - claim that our own government is a terrorist. Interestingly, I've read that bin Laden never actually admitted to the WTC bombing, he only lauded it.