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inadvertently exposed Florida election fraud

For 2008, it is unfortunate that the Greens do not have a unity ticket with Cynthia McKinney and Ralph Nader, but perhaps this failure reflects broader problems with dissent in the United States as parodied by Monty Python's The Life of Brian.

Nader's life has been dedicated toward reforming the US government, corporate power and economic rights. Cynthia McKinney was probably the most courageous member of Congress ever in terms of standing up to the military-industrial complex's secret government -- the video of her questioning of Donald Rumsfeld at an open hearing is one of the most amazing things that has ever happened in Congress.

In August 2008, the Nader campaign announced the recognition of the "Peace Party," a new splinter faction for the state of Oregon that is a vehicle for getting Nader on the November ballot. It's sad that the Nader campaign seems as contemptuous of Cynthia McKinney's courage as the Democrats -- since the Nader promoters in the press release about the so-called Peace Party don't mention the need for McKinney to also be in the debate. Of course, if she was included, someone might ask why they didn't run together as a team, which would be embarrassing for Ralph to try to answer.

related pages:


Ralph holds up a copy of Business Week that confirms his concerns

 

Nader ignores Peak Oil

Washington Post
July 10, 2008
www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2008/07/09/DI2008070901801.html

Election 2008: Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader
Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader was online Thursday, July 10 at 3 p.m. ET to take your questions about his campaign, platform and why he's running.

Ligonier, Pa.: Mr. Nader, I agree that the long term solution to our energy problems lies in alternative fuels and eneergy, but unfortunately that would take years to have any meaningful impact. Wouldn't drilling in ANWR, building additional refinieries and increasing offshore drilling more imediately help the average person who is struggling to fill their tank and buy groceries?

Ralph Nader: Unfortunately you're having a bad dream. Drilling in ANWR won't produce one barrel of oil for at least ten years whereas energy conservation from the way motorists drive to the cars that the auto companies can give you very soon will save far more fuel than any new wildlife refuge in Alaska will produce.You should be able to buy cars now that get 50 MPG or more. For several years, the hybrid cars have been meeting that level and the auto companies should move quickly into hybrid car and other high-efficiency motor vehicles that their engineers have known how to build for years.
More efficient energy technologies from household appliances to heating and AC systems, to the way that homes and other buildings are constructed will save more amounts of energy quickly, safely and less expensively than constructing more generating plants or drilling for more fossil fuels.
As far as gas prices are concerned, stopping the speculation on Wall St. and oil futures would cut the price of a barrel of oil in half. Even Exxon-Mobil testified to that figure recently in Congress. That would mean $65 barrels of oil instead of $130 or more. This would reduce gasoline to the range of $2 a gallon. I do agree with you that tight refinery capacity has helped keep gas prices up, a situation the oil companies have learned how to game. Over 30 refineries have been closed in the last 35 years without being replaced in the United States. Federal policy should move toward expanding refinery capacity.

 

Rebuttal:
The only refineries likely to be built are those that can handle the sludge euphemistically called tar sands, or the coal-to-liquids products that Obama and McCain are in favor of.

Otherwise, it doesn't make sense for the oil companies to build refineries to process oil supplies that only exist in some people's imaginations. Weyerhauser isn't building more lumber mills in Oregon that can process eight foot thick trees since the supply is mostly over.

World oil production has been flat for three years while demand has continued to increase. I realize that most liberal / left / progressives have not been paying much attention to this fact. Geology is remarkably immune from politics, although politics certainly impact the exploitation of geological reserves.

Some of the speculators are speculating that the price of oil will drop, not increase (which shows that one need not understand limits to endless growth to place bets on Wall Street). Banning speculators and taxing oil companies (or nationalizing them) won't change the underlying fact that world oil production has peaked. The real issue is how we will all cope with the inevitable downslope.

If the price were to drop back down to $65 / barrel, which is very unlikely without a severe economic crash that would reduce demand, that would merely encourage increased consumption among those (in rich countries and in poorer countries) who have scaled back some consumption because of price increases. There are no more "swing producers" who can scale up production to handle these sorts of surges. Texas once controlled world oil prices. Then it was OPEC's turn. Now, no one can really control the prices, since the era of swing producers is over.

Welcome to the 21st Century.

Peak Oil. Peak Oil. Peak Oil.

 

Nader didn't "spoil" the stolen 2000 election

Many people who claim "Nader spoiled the 2000 election" ignore inconvenient truths:

If Bush is really the ogre that we were warned about in 2000 (and the reality is worse!), then why are people who are still blaming Nader for the 2000 selection not focusing on the full scope of the threat and supporting several construction suggestions, including the demand for paper ballots counted by hand for 2004 (so there might actually BE an election) and helping us all to unite for Kucinich, the only serious candidate for environmentalists, peace advocates and civil libertarians.

In May 2003, CBS aired a remarkable film titled "Hitler: the rise of evil" that was a docudrama of how the Third Reich came to be. One part of the film posed the question "People don't want to read anything that they might have to do something about," which reminded me of the Navajo proverb that it is hard to wake someone up who is pretending to be asleep.

A part toward the end of the film depicted the "Reichstag Fire" - an event not generally known to US citizens, not even most participants of peace rallies. In 1933, shortly after Hitler came to power, the Nazis burned down the Parliament (the "Reichstag"), blamed it on the communists, and used it as the pretext to destroy civil liberties and impose dictatorship. The parallel isn't exact, but it is probably the closest historical analogy to 9/11 and the USAPATRIOT act.

It must be more satisfying to complain about tertiary issues (Greens who couldn't stand Gore's betrayals of democracy and the environment) rather than have to actually do something constructive. That's one of the reasons why we are losing.

It is safer for Democrats to blame the Greens than to focus on the Republicans.


Eugene Weekly, January 4, 2001
What's to Spoil?
2000 election exposes institutional corruption.

Ralph Nader and Winona LaDuke received the ideal number of votes to keep either corporate-funded presidential candidate from a clear-cut victory. If liberals nervous about Bush hadn't held their noses and voted for Al Gore, George W. Bush would have received more votes than Gore. If Nader hadn't inspired as many citizens to vote their consciences, Gore would have been in a transition office, not in the courts.

During the campaign, Nader was repeatedly asked if he was a "spoiler" and replied, "you can't spoil a system spoiled to the core."

The campaign's corruption didn't start with the vote frauds in Florida, it was corrupted by obscene amounts of cash, party primaries decided long before votes were cast, and the exclusion of dissident voices from the mass media and pseudo-debates. Even worse, the permanent government of corporate lobbyists and the military-industrial-media-financial complex has more power than the temporary occupant of the Oval Office. (Green perspectives on ballot rigging are at www.prorev.com/votecount.htm and www.commondreams.org.)

Like Spruce Houser ("Squandered Power," Nov. 30), I also attended the 1991 national Green Party convention. Spruce's suggestion that Greens should have endorsed an architect of NAFTA and the World Trade Organization ignores Gore's legacy of greenwashing destructive corporate agendas. The gory details are described in the book Al Gore: A User's Manual by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair ( www.counterpunch.org ).

In Germany, the Greens got the Social Democrats to agree to phase out nuclear power in exchange for their support in a coalition government. In contrast, Gore's "New Democrats" spent the past eight years breaking countless promises to environmentalists and labor constituencies as they transformed the Democratic Party into "Republican Lite." A coalition between Gore and the Nader-ites was not possible, since the Democrats were demanding capitulation, offering no policy changes in return. Lieberman's selection demonstrated that Gore was not interested in offering even token gestures to progressives in return for their votes.

I voted for "Earth in the Balance" in 1992, hoping that Gore, despite being a militarist and a social conservative, would act to slow ozone depletion and climate change. Instead, we got a continuation of Reagan/Bush policies such as "free trade" and "welfare reform," not atmospheric protection.

In 1996, David Brower concluded that Clinton and Gore had done more damage to the environment than Reagan and Bush, and he helped persuade Nader to run for President. The day before Brower died, he voted absentee for Nader.

National Sierra Club Board member Chad Hanson said before the election that Bush is twice as bad as Gore on the issues, and Gore is twice as effective at enacting bad policies as Bush, because, "The national environmental groups are notorious for looking the other way when a Democrat president they helped get elected sells out the environment." Monsanto Corporation stated in October that "Agricultural biotechnology will find a supporter occupying the White House next year, regardless of which candidate wins the election." Gore and Bush both support nuclear power, food irradiation, Star Wars, increased military spending, the war in Columbia, prison expansions, the death penalty, NAFTA highways, inaction on fuel efficiency standards, corporate welfare, gutting the Kyoto climate change treaty and Justice Antonin Scalia (Senator Gore voted for his confirmation, which he probably regrets now). USA Today editorialized June 26 that "when it comes to the policies they believe will keep Americans employed and the nation prosperous, [Bush and Gore] could just as well be running on the same ticket."

Gore should have been 20 points ahead of Dubya, not in a virtual tie. Nader was astonished that Gore couldn't achieve a "slam dunk" against the Texas governor, considering Bush's horrible record and lack of qualifications. The Green Party didn't make Gore ignore key Democratic constituencies for eight years or wage a lousy campaign -- only Gore is responsible for that.

Congressman Henry Gonzalez (D-TX), who died Nov. 28, 2000, introduced bills to impeach Reagan in 1987 for Iran-Contra and in 1991 to impeach George the First for the Gulf War. No Congressional Democrat co-sponsored his effort. If they had, George W. would not be in politics.

Because Shrub got the job due to a popular vote/Electoral College split (and vote fraud), there will be intense pressure to abolish the anti-democratic Electoral College, potentially the 2000 campaign's most important legacy. Proportional representation and "instant run-off" voting are also getting unprecedented attention (see www.fairvote.org for details). If we're lucky, the Democrats won't vote for Bush's phony bipartisanship and George the Second will wreck the Republican Party just like Pat Buchanan just wrecked the Reform Party.

Far more Democrats voted for Bush than for Nader. Nevertheless, Gore's proxies berated Greens for "stealing" votes from their candidate, ignoring how all candidates must earn their support from citizens. Many people were disgusted by the false choice between competing political dynasties, which resembled a choice between the electric chair and lethal injection. The "none-of-the-above" outcome publicized serious flaws in our electoral system that must be fixed for true democracy to exist.

Mark Robinowitz was a volunteer with the Lane County Nader campaign.

 


casino ฟรี เครดิตwww.prorev.com/green2000.htm

POLL ANALYSIS
NADER NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR GORE'S LOSS

By Sam Smith


www.prorev.com/2008/02/nader-and-now-slander-begins-again.html

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2008
NADER: AND NOW THE SLANDER BEGINS AGAIN

SAM SMITH - AP started it in their lead story on Ralph Nader's announcement that he is running for president: "He is still loathed by many Democrats who call him a spoiler and claim his candidacy in 2000 cost the party the election by siphoning votes away from Al Gore in a razor-thin contest in Florida."

More on that below, but even if what the Democrats said were true, the behavior of the party in the years that followed 2000 did absolutely nothing to correct the situation. For example:

- The Democrats could have supported and worked for instant runoff voting which dramatically changes the effect of third parties on elections and politics.

- They could have avoided gratuitously angering Green voters through such cheap tricks as redistricting Maine's one Green state legislator.

- They could have adopted some Green policies, much as European major parties do when pressed by from the left or right.

- They could have stopped being so consistently indistinguishable from the Republicans.

- Obama could have said he would add one or more Greens to his cabinet just as promised he might with one or more right wingers.

None of this happened.

I supported Nader's run in 2000 but, for pragmatic reasons, suggested he not run in 2004. In my memo on the topic, I argued that just because you had something righteous to say didn't mean that standing in the middle of an interstate at rush hour was the best place to argue it. The drop in returns for Nader and the Green candidate, David Cobb, supported my thesis.

At the same time, I believe that anyone who feels there is something wrong with their neighborhood, city, state or country not only has the right to run for public office but honors that office by doing so. To criticize someone for exercising this right is repulsively anti-democratic and, when the target is Nader or the Greens, reflects the political trust fund baby mentality of the Democratic Party, living off the hard efforts of its past and doing little or nothing for the present and future.

The party of denial needs to look at its own defects and not seek salvation in blaming others for exercising their constitutional rights. Deceive yourself once or twice and you can chalk it up to political error. Deceive yourself thrice and you really need therapy.

WHY NADER DID NOT LOSE THE 2000 ELECTION FOR THE DEMOCRATS

SAM SMITH, 2001 - A study by the Progressive Review of national and Florida polls during the 2000 election indicates that Ralph Nader's influence on the final results was minimal to non-existent.

The Review tested the widely held Democratic assumption that Nader caused Gore's loss by checking changes in poll results. Presumably, if Nader was actually responsible for Gore's troubles, his tallies would change inversely to those of Gore: if Gore did better, Nader would do worse and vice versa.

In fact, the only time any correlation could be found was when the changes were so small - 1 or 2 percentage points - that they were statistically insignificant. When, for example, in September of 2000, Gore's average poll result went up 7.5 points over August, Nader's only declined by 1 point. Similarly, in November, Gore's average poll tally declined 5.7 points but Nader's only went up 0.8 points.

In the close Florida race, there were similar results: statistically insignificant correlation when the Gore tally changed by only one or two points, but dramatic non-correlation when the change was bigger. For example, in nine successive surveys in which Nader pulled only 2 or 3 points, Gore's total varied by 7 points. As late as two weeks before the election, Gore was ahead by as much as 7-10 points.

Nationally, the Review's moving average showed Gore steadily hacking away at Bush's 15 point lead until he was ahead by as much six points in September. But this lead rapidly disappeared until Bush was back in a narrow lead by early October. While Gore eventually won the popular vote, the election was so close that most polls projections were still within the standard margin of error.

During almost all of 2000, Bush led Gore with the major exception of a month-long period following the Democratic convention. During this high point for Gore, Nader was pulling a running average of 2-4% in the polls. While it is true that during October, Nader began pulling a running average of 6% at a time when Gore was fading, Gore continued to lose ground even as Nader's support dropped to its final 3%. In other words, despite the help of defectors from Nader, Gore did worse.

Further, as Michael Eisencher reported in Z Magazine, 20% of all Democratic voters, 12% of all self- identified liberal voters, 39% of all women voters, 44% of all seniors, one-third of all voters earning under $20,000 per year and 42% of those earning $20-30,000 annually, and 31% of all voting union members cast their ballots for Bush.

(Interestingly, the same critics who blame Nader for Gore's loss fail to give him credit for narrow Democratic victories in the Senate, such as the one in Washington state, where the Green vote theoretically helped the Democrat)

Since the mythology of the 2000 election shows no signs of fading, a few other points are worth noting:

- According to exit polling, those who voted for Nader were disproportionately under 30, independent, first time voters, formerly Perot voters, and of no organized religion. In other words, many of his voters did not naturally belong to the Democratic party. In fact, half as many Republicans as Democrats voted for Nader. Six percent of independents and 7% of Perot voters supported Nader while only 2% of Democrats did.

- The public had a cynical view of both major candidates with 41% believing that both would say anything to win votes. Barely half considered either major candidate honest and trustworthy. And an astounding 51% had reservations about their own vote.

- Gore even lost his home state of Tennessee. This is like flunking a political breathalyzer test.

- Perhaps the most important, but seldom mentioned, factor in the outcome was the impact of the Clinton scandals. 68% of voters thought Clinton would go down in history more for his scandals than for his leadership. 44% said that the scandals were somewhat to very important and 57% thought the country to be on the wrong moral track.

- In short, the individual who did the most harm to Gore (aside from himself) was Bill Clinton. If Gore had distanced himself from the Clinton moral miasma he would probably be president today.

- Clinton hurt in other ways, most notably in the damage his administration did to other Democratic officeholders, again something Democrats don't want to face. During the Clinton administration, Democrats lost over 1,200 state legislative seats. Further, the Democrats lost control of 9 legislatures and for the first time since 1954 the GOP controlled more state legislatures than the Democrats. In addition, the GOP won almost more than 40 seats in the House, 8 in the Senate, 11 governorships and 439 Democratic officeholders switched to the Democratic Party. Only three Republicans went the other way. In short, the Clinton administration was a disaster for the Democrats.

But even if Nader only took one percentage point away from Gore - the most that can possibly be claimed - some will say that the Greens should have known better than to take that risk. In a way, it comes down to a debate between Democratic situationists - I am what the polls tell me I ought to be - and Green existentialists - I am what I am regardless of the polls. The danger with the Green existentialist approach is that you may end up with a Bush (or a Clinton, for that matter) in the White House. The danger with the Democratic situationist approach is that you definitely will. In one case, you give up on democracy in favor of a 800-pound-gorillacracy; in the other case you still retain some hope that things can get better.

Ironically, if Nader had done much better - say 10 or 15 points - we would all be in better shape since politics tends to follow third party uprisings when they are powerful enough. In the most recent case, for example, both the GOP and Democratic parties still remain in the shadow of the Perot paradigm. But because Nader didn't do all that well, the Democrats can muddle along pretending that it wasn't their fault after all but some guy they wouldn't even let into the debate.

Democrats tend to think of Greens as wayward members of their party, which is why they try to browbeat them rather than convincing them. In fact, the Greens have less and less in common with the Democratic Party - especially since the latter refuses to stand up against the Bush war, greedy globalization, and the disintegration of constitutional government. . .

Too many Democrats presume they can either ignore the Greens or hector them back into their pointless, spiritless, and morally dead confines. It won't work for the simple reason that, unlike the Democratic Party, Greens actually believe in something. And when you believe in something, you are willing to take a few risks along the way.

KEVIN ZEESE points out that had Nader not run, Bush would have won by more in Florida. CNN's exit poll showed Bush at 49 percent and Gore at 47 percent, with 2 percent not voting in a hypothetical Naderless Florida race. Further:

- Gore lost his home state of Tennessee, Bill Clinton's Arkansas and traditionally Democratic West Virginia; with any one of these, Gore would have won.

- Nine million Democrats voted for Bush, and less than half of the 3 million Nader voters were Democrats.

- Zeese also notes, "The Democrats lost the 2002 congressional elections, the California and New York governorships, and many state legislatures throughout the country. Surely Nader is not to blame for those defeats."


Washington Post
July 10, 2008
www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2008/07/09/DI2008070901801.html

Election 2008: Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader
Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader was online Thursday, July 10 at 3 p.m. ET to take your questions about his campaign, platform and why he's running.

The transcript follows.

Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author, and has been named by Time magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Americans in the 20th century. His books include "Unsafe at Any Speed," which documented safety defects in U.S. cars and led to the passage of the 1966 National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. This is his fifth campaign for president, including unsuccessful runs as an independent in 2004 and the Green Party candidate in 2000.

____________________

Ralph Nader: Ralph Nader will be chatting live at 3pm EST.

_______________________

Los Angeles: Ever heard of the Nader game? Whenever you give an interview and bring up "Taft-Hartley," everyone drinks. What exactly do you have against this 60-year-old bill?

Ralph Nader: The Taft-Hartley act of 1947 is the most anti-worker/anti-union law in the Western world. It is a major obstacle that has kept a number of unionized workers in the United States at the lowest level in the Western world. Specifically, among it's many obstructions; is the prohibition on secondary boycotts, additional provisions enabling employers to interfere in organizing efforts by workers and even allows employers to have an expansive definition of managerial employees, and enables employers to call a prematurely early union election before the organizers are ready. It is full of such mischief.

_______________________

Olney, Md.: Mr. Nader, I voted for you in the past two elections and I applaud your efforts to challenge the status quo. However, I wonder if some of the issues you care about might be addressed more effectively through local politics, which then could lead to larger, national movements. Have you considered running for elected office as either a senator or governor? Would you consider doing so if your bid for the presidency is unsuccessful this year?

Ralph Nader: My purpose is to have a national impact to arouse people all over the country to challenge the two-party dictatorship and to encourage people to run as independents and third-party lines at the local state and national level. In this manner, you stimulate the local through the national and the national through the local. This could not be done running in a state for senator or governor.

_______________________

Ligonier, Pa.: Do you believe that you will be able to get on the ballot in all 50 states?

Ralph Nader: I believe we are on the course for the Nader/Gonzalez ticket to be on the ballot of 45 states.

_______________________

Staten Island, N.Y.: Mr. Nader, what exactly is your plan for withdrawal from Iraq, and how long do you think it would take to implement it? Thank you.

Ralph Nader: The Nader/Gonzalez plan for the military and corporate withdrawl from Iraq would be on a six-month timetable. During that period, we urge UN-sponsored elections, continuation of humanitarian aid, since we owe it to the devestated Iraqi people, and negotiations with the three groups: Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds regarding a level of autonomy within the overall framework of a unified Iraq. All three groups want a unified Iraq but they want some autonomy. By returning Iraq and the oil back to the Iraqis, the bottom will fall out of the insurgency since its only objective is to evict the invader/occupier.

_______________________

Pikesville, Md.: I am a 28-year-old father, husband, student and educator. Would you be in favor of repealing No Child Left Behind? Do you believe -- as many educators do -- that NCLB punishes lower-income students/schools while rewarding the schools that already have a wealth of money and community support? Explain.

Ralph Nader: The Nader/Gonzalez campaign favors repeal of the No Child Left Behind law. Narrowly-based multiple choice standardized tests rupture the relationships between teachers and students and forces the teachers to teach to the test which themselves are of poor design. States are gaming the law, violating it and the overwhelming number of teachers are opposed to it - for good reason. There are far better ways to stimulate higher qualities of education and their assesment.

_______________________

New York: Many people I've spoken to have seen your presidential campaigns as nudging elections toward the republican candidate and not nearly achieving the votes needed to get third-party status. Can you explain why they're wrong, or why this time will be different?

Ralph Nader: As long as liberal voters continue to vote for the Democratic party no matter how badly the party behaves, so long as the Republicans are worse, the Democratic nominee will take these liberal votes for granted and move toward right-wing positions and also move toward the corporate interests that are tugging at the candidate. The only way this can change is if liberal or progressive voters signal to the Democratic nominee that they have somewhere else to go. That somewhere else can be the progressive Nader/Gonzalez campaign otherwise the liberal/progressive voters will be in a trap and will be taken for granted. This is already happening with the liberal progressive voters' relationship with Barack Obama. So it is up to these voters to generate leverage instead of surrender.

_______________________

Takoma Park, Md.: What's the difference between your health care reform plan and Obama's and McCain's?

Ralph Nader: The Nader/Gonzalez healthcare plan is what is often called a "single-payer" plan, that is, full government health insurance or full medicare for all. With free choice of hospitals and doctors, greatly reduced administrative expenses, elimination of the huge computerized billing fraud and abuse, and a more facilitative database to determine outcomes which encourage prevention of diseases and injury.

Obama's plan basically pumps more public money on top of a rotten, wasteful, corrupt and redundant healthcare system dominated by giant HMOs, health insurance companies and drug companies at the expense of the professional judgements of physicians and nurses.

McCain's plan is even worse and does nothing to control the spiraling costs of healthcare. It's the dream of the giant corporations that dominate our healthcare system. For more detail, go to the Physicians for National Health program or ask your member of congress for HR676, the single-payer legislation.

_______________________

Arlington, Va.: How should our electoral system be changed to allow voters to express their preferences without unintended side-effects, and what will it take to start making these reforms? Many Nader supporters in swing states surely will consider voting Democratic as a defensive move against the Republican candidate. The electoral college system is not serving us well when it compels people not to cast their vote for their first-choice candidate in order to avoid helping their least-favorite candidate.

Ralph Nader: I believe people should vote for candidates they believe in. The problem is that many voters are hereditary voters voting automatically for the Republican or Democratic nominee, or tactical voters who are voting for the least-worst candidate of the two major party candidates without demanding anything from their least-worst choice.

Having said that, in over 30 states that are overwhelmingly Democrat or Republican, given our electoral college system, voters could vote their conscience and support the Nader/Gonzalez campaign. We believe the electoral college should be abolished but in the meantime, instant-runoff voting (IRV) or a variation could ensure that the winner receives the majority vote and reduce political bigotry against third-party and independent candidates.

_______________________

Burbank, Calif.: Why did you leave the Green Party? It seems that both you running and the Green Party runing a candidate only dilutes the protest vote from the environmental voting block.

Ralph Nader: I never was a member of the Green Party. As an independent and its nominee, I worked in 2000 to give it visibility and nearly three million votes. Afterwards, I attended over forty fundraisers in many states to help keep the Green Party's momentum going. Unfortunately, internal bickering drove away many good Green's and the party lost whatever ability it had to take advantage of the 2000 momentum and lost much of its discipline and focus, that its excellent agenda would have warranted.

A third party much have maturity and discipline to survive in a rigged, two-party dominate system. I wish the Green party good luck.

_______________________

Anchorage, Alaska: Have any physicians' groups publicly supported the Nader/Gonzalez health care plan? Thanks.

Ralph Nader: Yes.

The Physicians for a National Health Program led by Harvard medical school professors Stephanie Wohlander and David Himmelstein and Dr. Quentin Young from Chicago are the intellectual and practical architects of a comprehensive single-payer health plan in America.

The website is PNHP.org. For further documentation and motivation, check out their website.

_______________________

Farmington, Conn.: Mr. Nader, I find myself disillusioned by the two major party candidates right now, and am considering all of my options in the upcoming election. One of my biggest issues as an american Jew is continued support of Israel. What is your position on econimic, political and military support of Israel?

Ralph Nader: To attain peace between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, the US government must replace its support for the militaristic domination, occupation, destruction and colonization of the Palestinian people and its economy. With up-front support of the Israeli and Palestinian peace movements who have worked out a two-state solution most prominently described in the Geneva Accords. A two-state solution returning back to the 1967 borders is supported in polls by Jewish-Americans, Arab-Americans and the Palestinian people.

Both McCain and Obama pandered to the AIPAC organization at its convention recently in such a way as to signal a continuation of the failed US policy toward that conflict. The Washington puppet show should be replaced by a robust Washington peace show to resolve a 60 year festering conflict that is radiating opposition and problems to the United States well beyond that region.

For more information, please see:

http://www.votenader.org/issues/foreign-policy/israel/

_______________________

Slinger, Wis.: Ralph: Why did you choose Gonzalez as your running mate?

Ralph Nader: I choose Matt Gonzalez as my running mate because he is a leading civil rights lawyer in California, former elected member of the San Francisco city council and previously a dedicated public defender. At age 42, he has a very promising political future. Which is one of the purposes of our campaign, to bring a new generation of political leaders who view politics cleanly as an antidote to autocracy and as a service to the people. For example, Matt Gonzalez was a leader in advancing the living wage in San Francisco. He made the minimum wage in that city the highest in the country, considerably higher than the laggard, inflation-depleted federal minimum wage that is now at $6.55 an hour.

_______________________

New York: Do you concede even a smidgeon of the truth concerning Obama, in terms of his organization and support residing in no small part outside the (corrupt) Beltway?

Ralph Nader: Obama and his associates have run a brilliantly tactical campaign. It is now time to bring the general rhetoric of his campaign, which has obviously produced mass enthusiasm amongst millions of people, down to the ground, unfortunately, in recent weeks he has filled out the blanks in ways that have delighted the concentrators of power and the mega-corporate interests that have donated more to his campaign than they have to the campaign of John McCain. Senator Obama's voting record has not been encouraging (http://www.mindfully.org/Reform/2008/Obama-Craze-Gonzalez27feb08.htm). He knows full well about the gross disparity in power and wealth between the few and the many but he has been reluctant to speak truth to such power. If you support Obama, you better make 'em better by making demands on him, otherwise the corporate lobbies will be making him worse day-after-day.

_______________________

Washington: What are you doing to identify and promote third-party candidacies besides your own?

Ralph Nader: We will be working with former congressman Bob Barr, of the Libertarian party, and other third parties to highlight the need for ending ballot access obstructions and moving toward one federal ballot access standard for all candidates seeking federal office whether for congress or the White House.

I also favour public funding of public campaigns, IRV, an end to gerrymandering and binding none of the above on each ballot line to give voters the choice of voting no to all candidates on that ballot line.

_______________________

Ligonier, Pa.: Mr. Nader, I agree that the long term solution to our energy problems lies in alternative fuels and eneergy, but unfortunately that would take years to have any meaningful impact. Wouldn't drilling in ANWR, building additional refinieries and increasing offshore drilling more imediately help the average person who is struggling to fill their tank and buy groceries?

Ralph Nader: Unfortunately you're having a bad dream. Drilling in ANWR won't produce one barrel of oil for at least ten years whereas energy conservation from the way motorists drive to the cars that the auto companies can give you very soon will save far more fuel than any new wildlife refuge in Alaska will produce.You should be able to buy cars now that get 50 MPG or more. For several years, the hybrid cars have been meeting that level and the auto companies should move quickly into hybrid car and other high-efficiency motor vehicles that their engineers have known how to build for years.

More efficient energy technologies from household appliances to heating and AC systems, to the way that homes and other buildings are constructed will save more amounts of energy quickly, safely and less expensively than constructing more generating plants or drilling for more fossil fuels.

As far as gas prices are concerned, stopping the speculation on Wall St. and oil futures would cut the price of a barrel of oil in half. Even Exxon-Mobil testified to that figure recently in Congress. That would mean $65 barrels of oil instead of $130 or more. This would reduce gasoline to the range of $2 a gallon. I do agree with you that tight refinery capacity has helped keep gas prices up, a situation the oil companies have learned how to game. Over 30 refineries have been closed in the last 35 years without being replaced in the United States. Federal policy should move toward expanding refinery capacity.

For more information on my energy policies see: http://www.votenader.org/issues/environment/new-energy-policy/

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Amherst, Ohio: It is fashionable to attribute much of our difficulties to "corporations" and "big business." Are corporations evil? Is it wrong to want to make a living and pursue the American Dream? Haven't lawsuits by so-called consumer advocates also become a big and profitable business (for example, in the areas of asbestos, tobacco and medical malpractice)?

Ralph Nader: When corporations are not required to adhere to decent boundaries enforced by law they can become reckless and take hundreds of thousands of lives and cause injuries annually from hazardous workplaces, defective consumer products, toxic chemicals in the environment and medical-hospital negligence. When regulators fall down on the job, the courts are the last recourse for compensatory justice on behalf of the wrongfully injured victims. Remember, every major in the world has warned its inherents not to give too much power to the merchant class. The subordination of commercial values to civic values advance a just society. The reverse is what has been happening in our country. Including the corporate crime wave from Enron to Wall St. and the hijacking of our government by global corporations.

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Silver Spring, Md.: It seems that Jesse Jackson was saying much the same thing you said about Obama -- namely that he was ignoring the problems in urban and rural America in favor of white votes. Is there a way to criticize Obama's record and platforms without being called a heretic or racist?

Ralph Nader: My record fighting for civil rights and and improving the plight of low-income Americans goes back 50 years. This experience has enabled me to include all politicians, whatever their race, color, creed as being subject to equal opportunity criticism if they turn their back on the people and prostrate themselves before corporate lobbyists. No one gets a free ride because of their color, gender, or ethnic background. They have to earn the public trust.

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Ralph Nader: Thank you for your questions, if you'd like more details about the many purposes of the Nader/Gonzalez campaign for shaping a more just and respectful future for our country, sign up for our email list and visit our vivid website for an independent evaluation of this year's presidential campaigns. And lastly, remember ancient Chinese proverb: "To know and not to do is not to know."

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