President Bush likes to strut around declaring that he’s a “bold” leader who’s unafraid to tackle “big problems.” So, where’s His Boldness on the gargantuan problem of America’s addiction to high-priced, high-polluting oil?
After holding Palestinian American Sami Al-Arian in prison for more than two years, the U.S. government began its trial against him June 6 on charges including racketeering, conspiracy and providing material support to terrorists. Al-Arian maintains his innocence and contends the government is seeking to punish him for his political views and pursuit of Arab rights. Al-Arian was a computer science professor at the University of South Florida before being fired in the wake of his arrest.
As a member of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, I’ve been witnessing Cindy Sheehan’s Crawford odyssey with a bittersweet mixture of pride, support and sadness.
The early part of the day, Aug. 6, was overcast with cooling clouds. For summer in Georgia it was actually quite pleasant. As we walked toward where we hoped the “Keep the Vote Alive” pre-march rally was congregating, we could see the massive crowd hidden in the recesses behind the Richard B. Russell Federal Building in downtown Atlanta. We could only see the stage; we could not hear the speakers. It took a good while to move through the crowd.
As the economy continues to slide, pressured by oil corporation price gouging at the pump, accelerating corporate layoffs and the Bush war in Iraq, there has been a surge in racist bigotry directed against undocumented workers.
In an eerie echo of events three years ago, the Bush administration is raising the specter of a U.S. pre-emptive military strike over allegations Iran is developing nuclear weapons.
There is no disagreement among all of labor that workers and their unions did a good job mobilizing members to vote in 2004. The problem that most of labor agrees on is that the Democratic Party dropped the ball. A large percentage agrees that building the independent role of labor is a clear lesson.
Like many parts of the country, Fairfax County, Va., just west of Washington, D.C., has seen a recent increase in documented and undocumented immigration from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico. Like elsewhere, one visible sign of this increase has been groups of young Latino men waiting in certain open-air areas (such as the parking lots of Home Depot stores) to be offered jobs by contractors or homeowners looking for someone to do construction, painting or gardening work.
With gas prices skyrocketing out of control, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) said he is stepping up his fight to pass the “Gas Price Spike Act of 2005,” HR 2070. The legislation, introduced by Kucinich in May, is currently co-sponsored by 37 members of Congress.
Oil hit $65 a barrel on speculative markets last week, an all-time high. Gasoline and heating fuel prices quickly followed. Natural gas is not far behind.