INTERVIEW: MICHAEL STEGER
California Candidate Looks to Pacific-Centered Economic Development
Michael Steger, who is running for the Democratic Primary nomination in California's 12 C.D. (San Francisco), was interviewed by Nancy Spannaus on April 10.
EIR: I'd like to begin by asking you to introduce yourself to our readership. They may know you as a member of the LaRouche Policy Committee, and thus a leader of the LaRouche movement. Would you like to add anything else?
Steger: Well, I should probably give a little bit of background. I've been political since I was young. My parents are both from the Midwest, Michigan, and loved Reagan. Having been born in 1977, my first vote was for Bill Clinton. I watched what happened in Kosovo closely in 1999, and remember distinctly the bombing of the Chinese Embassy there. I had also interned in D.C., right before the Lewinsky scandal broke, so these events stuck out in my mind.
In college, I studied the famines in Ethiopia. You know, when I was growing up, there were these TV ads to help the starving children of Africa, and all the celebrities asking for money, but you have to ask, why are there famines at all? Was it simply a lack of food? I found out that there was food in Ethiopia, but there was not a political commitment to make sure the people were fed. There was not the infrastructure to deliver the food where it was most needed. This stood out, this failure of economics, this depopulation program, which they teach in school.
So when I was introduced to Lyn [LaRouche]'s work on economics, it was like a drop of water in Death Valley. I soaked it up, because it was not only an advanced sense of economic science, as well as a revolution in scientific thought, by debunking the laws of thermodynamics, but it was also human and moral, and a beautiful sense of human potential. And coming from the culture of my generation, especially in California, that meant a lot. And joining Lyn's campaign was an obvious step.
Impeachment Is on the Table
EIR: I understand you are running for Congress in the 12th District in California, against quite an entrenched incumbent, Nancy Pelosi. I know your campaign is not oriented to local issues or personalities, but to bring strategic reality and solution to the voters, but I'm curious—what are the characteristics of the electorate you're addressing?
Steger: The district is all in San Francisco and heavily Democratic.
This city is facing the greatest disparity in the U.S. There is a massive financial Wall Street bubble throughout San Francisco and Silicon Valley, while nearly half of the city is facing an inability to pay basic bills, and rents are skyrocketing. Honestly, this city would not survive without the Chinese community. They are now over 30% of the population, and are a typical middle-class constituency. They are policeman and civil servants; they have families and want a better future. The irony is, that for their children to have that better future, they have to go back to China.
And this is a key factor in the campaign, that for the U.S. to revive a commitment to development and progress, to build the great projects like NAWAPA, and go nuclear, and create a driver for fusion energy, we are going to have to open up an immediate dialogue with Russia and China, which are the largest producers of nuclear power plants, of large infrastructure, and are our intrinsic partners in a Pacific-centered economic system.
China and South Korea are leading the way on fusion, while we, under Obama, have shut down our fusion research. Literally, it's shut down. I just talked to the former head of Lawrence Livermore Lab—there is total demoralization and anger, because we have shut down our scientific potential, and instead, are driving towards nuclear war.
That's the other side of this campaign. Pelosi was directly responsible for protecting Cheney and Bush in 2006 when she took impeachment off the table. Now, she is protecting Obama, while Obama protects Dick Cheney and Co. This is criminal, it is literally war crimes we are talking about. Right now we face the threat of nuclear extinction under Obama, so our slogan is, "Hey Nancy, impeachment is on the table," and "If you want to survive, flip the table over and impeach Obama."
The Drought Disaster
EIR From where I sit, it would appear that there is a shift among California Democrats away from Obama—as shown in the actions of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and maybe even Pelosi herself. How do you assess the situation?
Steger: There is hatred of the California Democratic Party in California. People here are not going to vote Republican for obvious reasons, but the Democratic Party in California is all gimmicks. They talk about an economic recovery for the state, but it was based on Facebook and Twitter tax revenues. These companies are either NSA fronts or Potemkin Villages for Wall Street organized crime. It's not an economy.
And now the drought is hitting hard, and the real economy of California, what's left of it after [former Gov. Arnold] Schwarzenegger, which is now mainly agricultural, is being decimated. Whole groves of nut and fruit trees ripped up, nearly a million acres fallowed because of no water. By this Summer, entire towns, productive food-growing areas are going to be turned into ghost towns. This is a disaster, and because of the residual problems of brushfires, etc., this drought is going to undermine any surplus the state thinks it has, forcing more cuts to education, social programs, etc.
And the California Democratic Party—what is their plan? Try to build more dams, which won't be built for ten years, and try to legally negotiate water contracts so that these small towns which will have nothing, may get a little water. This is a disaster. Add to this, the fracking hysteria, because California has the largest deposits of natural gas for fracking in the U.S., and you see the breakdown in the Wall Street-controlled green hysteria of the California Democratic Party.
Because California has to frack to survive at this point. They have shut down the nuclear power plants; they have forced out any coal or oil plants because of carbon emissions; and solar and wind are simply monstrosities. Solar will work for an outhouse in Death Valley but that's it; it won't power a state like California. So now we're fracking, pumping precious water along with chemical cocktails into the ground and water supply, ruining these resources within a generation, all to "save the environment." It's lunacy, and it's breaking down around them. The problem is, they are paralyzed by impotence and stupidity, and the most vulnerable, like the farm families, like the growing poor throughout the city areas, are going to face murderous consequences.
So, what we presented to the members of the state legislature was straightforward: The only solution is to throw Obama out now, and revive the real Democratic Party tradition of FDR and JFK. Add to that, the LaRouche program of development and a Hamiltonian banking system, and California and the rest of the nation can be revived in the near term. Otherwise, the only way to solve the drought would be to actually break off and fall into the Pacific Ocean, and that's not my kind of vacation.
Food Production vs. Green Insanity
EIR: You have put a very heavy focus in your campaign on combatting the worst of the California scene, with the very best, the former being the Green ideology which has allowed the current life-threatening drought to go unaddressed for decades, and the latter being the scientific capability embodied in the nation's most prominent laboratories, some of which are located in your region. Can you give us an idea of how you are mobilizing, and the response?
Steger: The drought is reaching a critical juncture. There are almost no short-term steps that will suffice to get us through this year. It is triage, a war-time situation here for the Valley. And I want to remind people, the Central Valley is the most productive food-growing area in the world. It's got rich soil, in some cases 20 feet deep. There are some thin clay layers, but the rich soil runs deep because the Valley was at one time under the ocean. So there are rich deposits. Plus the air is arid, which plants love, as humans do also. It's dry, which means there are fewer bugs and other pests.
So when we brought water to the Central Valley, as well as the Imperial Valley, we developed one of the main food-growing areas of the world, and set a precedent for human economy with our intervention into so-called nature, which was breeding desert before, and we built an oasis of rich food production. This Valley can grow everything, and grow it better than anywhere else.
I will give you an example. A friend who teaches at CSU Fresno: He's from China, the western regions, and he grew up without plumbing until he was 16, so he has a sense of upward development, and he's one of the best scientists in hydrology that we have. His friends in China, in the Academy of Sciences, are working on arid farming in the west of China, and they are making great breakthroughs, like growing watermelons, and even rice, with arid farming! It's good scientific work on food production. But they also grow what's called a Chinese date, which is usually smaller than the dates we're used to, but still sweet.
So when his friend visited, he wanted to see those particular dates here, and my friend said, we wouldn't grow those; there's no reason to grow those here, when you can grow the best of everything. Then, while they were literally driving down the road near Fresno, they saw a Chinese date tree. My friend was shocked, but not nearly as much as his friend was, because when they looked at the dates, they were three, even four times bigger than the ones in China! He was amazed, and could only imagine what he could grow in this Valley.
And that's the point. Anyone caught saying we shouldn't grow food in California should be locked up, or put in a mental hospital at least, because it's an insanity that will lead to mass death. The real green agenda is what we did up through the 1960s with the water projects, and so it must be with NAWAPA XXI today. That's the only answer; and because of the drought, we are finding a strong response to this proposal, from farmers and local leaders, to state engineers and institutions.
Just to take up the last part of your question, it's these state engineers, who are responsible for the resources of our state, the land, water, and power, who must come up with a solution to this drought crisis. Their hands have been tied for decades, but things are now getting desperate. We have been presenting the question of fusion energy to these layers, and they get it. It's not jubilation, because the pessimism is high, but they get the engineering potential of what this technology brings. The temperatures alone for desalination could double potable water worldwide. We can transform our entire resource base, and this is the answer to the crisis.
Unfortunately, as I said, fusion research is shut down, and the scientists are relocating, literally as we speak. This is a crisis, but it's one we can solve. It's going to take some leadership, and some larger mental wards for the die-hard, rabid greenies out there, but we can solve the problem, and that's the role of the campaign, I would say.
The Empire Goes for War
EIR: As I believe you have pointed out in recent conferences of the Schiller Institute in California, the state is unique in the nation, as a threshold area for a U.S. orientation to the Pacific, particularly, collaboration with China, and with a very significant Asian population.
Steger: Well, since I've already addressed this, let me say something more, but from a different standpoint. We are facing the threat of world war. The situation is similar to the drive for war in the last century. We are facing a Goebbels-style media campaign against Russia and China, especially Russia over the Ukraine situation, but also Syria. We are now seeing a massive build-up of troops, NATO troops, along the borders of Eastern Europe.
But this war is not a conventional war. In World War I, the Germans introduced the large artillery which practically drove the French all the way back to the Rhône before the trench warfare began. In World War II, the modern tank changed the nature of warfare—its speed, along with aircraft—and this created even greater damage, as we saw in Berlin and Tokyo.
But since the end of World War II, we have faced the threat of thermonuclear warfare, extinction warfare, and the only place the bombs have been dropped is in Asia, and by the U.S., by Truman, under direction from that Malthusian and British imperialist Winston Churchill. As with those wars, we are now seeing an attack on Germany, as the centerpiece of collaboration between Europe and Asia. The sanctions against Russia will hit Germany the hardest, and there is real resistance by German business and political layers. The President of China [Xi Jinping] just made a very significant trip to Germany because of its important economic ties for global development.
So, one must understand that we are in a drive for war, now, and it could be launched at any moment—another world war, a thermonuclear World War III, and this must be prevented at all costs. The drive is coming from the same location as before, because the wars were not provoked by Germany—obviously, Hitler was the aggressor, but he was not German in character, he was a British and Wall Street creation. And that's the cause for the extinction war today.
The British Empire is bankrupt, as it was before. But through the wars, they dumped their debt onto Germany and others, and rescued their empire with the assistance of the U.S. under FDR, who knew that first Hitler had to be stopped, before we could dismantle the British Empire. Lincoln also knew that about the British, but both of them were killed, essentially, and what followed was a treason that allowed the Empire to continue.
So today, if we are going to end this century of warfare, and it has now been a full century, we must end this treason against our own Constitution. We must revive the real political tradition of our revolutionary nation, that of Washington and Hamilton, John Quincy Adams and Lincoln, FDR and JFK—that's the American tradition, and today it lies at the feet of the remaining patriotic layers in the Democratic Party.
They must now act, and the first step must be to throw Obama out, send him back to Hawaii, let him hang out with the Choom Gang, keep him away from people. But the Republicans, as we saw under Cheney, will accelerate the drive for war! So this must be stopped now! Obama must go; then we can open the door for the Pacific Century, of a nuclear renaissance, and a cultural one as well. NAWAPA tends towards Asia, to the Bering Strait tunnel; it's all there by design, but we must have a commitment from these layers, as Mr. LaRouche has taken up. This is the fight, now, before the disaster of the next elections.
A Unified Campaign: Texas and California
And this is why the unified campaign of Kesha Rogers in Texas, along with my campaign in San Francisco, is so important. Kesha's campaign represents the breakout of the Democratic Party against this Wall Street faction. Our unified campaign is the real Democratic Party and the people know it, they want it, but we have to fight for it. Kesha and I have a sense that this could be the breakpoint, and we are going to do everything we can to inspire this revival of the FDR tradition. It depends on others, now, to join our fight, and that's the point. We can win, but are you willing to risk victory, or are you content with defeat? That's the question that patriots in the Democratic Party must ask themselves—not about the election, simply, but our survival as a nation, and as a species.
 Obama's pot-smoking high school friends. See "Choom Gang: President Obama's pot-smoking high school days detailed in Maraniss book," Washington Post,May 25, 2012.