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Finally for the first time Ralph Nader will be on a presidential debate. Although he is not debating John McCain or Barack Obama, he is still debating. Chuck Baldwin will be an excellent opponent. Ron Paul recommend that his supporters abandon the mainstream candidates and instead support a 3rd party, to which he recommended Baldwin of the Constitution party.  Tune in tonight live at 9pm EST to see them compete for the 3rd party vote. It will defiantly be more inspiring then those parallel interviews from McObama.

http://www.cspan.org/ has it live

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The second presidential debate only had 2 of the possible 6 candidates on the stage. The other 4 candidates that were missing were Ralph Nader – the Independent candidate, Bob Barr – the Libertarian candidate, Cynthia McKinney – the Green party, and Chuck Baldwin – The Constitution party.

There are four major differences between the major parties, Democrat and Republican, and the third parties listed above:
1. Single-Payer Health Care, like Canada
2. End all war and bringing all troops home, 6 month withdraw from Iraq
3. Cutting the national debt, 50% of all taxes goes straight to war funding
4. Cut down on Corporate Crime, Wall Street needs to be held accountable.

Here are the videos of Ralph Nader’s responses to the questions asked:
1.

2.

3.

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My fellow Americans,

This election year is one of the most important in history. We have 2 wars that are costing us trillions, warrant-less spying powers granted to our executive branch, and an economy in turmoil. The housing bubble has burst and its devastation is starting to take effect. Our government wants to take $700 billion of debt (on top of the $900 billion we’ve spent thus far) and absorb it, putting those bad loans on the backs of us: the people, the taxpayers. When we add up all the problems, systemic torture, wars of aggression, over 3 trillion dollars of debt, increasing foreclosures and our constitution being ignored and trampled upon, it gets to be so much that we are overwhelmed. Finally though, we arrive to two questions: What can we do about all these issues?  Will anything we do even matter?

I will handle the latter question first as it is the most pressing. (If not the most pressing question in all of existence) It may be true that there are over 300 million people in our country and counting, but we are by-no-means thereby meaningless. We can argue till our bodies no longer hold life whether human life holds meaning or not, though in the end we will never achieve any lucidity. This is because truth is purely subjective. What I mean to say is this: there are certain choices in life that need to be made despite a lack of evidence. We call this believing. To elaborate my point and show how it provides clarity over the answer to our question, I will call upon the question of God. There is no evidence that God exists and thus no evidence that he doesn’t, hitherto whether we believe in God or not, we still believe. The same is to be said about whether human life has any meaning: there is no evidence for either side of the argument; we are forced to believe. Reminiscent to Socratic dialog, it is up to the individual whether life holds any meaning. To this I say: if you are inevitably going to believe, then believe in yourself.

Let us assume that our lives hold meaning. Now we are brought to the former question: what can we do? I say: inform yourself by reading the news and watching the only good news program in the States: Democracy Now. Additionally, I urge everyone to think for themselves this election year and see beyond the two parties that control our socio-political lives. Speak to people. Inform others. Use the internet for activism. Share your ideas. Assemble. Take to the streets.

Speaking more plainly, we can also do this: call Congress’ main switchboard number at 202.224.3121. Ask for your member of Congress. If the main switchboard number is jammed, you can Google your member’s name and find a direct dial phone number. Tell the person who answers the phone to please take a message for your elected representative. Tell them to vote no on the bailout.

If you are convinced that the political sphere has no affect on your life, then understand this: we are a joke in the eyes of the rest of the world because of our lack of engagement in politics and our ignorance of the news. And I’m not just talking about Germany but all of Europe, Russia, and the Middle East. I encounter people from all over this world on a regular basis and I often hear their complaints. The few people that remain and become my friends always ask me, why aren’t Americans more organized; why do we allow our government to play us for fools? I tell them of country torn apart and confused. I tell them of 48 states that span 3,000 miles of land; of states that are the size of their entire country. I tell them of media system that keeps people in dark, till the truth is so far from them that they don’t even bother with looking for it anymore. I speak of two parties that dominate our political sphere and the corporate greed that in turn dominates them. I speak of a country where the power of the consumer has replaced the power of the citizen.  Where a simulacrum is preferred to the reality; where ignorance is preferred to awareness.

Question all Coercion,
JohnofSilence

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As expected the first presidential debate was deprived of content, meaning and effective moderation and full of biased rhetoric. Overall I’m convinced that the two senators where not even debating, let alone debating the topics that needed to be debated. If one observes the finer details, then it’s possible to see how both McCain and Obama avoided debating each other and avoided discussing key points that would have given the debate any significance. In this critique I want to cover some details that had a large impact on how the debate was conducted and I want to point out a particular instance where senator John McCain had neglected to raise a major issue to avoid actually debating.

A large part of the debate was focused on the financial crisis that is affecting Wall Street. It is clear to see that the failures of Wall Street were the result of a lack of oversight in the housing market. As Marx says, “if you give them enough rope they will eventually hang themselves with it.” This topic in the debate contained many issues where McCain had a chance to shine but when asked about the financial crisis on Wall Street John McCain outright avoided debating.

In 2005, John McCain along with many republicans proposed legislation to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac but it never passed because the democrats blocked it. The bill returned in 2007 only to be opposed by senator Obama and to die on the senate floor. Take a look at Obama’s recent and present economic advisers: Jim Johnson was the managing director of Lehman Brothers between 1985 and 1990, CEO of Fannie Mae 91-98, and now on the board of Goldman Sachs; Franklin Raines was the vice chairman of Fannie Mae 91-96 and CEO of Fannie Mae 99-04, who received a $25 million golden parachute when he left Fannie. As the second highest person of all the senators to be paid-off, Obama received 45 times more money in contributions from these Wall Street crooks than McCain had.  The republican candidate had many opportunities to expose Obama for his poor judgment. But they didn’t debate, instead they talked about earmarks for 15 minutes and ended up comparing their bracelets.

The language expressed by the two senators was in the wrong voice for a debate. If one observes, they were using proper nouns and rarely to almost never addressing one another. In wasn’t until 20 minutes into the debate that Obama began to refer to his opponent in the 2nd person. Although as the debate progressed he slipped back into the 3rd person, which seemed to be the only way he could address the republican senator. As Tim Daily had said “like a 6th grade drama teacher”, Jim Lehrer, the moderator, tried to get the two candidates to debate.  Despite Lehrer’s soft nudges, McCain failed to acknowledge the notion while Obama was coerced once or twice only to find his way back to the comfortable and safe 3rd person voice.

The very construction of the stage was designed in order to keep this sham from being a debate. The podium was topped with a desk whereby they could conceal and refer to notes. A podium without a desk, or at least an open one, would force them to use what they know and not refer to what they don’t, thus they would have debated their points instead of just listing them. The podiums were positioned pointing inward 20 degrees to ensure that the candidates look at the moderator and not at each other, hitherto distorting the face to face ambiance. McCain barely looked at Obama and instead just stared out into the black of the audience rarely acknowledging the senator from Illinois.  Not just the positioning and form were problems, but the quantity of podiums represented the biggest intended obstacle. We have 6 presidential candidates this year who are on enough state ballots to win but only two podiums to conduct a debate.

I cannot call this a debate without paring my index and middle fingers together and putting them in the air. They weren’t debating; they were giving speeches as though this were a press conference. My favorite part of the “debate” was when the candidates thanked the commission for hosting and having them on. As the presidential candidates of the Democrat and Republican parties, they effectively run the debate commission. That’s like the boss thanking his employees for allowing him to come to work and manage for the day.

This was a mockery of a debate. If it has one merit, it shows just how the Democrats and Republicans play the American public for fools. What these parties need to understand is that they are the fools, because we are aware of their game. The news media that regurgitates their sloppy dialog and one liners doesn’t represent us. It is only caricaturing our opinions with blunt crayons. We the people don’t care about lapel pins or lipstick; we can tell when responding to a problem that Sarah Palin is as Paul Krugman said more like “a freshman in college who hasn’t read the material and is failing to answer an essay question”; we the people know that these two parties aren’t worried about us – the homeowners and taxpayers – in this crisis, because they are putting the burden of their advisor’s and colleague’s poor choices on our backs and on the backs of our children. Instead what we the people care about is our future and our children’s future and what we the people know is that these aren’t going to be debates until the commission allows the 3rd parties to attend. When we called and wrote to the commission, to the sponsors of the commission, to the Democrats and Republicans who own the commission and demanded that the 3rd parties debate, we were speaking with one voice that reflected our cognition exclaiming “open the debates!”

In a debate there are winners and losers. And as the independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader had said about this the first of three presidential debates “Militarism won. Nuclear power won. The bloated military budget won. Corporate crime won. Bailing out Wall Street crooks won. Peace advocates lost. Workers lost. Tax Payers lost. Solar Energy lost.”

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One more bank down. Washington Mutual fell today and was bought out by JP Morgan Chase. This means, in effect, that the debts and bad loans of a speculative investment firm have been merged into a commercial bank. This cannot be good. When we look back at one of the causes of the great depression, the investment firms and the commercial banks were allowed to merge. When you combine a high risk investment firm with a commercial bank it is inevitable for there to be problems without any government oversight. The first thing FDR did to get us out of a depression was to separate the two types of banks from each other and pass legislation stating that they were not allowed to merge anymore. Then he insured the commercial banks and told the investment banks that they were going to be on their own.  The Glass Stegall Act was created to oversee the investment firms and make sure that they were not gambling and taking impossible risks.

In 1999 under President Clinton the Glass Stegall Act was repealed.  The advice to remove this Act came from Barack Obama’s campaign advisor and then Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin.  I bring up this point to remind Democrats that they are not free from fault in this crisis and that it was under a democratic
president where the problem got out of hand.

Now we are seeing these investment firms falling and being bought out by commercial banks. It is only a matter of time before the bad loans catch up to them and they fall to. When Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase come crashing down, it will be Main street that will be in trouble. The government buy out of these bad debts will just put the burden on the tax payer. Should this bail-out occur there needs to be more oversight, complete transparency, equity for the government, and penalties for the banks that participate.

I recommend everyone to check Ron Paul and Ralph Nader on what they advise should be done about this crisis. Here are some videos that are worth watching.

Ron Paul:

Ralph Nader:

With these great opinions on what could be done to save our economy, how come Ralph Nader isn’t going to debate. Nader is on 45 States ballots. He’s a write in for all the other states but one, Oklahoma where you can’t write someone in. He is polling 9% in most polls.

How about Bob Barr a libertarian, America’s oldest third party. Those that are worried about Nader “taking away votes” should consider demanding that Bob Barr be included in the debates.  He is also on 45 State ballots and is polling well without any media coverage.

Here is what you can do to get these guys on the debates:

– AT&T (Main corporate sponsor of the first debate) 210-821-4105
Jim Lehrer (Moderator for First Debate) 703-998-2138
Commission on Presidential Debates 202-872-1020

– Call Barack Obama at 866-675-2008.
Hit 6 to speak with a campaign volunteer.

– Call John McCain at (703) 418-2008.
Hit 2 or 3 to speak with a campaign volunteer,
6 to leave a message in the general campaign voice mailbox.

– Email the executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates.
E-mail Janet Brown jb@debates.org,


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Addressing two major problems when electing the Independent Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader.

First, Nader will need major media attention to reach a large enough audience to even possibly become electable and second, the problem that occurs when the electability of the more likely candidate is reduced by the independent vote thus causing the less favorable candidate to win. (In this case I assume the scenario would be the democrat losing votes to the independent causing the republican to win.)

There is a trick to getting Nader access to a major audience. He would need to do one of two things, either get authorization from the private company that controls the debates which happens to be owned by the democrat and republican parties or he can appeal to another corporation to sponsor a debate, one that can offer an audience that can’t be turned down, as to insure the acceptance of the major parties. Nader has accomplished the latter, he has managed to convince Google to fight the aforementioned corporation for its monopoly over the debates. Now Google has agreed to hold an open debate live on YouTube that will allow multiple parties to participate, as long as the party has at least 10% in the national poll.  (Which is 5% less than what the Dem & Rep owned debates accept, even thought getting it doesn’t necessary insure acceptance) Nader, by the way, has around 6%. That being said, I do believe that there is a big problem with Nader not having enough media coverage, you can see him expressing it when he says buzz-word-phrases that attract media attention but he’s been able to sway Google to help him with this obstacle.

Concerning the second probelm, a two party system which forces us into voting for a party in fear that the other party would be elected is in itself problematic to the concept of democracy. (Which we hold to be conducted by a series of free elections) Furthermore, in denying the possibility of a third party we are condemning ourselves to the polarizing and monopolizing effects of a two party system. I think that in exposing this flaw common sense logic tells us that a two party system is counter intuitive to a democracy.

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