Friday, May 25, 2007

The roadblock wins another round

Two decades of transportation failure continues.

In basketball, a score of 137-60 is a blowout victory. In Minnesota politics, it's a loss.

The transportation bill got 137 votes in the Legislature this session. That's a solid 70 percent majority and, if you believe in representative government, pretty good evidence that Minnesotans are willing to pay for fixing their crumbling roads and expanding their skimpy transit systems.

But Tim Pawlenty isn't willing. And so, for the second time in three years, a veto, wielded by a governor who has never been elected by a majority of Minnesotans, has prevented substantial progress against the state's most gnawing problem: the 20-year failure to adequately build and maintain its transportation system.

That means that drivers stuck in Brooklyn Park's "Devil's Triangle," or in Eden Prairie's nightmarish tangle of Hwys. 494, 212 and 5, or on any number of outdated and dangerous roadways outstate will have to wait years, perhaps decades, before the state has the money to respond. It means that commuters in the southwestern suburbs, eager for a light-rail line, will have to wait until after 2025, and that other transit projects, hoping to build on the popularity of the Hiawatha line and an advantageous moment in Congress, will have to wait even longer than that. It means higher property taxes as road costs are pushed increasingly to local governments. It means that employers looking to add quality jobs will skip over the Twin Cities in favor of rival markets that are moving well ahead on transportation and land-use innovations that anticipate a new era of high energy costs and environmental concerns. It means a smoggy bumper-to-bumper future and a declining quality of life.

Pawlenty will be blamed for leaving Minnesota behind on all of these fronts. He has placed ideology and national political ambition ahead of his state's best interest.

Rather than raise the taxes and fees required to face head-on the annual $1.7 billion transportation shortfall, the governor has stuck to his incrementalist policy: Borrow about one-tenth of that amount, force our children to pay it back and nibble away at the edges. That's like attacking an iceberg with an icepick.

Business is also to blame. While the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce supported a nickel gas tax increase for roads, it opposed giving counties the authority to raise sales taxes for transit, the financial tool that has allowed other markets to push far ahead of the Twin Cities. It's a mystery why a sales tax for transit can be acceptable to business leaders in Denver, Dallas, Phoenix and San Diego, but not here. All of those cities have considerably higher rates than Minneapolis-St. Paul yet seem to be flourishing.

The bottom line is that a few people short on vision and courage are still blocking the road for everyone else. It may take another election and even higher gas prices for enough people to realize that there's no going back to the days of cheap driving and that the future belongs to those places with the foresight to invest in the efficiency and variety of their transportation systems.

More like drug dealers than arms sellers

Those behind America's most successful and deadly export prefer the shadows to the sun.

Published: May 25, 2007

They don't call us the sole superpower for nothing. Paul Wolfowitz might be looking for a new job right now, but the term he used to describe the pervasiveness of U.S. power back when he was a mere deputy secretary of defense -- hyperpower -- still fits the bill. Consider some of the areas in which the United States is still No. 1:

First in weapons sales: Since 2001, U.S. global military sales have totaled $10 billion to $13 billion. In fiscal 2006, the Pentagon broke its own recent record, inking arms-sales agreements worth $21 billion.

First in sales of surface-to-air missiles: From 2001 to 2005, the United States delivered 2,099 air-to-air missiles such as the Sparrow to nations in the developing world.

First in sales of military ships: In that same period, the United States sent 10 "major surface combatants," including aircraft carriers and destroyers, to developing nations. Collectively, the four major European weapons producers shipped 13.

First in military training: A thoughtful empire knows it's not enough to send weapons; you have to teach people how to use them. The Pentagon plans to train militaries of 138 nations in 2008 at a cost of nearly $90 million.

Rest assured, governments around the world, often at one another's throat, will want U.S. weapons long after their people have turned up their noses at a range of once-dominant American consumer goods. The "trade" publication Defense News recently reported that Turkey and the United States signed a $1.78 billion deal for Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter planes. Israel flies them; so do the United Arab Emirates, Poland, Venezuela and Portugal, among others.

To remain on top in the competitive jet field, Lockheed Martin, for example, does far more than just sell airplanes. TAI -- Turkey's aerospace corporation -- will receive a boost with this sale because Lockheed Martin is handing over responsibility for portions of production, assembly and testing to Turkish workers.

The Turkish air force already has 215 F-16 fighter planes and plans to buy 100 of Lockheed Martin's new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as well, in a deal estimated at $10.7 billion over the next 15 years. That's $10.7 billion on fighter planes for a country that ranks 94th on the United Nations' human-development index, below Lebanon, Colombia and Grenada and far below all the European nations that Ankara is courting as it seeks to join the European Union. Now that's a real American sales job for you!

Here's the strange thing, though: This gold-medal manufacturing-and-sales job on weapons simply never gets the attention it deserves. As a result, most Americans have no idea how proud they should be of our weapons manufacturers and the Pentagon -- essentially our global sales force. They make sure our weapons travel the planet and regularly demonstrate their value in small wars from Latin America to Central Asia.

There's tons of data on the weapons trade, but who knows any of it? I help produce one of a dozen or so sober annual (or semiannual) reports quantifying the business of war-making, so I know that these reports get desultory, obligatory media attention.

Even when there is coverage, the inside-the-fold, fact-heavy, wonky news stories on the arms trade, however useful, can't possibly convey the feel of a business that has always preferred the shadows to the sun. The connection between the factory that makes a weapons system and the community where that weapon "does its duty" is invariably missing in action, as are the relationships among firms making the weapons and the generals (on-duty and retired) and politicians making the deals, or raking in their own cuts of the profits for themselves and/or their constituencies. In other words, our most successful, most deadly export remains our most invisible one.

Maybe we should stop talking about weapons sales as a trade and the export of precision-guided missiles as if they were widgets. Maybe we need to start thinking about them in another language -- the language of drugs.

After all, what does a drug dealer do? He encourages an appetite or an addiction and then feeds it.

Arms dealers do the same thing. They suggest to foreign officials that their military just might need a slight upgrade. After all, they'll point out, haven't you noticed that your neighbor just upgraded in jets, submarines and tanks? And didn't you guys fight a war a few years back? Doesn't that make you feel insecure? For just a few billion bucks, we'll get you suited up with the latest model military, even better than what we sold them -- or you -- the last time around.

Why do officials in Turkey, which already has 215 fighter planes, need 100 extras in an even higher-tech version? They don't, but Lockheed Martin, working with the Pentagon, made them think they did.

We don't need stronger arms-control laws, we need a global sobriety coach and some kind of 12-step program for the dealer-nation as well.

Frida Berrigan, a senior research associate at the World Policy Institute's Arms Trade Resource Center, adapted this article for the Los Angeles Times from a version at

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A necessary choice

By Dan Neil Los Angeles Times

My wife and I just had an abortion. Two, actually. We walked into a doctor's office in downtown Los Angeles with four thriving fetuses -- two girls and two boys -- and walked out an hour later with just the girls, whom we will name, if we're lucky enough to keep them, Rosalind and Vivian. Rosalind is my mother's name.

We didn't want to. We didn't mean to. We didn't do anything wrong, which is to say, we did everything right. Four years ago, when Tina and I set out on this journey to have children, such a circumstance was unimaginable. And yet there I was, holding her hand, watching the ultrasound as a needle with potassium chloride found its mark, stopping the heart of one male fetus, then the other, hidden in my wife's suffering belly.

We don't feel guilty. We don't feel ashamed. We're not even really sad, because terminating these fetuses -- at 15 weeks' gestation -- was a medical imperative. This has been a white- knuckle pregnancy from Day 1, and had it gone on as it was going, Tina's health would have been in jeopardy, according to her doctor. The fact is, multiple pregnancies are high risk, and they can go bad very suddenly. I wasn't going to allow that, though the fires of hell might beckon.

In the midst of this experience, practically on the eve of our procedure, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its ruling in Gonzales vs. Carhart, upholding the federal ban on a rare obstetrical procedure called intact dilation and extraction, or intact D&E, also known as "partial-birth" abortion.

The decision is a watershed in abortion law, the first ban on a particular abortion procedure since 1973's Roe vs. Wade and the first restriction on abortion to be approved by the court that does not include an exception for the health of the mother. Antiabortion activists were jubilant and immediately began talking about plans for state-by-state campaigns to restrict, and eventually rescind, access to abortion generally. For the first time in a long time, such talk didn't seem like wishful thinking.

I was stunned. Events in Washington that I had once followed with purely newsy and academic interest -- the recent appointment of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., and the fate of Roe -- suddenly struck home in the most personal way possible.

I mean, my wife and I have always been pro-choice, but we never expected to actually confront the Choice. After all, we've been trying like crazy to have children. We had already undergone two in- vitro fertilization procedures before this last time, when we put back five embryos, despairing that any would take. Beforehand, the fertility specialist asked us if we were OK with "reduction" -- also known as selective abortion -- in the event that too many took hold. We said yes, not really appreciating what that meant.

To our delight, four set up residence. Our initial joy, however, was tempered by the realization that we would have to lose two to keep two. For the last couple of months, Tina and I have discussed our options with our doctors, gradually wrapping our heads around this personal and private decision -- only to have the government invite itself to the conference at the eleventh hour.

To be clear, the procedure banned by the court last month -- intact D&E -- was not an option in our case. But it doesn't take much foresight to see how the court's decision could have huge consequences for fertility and reproductive medicine. For instance, the case upheld a ban on a midterm abortion procedure -- that is, one that takes place between 12 and 28 weeks. If the government begins to foreclose obstetrical options in the midterm, it will tie the hands of family health doctors in unexpected and dramatic ways.

Take our case. As soon as we found out at about four weeks that we had too many fetuses, we wanted to undergo the reduction procedure. But our doctor told us to wait to see if the number would reduce on its own, as often happens. Then, at about 12 weeks, we underwent a type of genetic testing (chorionic villus sampling, similar to amniocentesis), reasoning that if we had to abort two, it would be better to abort any fetuses with genetic abnormalities. The results took two weeks to get back, and by that time Tina was experiencing complications so severe that we had to put her in the hospital. The whole time, an awful clock was ticking.

Amniocentesis testing -- which involves extracting fluid from the placenta -- is usually performed between 15 and 20 weeks. That's solidly in the second trimester as well. If midterm abortions are banned, what will the state tell parents confronting the agony of a fetus with severe abnormalities? Would it oblige them to carry through with the pregnancy against their will? Would it -- as proposed by South Carolina's pending "ultrasound" legislation -- require women to look at pictures of their fetuses in an attempt to impress on them the humanity of the fetus they are aborting? Believe me, they know.

We got a sense of this kind of heavy-handed paternalism in Justice Anthony M. Kennedy's majority opinion in Gonzales vs. Carhart, in which he asserted that the ban would ultimately be good for women, who would be spared the mental and moral trauma of the procedure.

If only women and their doctors were as smart as Congress.

The court's ruling upholds the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, which declares the intact D&E -- in which the fetus is partially extracted from the uterus before being dispatched with an aspirating needle, scissors or forceps -- to be "gruesome and inhumane." But the truth is, there is no such thing as a pretty abortion. The alternatives to intact D&E are no less grim. Is grasping and dismembering the fetus in utero with forceps (as opposed to after a partial extraction) or injecting it with heart- stopping chemicals and then delivering the stillbirth any less repellent?

Gruesomeness is no standard at all. Removing the organs from a brain-dead teenager is gruesome, yet we do it to preserve the life of an organ recipient. The point is, sometimes it's necessary.

Americans need to be careful what they wish for. I think antiabortion advocates imagine a world in which women -- promiscuous, lazy or selfish singletons -- roll into the doctor's office for midterm abortions and stick their feet in the stirrups while still chatting on the cellphone. Recreational abortions, you might say.

But in the real world, that's not how it happens. Virtually no one takes the matter lightly. I would also point out that even the most fervent abortion opponents may one day find themselves suffering from infertility and may rue supporting the court's from- the-bench obstetrics.

Some wanted to know how we decided to keep the girls. Partly, it was a matter of how the fetuses were arranged. Partly, it had to do with other factors. Some studies show offspring of older fathers (I'm 47) run a higher risk of autism, and males are four times as likely to be autistic. Still, I had reservations about bringing girls into the world now, when forces seemed to be aligning to disenfranchise them (nine of 10 GOP presidential candidates favor reversing Roe vs. Wade). I hate to think my girls will have to fight the battles their mothers and grandmothers fought.

I feel sorriest for our doctors. The three we have seen are all extraordinary people, deeply compassionate, superbly trained. All are parents. All regard abortion with the greatest gravity. And yet they are obliged to be circumspect, if not downright fearful. And who can blame them? The physician who performed our reduction asked that her name not be used, for fear that she might be terrorized by some gun-toting antiabortion extremist.

For our part, we are grateful that she was out there. Without her, we wouldn't have been able to have a family. When Roz and Viv grow up, I hope one day I can introduce them to her. I think she'd be proud.

Dan Neil is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

(c) 2007 Deseret News (Salt Lake City). Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.

Source: Deseret News (Salt Lake City)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Your Car + Your Commute = A Visit to Your Doctor

Worried About the Toll Your Workday Drive Is Taking on Your Car? The Wear on Your Body Might Be Even Worse.

By Eric M. Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 9, 2007; B01

For seven years, Gail Ennis has been spending up to three hours a day behind the wheel of her Subaru, commuting between her law office in Washington and her home on Gibson Island in Anne Arundel County. What she's gotten out of the 100-mile daily round trip is sciatica -- a shooting pain down one leg -- and a lack of time for exercise.

"It's just too much and getting worse every year," Ennis said.

Besides being a daily grind that takes time away from family, a long commute can be harmful to your health. Researchers have found that hours spent behind the wheel raise blood pressure and cause workers to get sick and stay home more often. Commuters have lower thresholds for frustration at work, suffer more headaches and chest pains, and more often display negative moods at home in the evenings.

It's not just the drivers who suffer. Carpool passengers have to deal with what they call "Mustang neck" or "Beetle neck" -- the contortions they must make to wedge themselves into the back seats of certain cars.

Such ailments have long plagued drivers in California and other parts of the country where grueling commutes have been a way of life for decades. But Washington commuters, who are increasingly making the long hauls that cause the most problems, are catching up fast, researchers said. The region's drivers have the nation's second-longest commutes, behind New York, according to Census Bureau figures, and in outer suburbs, drives are as much as an hour each way on a good day -- and there aren't many good days.

As a consequence, more drivers will probably suffer the health effects of a commuter lifestyle, researchers and doctors said. "You tell someone they need to exercise or go to physical therapy, but how can they? They leave at 5 a.m. and get home at 7 or 8 p.m. at night," said Robert G. Squillante, an orthopedic surgeon in Fredericksburg who has treated patients for back pain and other commuting-related issues.

He said constant road vibrations and sitting in the same position for a long time is bad for the neck and spine and puts special pressure on the bottom disc in the lower back, the one most likely to deteriorate over the years.

There are other long-term concerns. Raymond W. Novaco, a professor at the University of California at Irvine's Institute of Transportation Studies who has researched commuting for three decades, found a correlation between traffic congestion and negative health effects such as higher blood pressure and stress.

Novaco's research team measures the blood pressure and heart rate of commuters shortly after they arrive at work and again two hours later. Commuters also fill out detailed questionnaires on their home and work lives. "The longer the commute, the more illness" and more illness-related work absences occur, he said.

"If you're driving an hour-and-a-half each way twice a day for 30 years, the consequences don't catch up with you at 32, they catch up in your 50s ," said Jerry L. Deffenbacher, a professor of psychology at Colorado State University, who uses a computerized driving simulator to test the connection between traffic congestion and anger. "Like smoking, it wouldn't be immediately obvious."

Drivers with multiple route changes are at greater risk, Novaco found after plotting out the commutes of his study subjects. "It's a physical strain as well as psychological one," he said. "It's frustrative and activates negative emotional states, and that generally has an effect on physical well-being."

Long solo commutes are especially tough on women, Novaco said his research found. Women, he said, generally "had more responsibility for getting family up and running and were significantly more likely to report being rushed to get to work."

Spending hours sitting in your car can also cause back and other muscle problems and takes time away from more active, healthier pursuits such as walking or going to the gym.

The ill effects of commuting are increasingly showing up in local doctors' offices. Squillante, the Fredericksburg orthopedic surgeon, said he has had surgery patients say that the best thing about a back operation was the forced hiatus from their daily commute during recovery.

Patients are desperate to find solutions and swear by certain types of car-seat pillows or jury-rigged lumbar supports, Squillante said. "There are people who feel they've discovered the miracle pillow," he said, though he said he doesn't know of any sure-fire solution.

Robert Cervero, chairman of the department of city and urban planning at the University of California at Berkeley, has studied the relationship between the design of communities and physical activity. He said rising rates of obesity and some types of diabetes contribute to the problems facing commuters. But so, too, do the lifestyle choices -- and land-use decisions -- that result in long commutes.

Caryn Hutson works for a property firm in the District but lives in her "dream home" in Haymarket, some 40 miles away. She leaves the house at 5:30 in the morning and gets back at 6:30 p.m. -- if traffic on Interstate 66 cooperates.

"It's just tiring," Hutson said of her daily drill. Someone who was never much for caffeine, she now bolsters herself with coffee in the morning and soda for the evening rush. But by midweek, "I'm running on fumes. That's the biggest toll. It's not enough sleep."

One of the reasons her family moved to Haymarket was for their children. But the tough commute also takes away family time. And year after year, as traffic gets worse and worse, the time in the car gets longer and longer.

"It's tough as a parent," she said. "You want to give your children everything they want, but there are limitations to that because of the time it takes."

Hutson used to have a 10-minute commute when she lived and worked in Tysons Corner. She recalls that time as "living in la-la land."

"I was able to find time and energy to work out regularly," she said. "And I don't now. I would have to wake up at 3 a.m. to get a workout."


Sunday, May 06, 2007


Hon. Raila Odinga's Vision for Kenya and Kenyans


YOUR Excellencies, Honourable Members of Parliament, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I, Raila Amolo Odinga, hereby submit my application to the people of Kenya for the position of president, which shall fall vacant later this year.

IT was our forefathers who coined and encapsulated the Kenyan Dream, at the time our country became an independent nation in 1963. They expressed the Dream in the words of our national anthem:

“Justice be our shield and defender.

May we dwell in unity, peace and liberty;

Plenty be found within our borders.”

Sadly, today, more than 43 years later, we are further from realising the Dream of our forefathers than we were at Independence.

We all know we want to change this. We want to end the way our leaders have used and abused us for the past four decades.

We confirmed this during the referendum on the Constitution, when the people of this nation rose up in a tremendous swell of humanity and said, ‘No’ to the Wako Draft, which had sought to entrench and expand executive power.

It will be a similarly crucial decision when the members of the Orange Democratic Movement-Kenya choose their flag-bearer for the 2007 general election.

It will be a crucial decision because it will affect every Kenyan. It will be important not only for the party, which must be strong and principled, but also for the country.

Almost every Kenyan today is affected by poverty, insecurity, poor education, inadequate health services, lack of social welfare programmes, huge disparities in income, absence of opportunity, disempowerment and consequent hopelessness and despair.

We have been spinning out of control on a downward spiral for more than 40 years. Experts have described Kenya as “a country of great potential but a disappointing under-achiever”!

At Independence, Kenya’s economy was at par with that of South Korea. All the major economic indicators in the two nations – GDP, per capita income, literacy, industrialisation – were comparable.

Forty-three years down the road, the South Korean economy is 40 times the size of Kenya’s.

Forty times! Not double, or triple, or even ten times, but 40 times larger.

What did the South Koreans do right that Kenyans did wrong? We believe we have the answer to that question.

The answer has its beginnings in those days, many decades ago, immediately after Independence, when the united nationalist movement, which had fought for and won our freedom from colonial rule, fractured.

It fractured down a fault line that divided two diametrically opposed forces, two contrasting ideologies.

In simple terms, one of those two ideologies wanted retention of the colonial status quo. That ideological group was the one that was forming government policy. The new government’s policies were based on maximising growth immediately and taking care of equitable distribution later.

This meant investing in those parts of the country that were already prosperous, due to their proximity to the centre of colonial power. The policy was justified with the explanation that, as the nation became more prosperous, the benefits would trickle down to everyone.

The promised trickle-down effect has never happened. Families who were poor then have become poorer. Millions of Kenyans have since been born into poverty – grinding poverty that defines and dogs their lives from birth to death, and from which there appears no chance of escape.

The policies pursued by successive regimes since Independence have not facilitated mobilisation of our natural and human resources for faster economic growth in tandem with the increased population. Instead, the national cake has been shrinking.

During the colonial years, when the nationalist movement was fighting against repressive colonial structures, opposition politics had always been portrayed as an illegitimate activity, and those involved had been criminalised and condemned.

After Independence, the new leaders, facing opposition from those whose concern for the poor was threatening their own acquisition of wealth, lost no time in adopting and employing the same repressive tactics that were its colonial heritage.

The struggle in our nation has continued. It has taken different turns at different times in our history but it has never ended. It has been a consistent quest for development, equality and fair sharing of our nation’s wealth.

We have sought and worked for a new Constitution, against the efforts of many of our elitist leaders – who still seek, just like those leaders after Independence, to protect their powerful and privileged positions.

Our national Constitution was first eroded when the post of prime minister, which we had at Independence, was abolished a year later, in order to vest greater power in the presidency.

Until that time, we had had two legislatures within our parliament, the House, which we retain today, and the Senate. The Senate was there to provide checks and balances on the work of the House.

These checks and balances disappeared as the Senate was discarded – the first of many amendments to the Constitution that not only increased presidential power and created an imperial presidency but also emasculated all the other institutions of government, including the House itself and the judiciary.

What followed was cronyism, where the president appointed only his friends, tribalism, where the president appointed only his tribe, nepotism, where the president appointed only his relatives, and the primitive accumulation of wealth through corruption by these few at the expense of the many with nothing.

This sorry state of affairs was made infinitely worse with the publication and implementation of the Ndegwa Commission Report of 1971, which allowed civil servants also to engage in private business. This in effect legalised and institutionalised conflict of interest within the civil service, which led to gross inefficiency and exploitation of the system for personal gain.

This is something that has destroyed any chance of progress in the provision of public services in Kenya and has dramatically affected the lives of every Kenyan today.

We have witnessed grand larceny on an unprecedented scale, particularly in the field of government procurement, and particularly regarding infrastructure, defence and government supplies. This corruption has fleeced the country of billions and billions of shillings. Where a lot of this money has gone is more than evident in the way senior civil servants and military personnel retire from public service as multi-billionaires.

To paraphrase the immortal words of the late JM Kariuki: We did not attain independence to have a country of 1,000 millionaires and 34 million beggars.

This kind of conflict of interest drew the alarm and dismay of some of our early leaders. They opposed what was happening and stood up for the poor of Kenya – and many of these opponents of looting died in their attempts to defend their poverty-stricken fellow countrymen and women.

It is against this background of conflict of interest in many areas of public life that we can seek and find explanations for the assassinations of such patriots as Pio Gama Pinto in 1965; of Tom Mboya in 1969; of those who died in the Kisumu massacre on October 25, 1969; of JM Kariuki, in 1975; of Robert Ouko in 1991; and of Odhiambo Mbai, in 2005.

It is against this background that we can seek and find explanations for the arrest and detention without trial of many Kenyans, including Kenneth Matiba, Charles Rubia and myself in 1990. Those detained over the years included university lecturers, students, lawyers, law enforcement officers, journalists, MPs, private citizens. Their names, and the names of many other Kenyans – some of them no longer with us – make up the roll call of those who suffered in the cause of the Second Liberation of this country.

It would be a terrible indictment of this country if their suffering remained forever in vain.

Those of us who worked for the Second Liberation formed the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy in 1991. That group suffered a split and most of us who had been there from the start moved on into Ford-Kenya. When it became clear there, again, that some of our original principles were being subsumed by personal ambition, those of us of like mind became members of the National Development Party, which eventually went into a merger with the then ruling party, Kanu.

Ultimately, we formed the National Rainbow Coalition, in the hope that this would prove a powerful alliance that would finally set us back on the right path in our journey towards the Kenyan Dream.

Everything was anchored on that Dream. We wanted to achieve the Kenyan Dream, and we needed a legal framework for its realisation. The emphasis was on review and reform of the constitutional architecture that underpinned our nation. We needed a new Constitution, one that would replace the old, colonial-inspired edifice that had suffered a patchwork of amendments over the years – all designed to keep one party in power. A new Constitution was the conditione sine qua non of the way forward.

Unfortunately, we were shortchanged by a few opportunistic elements – self-seekers, relics of the old order, people who could not change.

But we HAVE to change. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said: “The ultimate measure of a [person] is not where he [or she] stands in moments of comfort, but where he [or she] stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

I believe, as Mahatma Gandhi before me that “progress depends on not repeating the past and that, if we are to make progress, we must not repeat history but make new history.”

Gandhi also cautioned us against seven ills that we must guard against lest we are destroyed as a country. These are:

• politics without principle;

• pleasure without conscience;

• wealth without work;

• knowledge without character;

• business without morality;

• science without humanity,

• worship without sacrifice.

I am deeply committed to a new Constitution and a parliamentary system of government, as contained in the Bomas Draft. The USA is the only country among the major western powers with a presidential system. All the rest are parliamentary democracies, and this is what we must aim for in Kenya.

We must remove power from the power brokers and give it back to the people of this country, so that the people have a real say in their destiny, and are not just dispensable pawns in a complicated game being played by our leaders to rules that only they know.

Presidential systems are associated with lower public spending and fewer benefits for the people, and this eventually results in the kind of inequality that characterises our system. That is what I will change. Power-sharing in a people-driven and consultative process is the way forward, along with devolution of power, as provided for in the Bomas Draft. This is something I am 100 per cent committed to.

Concomitant with the ideals contained in the Bomas Draft is dual citizenship for Kenyans. Kenyans abroad remit billions of shillings – far more than our country earns from foreign aid – yet, Kenyans living abroad are not recognised and bestowed with the rights all citizens must have, including the right to vote. My government will change that.

I believe that, for our country, weneed a social-market economy – also christened the Third Way. It is the system best suited to achieving faster socio-economic development and equitable distribution of the fruits of our labour.

The private sector must be promoted as the engine for more efficient wealth-creation, while ensuring equity in the distribution of the wealth generated by our efforts.

My government will concentrate on creating a favourable environment for the private sector to prosper. Under a clear privatisation policy, government will quickly exit from profitable and well-managed companies and cede ownership to the Kenyan people.

My government will only intervene in enterprises where public effort is required for restructuring, and eventually privatising, or by providing seed capital in investments that are needed, but where the risk-reward ratio is too high for the private sector alone. Where such intervention is necessary, my government will exit at maturity of the investment.

Above all, in order to be able to move from the clutches of poverty, our economy must grow in double-digit figures, and as it does so, the accruing benefits must be equitably distributed among our people. My team of skilled economists, men and women selected on merit alone, will oversee the re-engineering of our economy to end the vicious circle of “private affluence and public squalor”.

We will invest heavily in the development of people-power, emulating those countries whose success has grown beyond measure as their developed people-power drives their economies.

And to move the economy forward, we must immediately invest heavily in three things:

• number one, infrastructure!

• number two, infrastructure!

• number three, infrastructure!

In this regard, we will:

• expand and modernise the railway system;

• sustain ongoing reforms to improve telecommunications;

• convert Mombasa port into a free port, construct another port at Lamu, and modernise the inland port at Kisumu;

• expand and elevate to international airport status Kisumu, Malindi and Wajir’s facilities, as well as expanding and improving those at Isiolo, Lamu and Lodwar up to full airport status;

• rehabilitate and expand our road network, building a dual carriageway from Mombasa to Malaba/Busia;

• construct water-supply and conservation systems for irrigation and industrial, domestic and livestock usage;

• improve the infrastructure in all our cities and major towns.

The net effect of this massive investment in infrastructure will be an increase in wealth-generation, and my government will ensure that this wealth is widely distributed through increased employment.

We shall emphasise the productive sectors of the economy – manufacturing, large-scale agriculture, and the IT revolution.

We shall also promote development of the service sector, including tourism, communications and financial service, while laying specific emphasis on the expansion of capital markets.

In this context, my government will vigorously pursue the following:

price stability in the economy;

a policy of meaningful and sustainable public debt;

a tax policy that encourages domestic savings for investment in increased production and more equitable wealth distribution. A centerpiece of this policy will be the creation of a large middle-income group in the country that will rapidly constitute a large market, which in turn will fuel further private-sector investment.

We shall facilitate access by Kenyans to the factors of production, including land, capital and technology, all of which are essential for the upward social mobility of the people.

In doing so, we shall pay particular attention to the need of women to access the factors of production, introducing legislation that will ensure women equal rights with men in this regard, and consolidating and expanding women’s access to credit facilities, business advisory services and training. We shall work to remove the socio-cultural, policy and legislative frameworks that perpetuate the marginalisation of women and girls in our society.

My government will pay special attention to creating opportunities within rural areas, where the majority of Kenyans live. We shall provide support and training to farmers, fishermen and pastoralist communities. We shall also pursue a policy of investing in facilities that add value to locally available produce.

We shall launch our version of the Marshall Plan – the recovery programme introduced in Europe after World War II – in historically marginalised regions of the country, in order to fast-track development in education, health, social services, infrastructure and facilities for livestock processing and marketing.

We propose increasing provision for the Constituency Development Fund from 2.5 per cent of the national budget to 10 per cent – the Kibaki government having refused to increase it to 7.5 per cent, despite parliamentary approval. The emphasis will be on placing more resources in the hands of communities, where funds will be used directly to meet the needs of the local people and enhance the production of wealth where the majority of people live.

Food is a basic need but, because of huge and widespread poverty and unemployment, people are still starving, even when National Cereals & Produce Board silos are full – because they have no money to buy the food. My government will pursue a policy that will ensure there is sufficient food available to rural and urban poor at affordable prices.

Shelter is another basic need, but all we have is a proliferation of unplanned and ill-developed settlements all over the country, with an unacceptably large population of our people living in makeshift shelters. My government will correct this situation by developing and implementing a sound physical planning policy, to be followed by the development of appropriate and affordable and secure shelter for the people.

Social security is a fundamental human right, and it is the responsibility of the government to provide it, in order to protect the people from destitution and other vagaries of life. My government will ensure the establishment of an effective social protection policy framework under three pillars:

a universal social welfare insurance scheme;

employer-driven contributory pension schemes;

and (iii) private savings, insurance policies and co-operatives.

With regard to factors of production, my government will develop a progressive and clearly articulated land policy, based on a set of simplified, rationalised and consolidated laws and regulations. This is a critical requirement for sustained economic recovery.

We shall promote Kenyans to engineer growth and development in the private sector, at the same time attracting foreign direct investment by creating favourable conditions for that investment, including tax holidays – and most importantly by removing the bureaucratic red tape that currently dogs potential investors and helps prevent the creation of wealth.

We shall remove the punitive taxation that is killing domestic industries, as well as putting structures in place to remove the possibility of extortion, particularly that regularly practised by Kenya Revenue Authority personnel when they visit companies and other enterprises.

To protect all our investments, we shall dedicate increased resources for training, equipment, housing, pay, life and health insurance, and retirement benefits for our law-enforcement personnel. But we shall tackle not only the apprehension of criminals but also the prevention of those human conditions that become the seedbed of criminal activity, first among them poverty, and second ignorance.

We shall develop a curriculum for our schools that answers the moral, social, cultural and economic needs of our country.

We shall employ more teachers and provide them with better training and remuneration, with the objective of achieving within five years a teacher/student ratio of one to 35.

We shall provide continuous, compulsory education from primary to secondary in all schools, and ensure standardised physical facilities and equipment in all public education institutions.

We shall enhance the establishment of post-secondary vocational training institutions for artisanry and middle-level managerial training.

We shall also restructure the ownership and management of village polytechnics to provide more effective training, and we will ensure that there is a public university in each province.

Delivering universal healthcare of an acceptable standard is an urgent priority. The clinics that dotted our estates and countryside soon after independence were well equipped and efficient, and offered a meaningful service to patients. All that has been lost. We shall expand and improve primary and secondary healthcare facilities, as well as implementing a comprehensive national social health insurance scheme.

My presidency will be one of ideals and practical ideas. It will be ambitious in achieving its economic and social goals.

To help fund the far-reaching programmes we shall put in place, we plan to broaden the tax base, which will at the same time allow us to reduce the individual tax burden, particularly for certain overtaxed groups in society, such as civil servants, who will benefit from a significant tax reduction under my administration.

More power will be devolved to communities – the power to shape the future of the environments in which people live their daily lives, widening the spread of public services and promoting social development.

And we will care for our country. We will face head-on the huge environmental challenges confronting us. We will recognise that youth are the future, and we will tend our youth as they grow to maturity, knowing that, in doing so, our nation’s future is secured.

To help achieve that future, we shall position Kenya on a path to the centre of the burgeoning Pan-African trading bloc, so that our nation becomes a key player in African political and economic development.

The moral ethic that drove public servants to provide a quality public service has been cast aside, because of our people’s confusion as they have watched their leaders loot and pillage our economy for personal gain. Corruption has “become a god”, in the words of the Nigerian poet Ben Okri. Unfortunately, we have to face the fact that it is now a false god worshipped by people from the top of our society to the bottom.

I will use all the powers of my office and energy to shatter this false god. I will help cultivate and promote a new national morality, a sound work ethic, a pride reborn in what it means to be a citizen of this country and a new sense of hope. For without hope, we cannot prosper as a people.

And to ensure that the public gets what it deserves from our public servants, I shall establish a Citizen’s Charter, which will guarantee the standards of service that public officials must offer all Kenyans. The services I have in mind include the issuing of business licences, national ID cards, voting cards and passports. The Charter will detail how the public may seek redress against officials who offer services that fall short of the standard required. Such officials will be held accountable.

Accountability is the watchword. It’s an old one, but it is a concept never more necessary than today, when corruption and tribalism have torn large holes in our national fabric.

The Narc coalition came together in 2002 to put an end to tribalism. Kenyans from all tribes and all ethnic groups voted for Narc and for Kibaki, who received a clear mandate to end this vice.

But the government, including the president, has let Kenyans down badly. Those who have acted in ways that have entrenched tribalism even deeper in the past four years are not going to do anything about it. In fact, they are the ones shouting at the top of their voices and calling other people tribalists. But Kenyans know who the true tribalists are.

Tribalism is today tearing this country apart. It is at its highest point since Independence. Why is this happening, when the country voted together to end tribalism only four years ago?

The answer is simple: it is because the most powerful institutions in the country, namely the Office of the President and State House, have become dens of tribalism. We cannot fight tribalism in Kenya unless and until these two key institutions are detribalised. Key Office of the President and State House staff, as long as we need them under our current Constitution, must reflect the face of the country.

Under my government, that will be the case. Staffing at the two offices will reflect our national diversity, and I challenge anyone to hold me accountable.

In addition, all informal government structures that allow family members, personal friends and moneybags more access and control at State House than elected officials – more even than cabinet ministers – will go. Kenyans will have only one government – the one they elected. The informal structures that currently exist are rooted in tribal alliances and cronyism, and our history tells us that these have been the real engines running our past and current governments.

These are the forces that keep giving us such scams as Goldenberg and Anglo Leasing. They are the forces that give birth to quagmires such as the Arturs saga. They are forces that operate above the law of the land and make a mockery of hard-working Kenyans. We will make this their last year of existence.

Cabinet ministers have also turned their ministries into tribal employment agencies, and have made tribal enclaves of this nation’s financial institutions.

In my government, key personnel in the Kenya Revenue Authority, the Central Bank, the ministry of finance and so on will reflect the face of the country. Institutions will not be packed with my tribesmen and friends. The governing principles in making appointments will be merit, accountability and diversity.

There will be a proper vetting system to ensure that all public service appointments are based not only on merit but also reflect the ethnic, gender and age diversities of Kenya. Appointment lists will be published annually. Affirmative action will be one of my government’s guiding stars.

And securing all this will be defence of our nation, where we shall be sensitive but strong, focused, decisive and committed. Clear priorities will no longer allow us to waste billions of shillings buying outdated military equipment that we don’t need, and whose purchase is simply another means of fleecing the country of public funds.

We shall continue to maintain robust armed forces but will trim military expenditure to realistic levels, and invest the resources saved in real and effective law-enforcement programmes to protect our borders. Among our priorities will be anti-terrorism efforts, along with properly structured and effective security at our airports (we want no more Artur incidents in future!) and truly secure port facilities and inland depots.

What I have laid before for you today relates to my realistic Dream of what Kenya could be. I have laid out objectives, not prescriptive economic programmes. I am not an economist and I will not pretend to you that I am.

Those would-be leaders who purport to be economic specialists are taking you for a ride – and we have had too many people doing that in this country for more than four decades,

Throughout those four decades, mandarins have been appointed to public positions they are not qualified to hold. They have used their undeserved power to take us ever further from the Dream of our forefathers.

That is what I intend to end. I intend to move this country forward, and away from the imperial presidency mentality.

Our nation now needs someone who has demonstrated the will to finish forever the culture of greed and selfishness.

I have that will. I have that history. I have that intention. I am able.

What I can promise I will do for you is appoint people to take charge of our economy whose superb skills make them absolutely the best in their field. It will not matter who their fathers were or who they know. They will be people who are committed to, and who can realise, my Dream of a Kenya founded on the notion of all our citizens having an equal chance in life.

I intend to take this nation to Second World status by the year 2020 – not 2030. We shall make this happen in our own lifetime. We can do it because ODM-Kenya has brought together quality Kenyans – not just in the leadership but also among the many people working behind the scenes, who are deeply committed to the party and its ideals, and to our beloved country. We shall make a very effective team.

And it is a team spirit that will inform and guide all our decisions. When I am elected president, I shall consider myself merely the first among equals. I will run my presidency on the basis of extensive consultations prior to decision-making.

As we meet today, we are at a crossroads. We have worked hard to get this far. Now the next decision we make will determine what will become of us.

The signposts are there, but sometimes the fog, especially the fog of propaganda, makes the signposts indistinct. In deciding which way to go, we must therefore take great care.

The road straight ahead leads only to a dead end. While a few people speed forward on the tarmac, the rest of us are left floundering at the roadside in a boggy swamp that engulfs us and holds us fast, leaving us no way of escape, and drowning our hopes of a better life.

But the road down which I guide you is the right one for this nation. The road crosses a bridge of sturdy steel that will not bend or break, no matter how often it is lashed by storms or blown by the four winds. The bridge remains strong and steadfast, spanning the turbulent waters beneath, providing safe passage to the other side.

Our nation needs this bridge, to carry us from the honest efforts of our forefathers, struggling for independence, through the contest for multi-partyism, on to the work of the referendum, and now beyond all that to the future.

I am that bridge – the bridge that links the historic moments of our past to the golden tomorrows of our future.

Kenyans! I call on you!

If, today, you feel the same passion I feel for our country;

If you want the same things I want, the same things I have fought for all my life;


If you share my Dream, if you share my hope, if you share my will, if you share my determination;

If you want us, as a nation, to grow into what our forefathers dreamed of;


If you love your families and you want the best for them;

If you yourself have a Dream of being the best YOU can be – we can win.

We can win the ultimate prize of freedom-from-want, and of economic self-determination and self-respect, for every citizen in this country.

Some people see things happen, and they ask, ‘Why?’ I dream of a united, developed and democratic Kenya, and I ask, ‘Why not?’

Join me! Join me as we return to our forefathers’ visionary path towards the Kenyan Dream, as we cast off and leave behind us four decades of political darkness.

If you make the right decision (and I know you will), we can at last go forward, together, to realise the Dream for our nation.

To paraphrase Nelson Mandela, I dream of a Kenya at peace with itself; a country free of hatred. As Martin Luther King Jr said, hatred paralyses life while love releases it. Hatred confuses life, while love harmonises it. Hatred darkens life, while love illuminates it.

I preach love, commitment and equality for our country.

Fellow citizens, join me on this journey for peace and prosperity! We have climbed many hills together.

I can see the hill ahead and together I know we will conquer it!

Thank you.

God Bless you, and God Bless Kenya.

Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi, May 6, 2007



Thursday, May 03, 2007

Earth Voice Food Choice

Our world is facing huge problems, from environmental and health issues, to wars and resource mismanagement. These problems seem unsolvable and affect us all on a deep emotional level. Suprisingly, there are actually solutions. All of us can contribute – everyday – without expensive campaigns, demonstrations or lawsuits.

Most people can agree that our world is run by money. The billions of people of the Earth spend money every day. What most are not aware of is that with every dollar they spend they cast a vote. Our monetary vote is a powerful tool to speak directly to industry and corporations. If we don’t want polluted lakes and rivers, but keep buying toxic food we cast a vote for a toxic world. This is just one example of how we all can start speaking out without waiting for politicians or government to “fix it” for us. Voting with our dollars goes right to the source. If we don’t buy it, they won’t make it. We have this power.

The effects of our individual food choices are far-reaching. Our everyday food choices directly affect global warming, water pollution, and topsoil depletion as well as obesity, cancers, and heart attacks. Buying and consuming more whole, organically grown plant foods is one of the most powerful, yet simplest actions we could do everyday to help our health and the health of our world.

The production of animal food products is responsible for causing many of the planet’s most catastrophic environmental problems and depleting natural resources at an unprecedented rate. The animal and chemical agriculture industries are the primary polluters of our planet’s water and soil. They accelerate desertification, forest loss, global warming and the depletion of water, soil and ozone. Chemicals and animal agriculture are major causes of species extinction, like the vanishing bees. Furthermore, the livestock industry is consuming most of America’s grain supply, which could be used to help solve world hunger problems.

Animal products such as meat, poultry, fish and dairy are also heavy contributors to most of the diseases afflicting Americans. Heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, osteoporosis, some forms of cancer, obesity, and other less life-threatening diseases are all influenced by the excess consumption of animal foods. Treating these diseases is costing hundreds of billions of dollars per year in health care and health insurance. Notwithstanding advice from experts, the United States government continues to spend billions of tax dollars to subsidize these industries.

In contrast, a diet of organically grown plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds produced without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, enhance personal and environmental health. Plant foods contain vitamins, nutrients, protein, fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals, essential fatty acids and many other beneficial compounds designed by nature to promote health and prevent disease. Plant foods are heroes for health. Plants are the only living things on Earth that have the ability to take the sun, the air, the water and the soil, and make food and oxygen for most of the living beings on our planet.

Compared to animal foods, plant foods are less polluting to the environment and conserve natural resources. If plant foods were consumed more and animal foods less, hundreds of billions of dollars could be saved on health care costs.

The animal and chemical agriculture industries, through the Department of Agriculture (USDA), supply enormous volumes of chemical laden, animal foods to children in schools. “The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is our government’s largest feeding program. It is based on an outdated model that teaches children little about the cause and effect of their food choices. Our health and our planet are suffering the effects of an economically driven food program that needs to be updated to twenty-first century nutrition standards. The manner in which our children view food, the development of their eating habits, their health and the condition of the world they will inherit, are directly linked to the NSLP.

Earth Voice Food Choice is a multimedia Manual and DVD designed to educate teachers, parents, students and government officials how to present, inform and inspire people to eat more unrefined, organically grown plant foods and fewer chemically processed animal and junk foods. The Project is designed to initiate a positive shift in human awareness and in the hearts and minds of children, parents, teachers, and people in government. The possibilities for beneficial change are monumental.

Earth Voice Food Choice is a “How to” manual for anyone who wants to initiate a healthy food and education project in their schools, homes, camps, or institutions. This Manual contains over 350 documented facts; history of the USDA; proven field tested strategies for implementing the project in schools; tips how to present to students; actions students can take to inspire government to support the concept of healthier foods in schools; kitchen preparation ideas for food personnel; institutional size recipes that fit within the RDA’s and the USDA’s meal pattern requirements and draw off existing and available USDA commodities; delicious recipes for home use; handouts for students and parents, letters of introduction, news articles, announcements and everything else people will need to implement a successful project. (200 Pages, 8.5” x 11” Manual with 100 Recipes.)

Earth Voice Food Choice DVD takes you on a ride through outer space in search of a planet that has the three things humans need for survival: air, water and soil. Fly into the atmosphere of Earth and witness the profound beauty of our world and the animals we share it with. Watch hundreds of beautiful pictures of the natural world and learn about Earth’s life support systems. Experience how humans have destroyed much of our natural resources. Learn how animal and chemical agriculture are negatively affecting health, environment, economy and world hunger. Travel into the interior of the human body and learn how to prevent disease. Meet the super heroes for health and the power of consuming and producing more organic plant foods. Learn how to make mindful food choices, vote with our monetary purchases and become part of the solution. This DVD is great for classroom and auditorium presentations and for home use. (39 minutes, plus 57 minutes of bonus features.)

For more information, to see clips of the DVD or pages of the Manual, and to order these materials, please visit or contact him at 928-301-4552 or email You may also write to Earth Voice Food Choice, 730 Sunshine Lane, Sedona, AZ 86340

by Todd Winant

Todd Winant, founder of the Earth Voice Food Choice Project is the co-author of EarthSave's Healthy School Lunch Action Guide (now out of print). His new project addresses the detrimental effects of America’s current National School Lunch Program and offers logical suggestions for its improvement.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Democrats attack democracy in Pennsylvania

By Michael Richardson

The Democrats are tightening the financial noose around Ralph Nader for his failed bid to obtain ballot access in Pennsylvania during his 2004 Presidential campaign. Nader had been deprived a place on the ballot after extensive litigation, brought by the Democrats, and was later assessed a hefty $89,821 penalty by the Pennsylvania courts to be paid to the Democrats for court-related costs. Nader appealed the assessment and was recently denied a hearing by the U.S. Supreme Court. Emboldened, lawyers for the Democrats have now entered the costly order as a final judgment in an ongoing effort to enforce the penalty.

Nader attorney Oliver Hall says about the post-election vendetta, "They have overreached and gone way too far, it is unprecedented." The obvious chilling effect on independents and minor party candidates is not lost on Carl Romanelli, the 2006 Green Party would-be candidate for U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania. Romanelli, too, has been hit by the Democrats with a huge bill for their costs in removing him from the ballot and has been ordered to pay $89,668.

If successful in Pennsylvania, Democrat legislators around the country will likely introduce similar punitive election laws in other states, particularly "swing" states, in a preventive effort to keep independents and minor party candidates off the ballot.

Capital University law professor Mark Brown has studied the 2004 legal wrangling that took Nader off the ballot in Pennsylvania and recently published a law review article on the affair. Brown discovered the Democrats were aided by a judge who may have been motivated by animus toward Nader's candidacy.

Nader needed 25,697 signatures on his nomination petitions to get a spot on the Pennsylvania ballot and submitted approximately 52,000. A week after filing the petitions the Secretary of State accepted Nader's nomination after tossing about 5,000 signatures for various reasons. That same day, August 9, 2004, eight Democrat "objectors" represented by two dozen lawyers challenged some 37,000 of the remaining signatures. After weeks of legal wrangling eleven judges were assigned the monumental task of a line-by-line review of Nader's petitions.

Judge James Collins, who assessed the $89,821 bill, led the review declaring Nader's petitions were "rife with forgeries" and that "this signature gathering process was the most deceitful and fraudulent exercise ever perpetrated upon this Court." Collins alleged that "thousands of names" were "created at random"…a view dissented from by Justice Saylor of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court who declared the Nader campaign had not been shown to have engaged in any kind of "systemic" fraud and that only 687 signatures out of 51,273 had actually been rejected for forgery.

Professor Brown has discovered that Judge Collins personally ruled that 568 of the 687 purported forgeries were fraudulent leaving the other ten judges to find only 119 forgeries. Collins and two of the other reviewing judges discarded thousands of signatures on very "technical and complicated" criteria including a missing middle initial, use of ditto marks, or mixing printing with cursive writing. Collins ended up rejecting 70% of the 10,794 signatures he reviewed.

Brown wrote in his law review article, "Moreover, the eleven judges who reviewed Nader's signature submissions apparently employed different standards to invalidate signatures at alarmingly different rates." In a footnote, Brown notes that 3,500 signatures were invalidated for unstated reasons.

Brown writes there was a "concerted Democratic program to purge Nader from the presidential ballot." Further, "The lesson to be drawn from the 2004 presidential race is that neither major party can be trusted to police a general election ballot. Major party interests naturally lean more toward rigging and sabotaging than insuring fair and competitive fights."

"The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court pressed just under a dozen judges into service at different locations over the course of two weeks to canvass 52,000 signatures submitted by the Nader campaign. Not only did this Herculean effort push the Nader campaign beyond its legal and technical capacity--some of the proceedings were not even attended by Nader's lawyers--the eleven judges invalidated signatures at alarmingly different rates."

"Forcing lawyers to scramble among a dozen courtrooms in as many days to uphold an agency's decision authorizing ballot access is neither measured nor productive. The practice is not only constitutionally objectionable, but it also facilitates a moneyed effort to veto a political outsider's participation in the electoral arena."

Attorney Hall says that Ralph Nader is still reviewing his options regarding the costly and punitive order issued by Judge Collins to punish Nader's bid for public office.

Professor Brown concludes his analysis of the Democratic legal attack on Nader, "I suspect that as long as America's political system rewards an empty lust for power, politicians and judges will continue to turn blind eyes to fair procedures."

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