Greener Times

Promoting a sustainable society…one day at a time.

GT for December 15 – 21

Posted by Trey Smith on December 13, 2008

Greener Times for the Week of December 15 – 21

Volume 3 No. 35

an e-publication for Greens anywhere and everywhere

Trey Smith – Publisher/Editor
Tom Herring, Duff Badgley & Maryrose Asher – Columnists

In This Week’s Issue
* GPNY Calls the Appointment of Clinton as Secretary of State “Four More Years Without Change!”
* Greens Offer 6 Big Steps for Economic Recovery
* Thoughts By the Way: Money as Debt
* Our Climate Crisis: “Planned Recession”
* Un-Spinning the Spin: Time to Re-Think the “Protest Industry” Part II
* This Week in History
* Letters to the Editor
* Pencil Shavings: Moving Beyond Delusions
* News You May Have Missed

GPNY Calls the Appointment of Clinton as Secretary of State “Four More Years Without Change!”
The Green Party of New York State strongly condemns the decision of President-elect Barack Obama to appoint New York Senator Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State in his incoming administration.

By choosing Clinton, Obama either has failed to understand or, more likely, has simply decided to ignore the will of his constituents, who overwhelmingly oppose the war. In every respect, this appointment, as well as the fact that not one Senator or House member who voted against the war has been considered worthy to join his foreign policy team, appears to suggest that the new president’s policies will, in substance, continue the bellicose policies of previous administrations which have brought such turmoil to our county, and particularly to the people of the Middle East, resulting in a world outraged over American foreign policy.

“When Senator Obama launched his campaign, much of his appeal to voters in the primaries was his initial opposition to the invasion of Iraq during his time as an Illinois state senator,” said Howie Hawkins, Green Party nominee for US Senator from New York in 2006. “During those primaries, Obama positioned himself as a peace candidate, despite his consistent votes in the Senate to fund the war, in contrast to antiwar legislators during Vietnam, many of whom voted to cut off funding for that earlier war. And now he has appointed to head the State Department a politician who has refused ever to admit that her support for the Iraq War was wrong.”

The following history makes clear that Clinton’s views represent the antithesis of the peace movement and of the Green Party, the political arm of that movement:

* Clinton voted for the Iraq war with enthusiasm (though without, as columnist Maureen Dowd has noted, bothering to read the intelligence estimate), thus contributing her prestige within the Senate and among the general public in support of an internationally illegal and unconstitutional policy of aggressor nation preventive war.

* She was a passionate cheerleader for the invasion as late as May 2005, when, in an infamous speech, she praised the war as a glorious struggle for Iraq’s liberation, not as an act of national self-defense as it was originally sold to Americans, and she remarked that the troops themselves were on “freedom’s frontlines.” (Curiously, Donald Rumsfeld would use that exact phrase while speaking to a veterans’ group at the Lincoln Memorial just five days later.)

* In a frightening interview on Good Morning America, she coolly maintained that as president she would “totally obliterate” Iran if that nation attacked Israel with a nuclear weapon, should it “foolishly” decide to develop and use such a weapon within “ten years.” This position ignores the fact that a) there is no consensus among experts that Iran desires to develop such a weapon, or b) that Iran is capable, within ten years (or more, for that matter), of developing one even if it wanted to do so, or c) that Iran would launch a first strike against Israel if it did develop one, and d) that the official with the power to launch such a strike is not Iran’s controversial President Ahmadinejad, but the Ayatollah Khamenei, who has issued a fatwa (applicable not only to Iranians, but to all Shiite Muslims) against the development and use of all nuclear weapons.

* In 2006, she gave unconditional support to the bombings and attacks on civilians in Lebanon by the State of Israel.

* She has consistently opposed any efforts to end the illegal occupation of Palestine, including the recent brutal blockade of Gaza.

The choice of Clinton is just one of a series of disturbing appointments by Obama to key positions in his administration that make a mockery of Obama’s campaign mantra of “change” for the nation. These include the choice of Iraq hawk Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff, the reappointment of Robert Gates as Defense Secretary and the selection of John Brennan (who played a major role in Bush’s practice of extraordinary rendition, torture at Guantanamo and warrantless wiretapping) to lead the review of intelligence agencies.

In addition to its inappropriateness to Obama’s image as a “transformative” president, the selection of Clinton also raises serious conflict-of-interest issues. Clinton has raised enormous sums for both her senatorial and presidential campaigns from a slew of corporate interests, that have their own foreign policy agendas. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, poses even more disturbing problems. For example, sometime in 2006, the ex-president received a $31 million donation to his presidential library from a Canadian financier named Frank Giusta. This would be unremarkable, except for the fact that Giusta several months earlier had accompanied the former president to Kazakhstan to meet its President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, while in the process of trying to win a contract that would give him, Giusta, access to much of Kazakhstan’s rich uranium resources. Within a few weeks, Giusta’s totally unknown shell company was granted the contract.

Furthermore, at that very meeting, Clinton publicly praised Nazarbayev for his progress on human rights (President Bush, many legislators and even Hillary Clinton herself insist there has been no such progress) and proclaimed his support for Nazarbayev’s plan to get himself appointed head of the international election-monitoring organization, the OSCE, the very organization that had ruled several of Nazarbayev’s own elections fraudulent. Two years later, Nazarbayev was appointed to head the OSCE for one year.

With Obama’s nomination of Hillary Clinton not representing any believable nor needed change, the Green Party calls for her appointment to be the Secretary of State to be rejected; her being unsuitable to fulfill the advertised Obama mandate.

Greens Offer 6 Big Steps for Economic Recovery
Green Party leaders said today that the incoming Obama Administration and Congress should take six major steps to reverse the financial meltdown and restore financial security for Americans.

The steps include a Green public works program, aid for state and muncipal governments, expansion of mass transit, Single-Payer health care, a peace dividend gained by ending the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and an end to the wasteful war on drugs.

Green Party candidates running for local, state, and national office in 2008 promoted many of these ideas even before the crisis precipitated. In September, Cynthia McKinney published a ten-point list of solutions and reforms in response to the Wall Street meltdown, titled “Seize the Time”.

Greens expressed support for United Electrical Workers union members occupying a Republic Windows and Doors plant in Chicago after the plant was shut down and they were laid off with three days’ notice and told they had no assurance of receiving severance and unused vacation pay. The company’s creditor, Bank of America, received $25 billion from the government’s financial bailout package. Greens said that the bank’s actions, including refusal to allow Republic to give workers 60 days notice (as required by law), demonstrates how bailout money isn’t being used to assist working Americans facing financial hardship.

Six Green steps for economic recovery:

(1) Enact a massive Green public works program, creating new living-wage jobs in conservation (including weatherization and energy retro-fitting); clean and safe energy technologies to replace fossil fuel and nuclear sources and create a carbon-free economy; repair and improvement of America’s deteriorating infrastructure (especially water and sewer systems); and improvement of public schools and Green job training programs.

“The collapse of the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis in 2007 was a result of the neglect and starvation of funds for maintaining infrastructure that was built decades ago. The ideology of privatization and hostility to ‘big government’ is no longer tenable during the financial crisis — the current White House and Congress conceded as much when they began pushing for bailouts. Public works programs built America, and public works, with hundreds of thousands of new Green jobs, is what America needs now for economic recovery,” said Rosa Clemente, the Green Party’s 2008 candidate for Vice President.

“We’re encouraged that President-elect Obama intends to launch a public works program along these basic lines, but we hope Congress and his own administration don’t undermine and dilute such a program out of traditional Democratic and Republican loyalty to corporate interests and fear of being labeled liberal or socialist. It’s time to follow the lead of the Green Jobs For All movement,” Ms. Clemente added.

(2) Bail out financially ailing towns, cities, and states before bailing out private corporations: millions of public sector and contractor jobs depend on the fiscal security of municipal and state governments.

Greens noted that municipalities and states are businesses that drive state and local economies throughout the US. They also provide the social safety net that millions of working people need during the current crisis.

(3) Jumpstart our country’s mass transit system, giving people an alternative to cars while saving them money and providing jobs.

“Making autos more efficient will only get us part way toward solving our energy and climate challenges. We need to get people out of their cars altogether. Communities need the ability to provide local solutions for mass transportation: new trains, subways, light rail wherever they fit,” said Wes Rolley, co-chair of the Green Party’s EcoAction Committee.

(4) Enact a Single-Payer/Medicare For All national health plan, providing every American with coverage and removing the burden of health care from small and large private businesses.

“The skyrocketing cost of health care under our private health care system has created much of the economic instability as businesses struggle to provide workers health benefits. If President Obama and Congress have the political will to resist the power of the insurance, HMO, and pharmaceutical industries that siphon their profits off America’s need for health care, the relief that Single-Payer will be a huge economic boost,” said Sanda Everette, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States.

Single-Payer would cover all Americans regardless of income, employment, residence, age, or prior medical condition, allowing choice of health care provider, and costing working people far less than they now pay for private coverage. In 2003, the New England Journal of Medicine published an article estimating that Single-Payer could cut health care costs by $350 billion annually. Greens sharply criticized Barack Obama during the election season for rejecting Single-Payer out of concern for health insurance companies.

(5) End the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

“The staggering expense of the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions and occupations haven’t only cost American, Iraqi, and Afghan lives. It also ate up trillions of dollars away that could have been spent on human and environmental needs. If we call home our troops right now, we can divert the money needed for military occupations to Green public works and other programs to jumpstart the economy — a new peace dividend,” said Starlene Rankin, co-chair of the Lavender Green Caucus.

The Green Party opposed both wars from the beginning and has criticized Mr. Obama’s plans for delayed and partial troop withdrawal from Iraq and for sending more troops to Afghanistan.

(6) End the war on drugs, which wastes billions annually, hasn’t curbed drug use, and ruins lives by incarcerating nonviolent offenders (mostly young, African American, Latino, and poor white) at further government expense.

“The war on drugs is America’s longest and costliest war. With Afghanistan providing the world’s world’s biggest poppy crop, it’s one of the main reasons the US is fighting a war there,” said Cliff Thornton, co-chair of the Green Party and co-founder of Efficacy, Inc., which promotes major reforms in drug policy.

Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron has estimated that legalizing cannabis would save federal, state, and local governments $44 billion a year in enforcement costs. Governments could collect another $33 billion in revenues by taxing cannabis as heavily as alcohol and tobacco.

Thoughts By the Way: Money as Debt
Tom Herring is a Community Council member on Vashon Island. Catch more of Tom’s thoughts on his blog.

A funny thing happened on the way to national bankruptcy. A widely circulated 2006 animation by a BC artist revealed the cause, but near as I can tell the response was, yeah, that’s basic banking. Bankruptcy is basic banking?

Not funny at all was Thomas Jefferson’s statement that “Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.”

Gee, you could have fooled me. I thought the only peoples on earth who detested usury were Muslims. You mean we should have followed Allah instead of Alan? Darn it, without banks we’d still be hunters and gatherers; everybody knows you have to borrow in order to buy seed. And, computers, how do you think Apple got started? Had to accept an offer from a snake. Don’t get me started!

According to that animation, when you accept money issued by a bank, you have given the bank control over your life … and that control will be boom and bust, bubble and burst. The story seems simple. But it isn’t, and so no explanation is attempted. But, as the story unfolds. it becomes obvious that every banker knows heershe is stealing from the public, and painfully obvious that we go along because only with banking can we get our daily high from consumption.

And now, 2009. Congress and the new administration will tightrope their way between paying off their owners and starting a revolution. People will ask in vain, hello, anybody home?

The animated DVD by artist and iconoclast Paul Grignon will be found at http://www.moneyasdebt.net/.

Our Climate Crisis: “Planned Recession”
Duff Badgley is the leader of the One Earth Climate Action Group and was a candidate for Governor as a Green in 2008. He can be reached at 206-283-0621.

We need a planned economic recession– make it a major global depression– to avoid creating climate conditions so fierce they “would haunt humanity until the end of time”.

One of our leading climate scientists, Kevin Anderson, is finally saying it.

Global economic fall is good for our species and all Earth’s creatures. Without radically reduced economic activity, he says, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations will soar beyond 650ppm (parts per million) and create what has been considered, until now, unthinkable climate conditions-conditions that could expand our current mass species die-off to include most homo sapiens.

Senior NASA climate scientist Jim Hansen says that staying above 350ppm will bring “climate cataclysm”. An entire climate campaign has been built around 350ppm. The EU holds that the safe level to avoid climate catastrophe is 450ppm. Current CO2 concentrations are 385ppm, up from 280ppm before the Industrial Revolution, and escalating 2-3ppm each year.

And now serious debate is starting to focus on 650ppm as unavoidable.

Anderson is an expert at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at Manchester University (U.K.). He spoke to a recent high-level academic conference on global warming at Exeter University. His colleagues did not dispute his findings.

Anderson said runaway global carbon dioxide emissions, rising much faster than anyone had thought possible, make staying below 650ppm “improbable.”

“And even that bleak future, Anderson said, could only be achieved if rich countries adopted ‘draconian emission reductions within a decade’. Only an unprecedented ‘planned economic recession’ might be enough. The current financial woes would not come close.”

I propose for starters: let GM and Chrysler die, pull the plug on the other automakers, and start a massive national re-training program. We need lots of window caulkers and solar panel installers. They’ll earn less. But so will we all, if we are to avoid murderous collapse.

These re-training programs must be run by those who will participate in them—the workers. An inspiring example: rank-and-file UAW members “caravanned” to Washington, D.C. last week demanding to be heard during the Big 3 automaker bail-out talks. Our capitalist leaders and craven politicians have given us our Climate Crisis. They should be disqualified from leadership positions. And their wealth heavily carbon taxed.

Do we want to survive as a civilized species? Do we want other species left on our Earth?

Un-Spinning the Spin: Time to Re-Think the “Protest Industry” Part II
Maryrose Asher is a former Chair of the Green Party of Washington State and a tireless activist of many causes.

Last week I ended by saying that the Protest Industry has worked against any real opposition to Democrats, even if these legislators have voted contrary to the mandate they received in 2006 to end the Iraq occupation. Many of the Players are also Democratic operatives working within the antiwar movement. The obvious conclusion is that these operatives have embedded themselves within the peace movement to work against independents or third parties who are trying to break the corporatocracy.

Below, in part, is a commentary by Gilles d’Aymery from Swans that lists the major actors within the antiwar and peace movement. In his commentary, Mr. D’Aymery is reacting to the treatment Cindy Sheehan received from this group after she announced she was leaving the Democratic Party.

Antiwar and peace activists have long been co-opted by the Democrats through myriad non-profit organizations and celebrity dissenters (Bill Moyers, Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden, Medea Benjamin, Amy Goodman, Laura Flanders, Phil Donahue, Jesse Jackson, Michael Moore, Helen Thomas, Dennis Kucinich, Martin Sheen, etc.) whose only purpose is to confine activists within the boundaries of political acceptability, to funnel the flow of resistance and dissent toward the Democrats.

She [Cindy Sheehan] had joined the board of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), a board filled with the who’s who of the antiwar movement—e.g., Medea Benjamin (CodePink), Jeff Cohen (co-founder of FAIR), John Conyers (D-MI), Jodie Evans (CodePink), Tom Hayden, Thom Hartmann (Air America), Barbara Lee (D-CA), David Swanson (more on him below), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Diane Watson (D-CA), Lyle Wing (Rainbow PUSH Coalition), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), etc. She was lauded by all these organizations (CodePink, MoveOn.org, Daily Kos, UFPJ, and the like) till she set in motion her second thoughts. That’s when they dropped her cold (cf.Medea Benjamin). She had served them well—but had overstayed her welcome and was subsequently being ditched through thousands of little cuts.

…only Cindy Sheehan has been accused of being a “whore” by that crowd. Remarkable achievement…

David Swanson deserves a special mention in the annals of antiwar triangulation in favor of the Democrats. Here’s a man who drinks at all the troughs of the Democratic spigots, all the while advancing his career. The ubiquitous Swanson is a director of democrats.com (the “Aggressive Democrats!” no less) and of impeachPAC.org (“Electing a Congress to impeach Bush and Cheney”); he created MeetWithCindy.org and is on the board of PDA; he co-founded afterdowningstreet.org (another impeachment site); he was the press secretary for the 2004 Kucinich presidential campaign (recall that Kucinich delivered all his delegates, with one exception, to the Kerry-Edwards ticket); he worked for the International (an AFL-CIO outfit that is a clear Democratic storefront). His entire professional journey is that of a Democratic Party backbencher. As a smooth and smart operator, he even contributes regularly to Counterpunch, delivering scathing criticisms against a party he fully supports and assisting in neutralizing (if not wholly neutering) the antiwar movement.

These Democratic operatives work mostly in tandem within myriad organizations. Medea Benjamin moves effortlessly from CodePink to Global Exchange, United for Peace and Justice, PDA, and other groups. Tim Carpenter, the national director of PDA, is a co-founder of afterdowningstreet.org. He also delivered a speech at the 1992 Democratic National Convention and was on the staff of Bill Clinton’s 1996 presidential campaign, which might suggest that progressive politics lay in the eyes of the beholder.

This is very similar to the Backbone Campaign’s treatment of Cynthia McKinney. While she was a Democrat, they awarded her the Backbone award. Once she left the Democratic Party and decided to run as a presidential candidate for the Green Party, leaders of the organization spread rumors about her and did not even attend a fundraiser held in their own backyard (Vashon Island) when she visited the island in the fall of 2007.

In The Uprising, referenced in last week’s column, Sirota states, “The uprising has, up until now, been unable and/or unwilling to force most Democratic politicians to even listen to it.”

He concludes,

If Democratic officeholders know that there is no functional antiwar uprising ready to punish them for their war support, then they will just preserve the status quo — regardless of the television ads against Republicans; regardless of the Protest Industry theatrics on the mall; regardless of the Players’ appearances on obscure shows like Hardball; and worst of all, regardless of American troops dying in Iraq.

This raises the question as to why these operatives, despite their genuine antiwar sentiments, are so loyal to the Democratic Party. The reason goes back to the 1972 presidential election and the so-called “McGovern Fable.”

While the Left’s open confrontation with the Democratic Party may have helped end the Vietnam War, it also led to the nomination of George McGovern whose landslide loss to Nixon over the “national security gap” paved the way for 20 to 28 years of Republican presidents. Or so goes the fable.

In 2006, scholar Mark Schmitt wrote on his blog that the McGovern Fable is a sham, “The real reason the Vietnam War divided and discredited Democrats and splintered the liberal consensus was because — let’s not be afraid to admit it — Democrats started that war. Opposition to the war didn’t unify or define the party, it divided it. Nixon won the 1968 election because [Hubert] Humphrey was associated with the war [and] couldn’t split with [Lyndon B. Johnson].

Schmitt also points out that the 75 Democrats who won congressional seats during the 1974 mid-term election were “overwhelmingly antiwar.”

However, the McGovern Fable was the basis for the “lesser of two evils” argument the Democrats have used for every election since then and is the reason many antiwar Democrats refuse to vote or support any candidate outside of the Democratic Party.

Since the current Protest Industry and Players are infiltrated by Democratic Party operatives and have essentially weakened the antiwar movement, it is time for a new Movement—one that will lead to real change and certainly one that will not be afraid to take on the major political parties. Next week’s column will have specific suggestions on how we can build this Movement.

Conclusion in next week’s Greener Times

Supplemental reading: Swans commentaries. Their mission statement: “In a time of revisionism, faux-semblant spinning news and skewed information. Swans is about thinking, questioning, observing, and providing ideas that are lacking in the mainstream media.”

This Week in History
This Week in History, published by Carl Bunin and edited by Al Frank, is a collection designed to help us appreciate the fact that we are part of a rich history advocating peace and social justice. While the entries often focus on large and dramatic events there are so many smaller things done everyday to promote peace and justice. Find more info at http://www.peacebuttons.info/E-News/thisweek.htm.

December 15, 1930: Albert Einstein urged militant pacifism and the creation of an international war resistance fund. Einstein stated in New York that if two percent of those called for military service were to refuse to fight, and were to urge peaceful means of settling international conflicts, then governments would become powerless since they could not imprison that many people. He struggled against compulsory military service and urged international protection of conscientious objectors. He concluded that peace, freedom for individuals, and security for societies depended on disarmament; otherwise, “slavery of the individual and the annihilation of civilization threaten us.”

December 18, 1999: Julia Butterfly Hill descended from her tiny platform 180 feet up in a giant redwood tree (sequoia sempervivens) named “Luna,” after perching there for 738 days to protect it from loggers. Luna survived a chainsaw attack in 2001 but still stands. “The question is not ‘Can you make a difference?’ You already do make a difference. It’s just a matter of what kind of difference you want to make during your life on this planet.”

December 21, 1919: Amidst a strike for union recognition by 395,000 steelworkers, the “Red Scare” was launched with the deportation of Alexander Berkman, Emma Goldman, and some 250 other radicals. They were deported to Russia aboard the S. S. Buford (“The Soviet Ark”). J. Edgar Hoover, heading the Justice Department’s General Intelligence Division, advanced his career by implementing to the fullest extent possible the government’s plan to deport all foreign-born radicals.

Letters to the Editor
Got something you want to get off your chest? Did an article in a previous edition of Greener Times make you madder than a hornet or cause you to stand up to say, “Right on!”? Well, this space is reserved each week for your comments and opinions.

No letters received.

Pencil Shavings: Moving Beyond Delusions
Pencil Shavings appears in this space most weeks and solely represents the opinions of the publisher. If you’d like to read more of Trey’s ruminations, visit The Rambling Taoist.

For the past few weeks I’ve received information from GPUS indicating their belief that Malik Rahim had an excellent chance to win or, at least, impact the Dec. 6 election for a US House seat in Louisiana’s 2nd District. Yet, after all the hoopla and bravado, Rahim finished with LESS THAN 3% of the vote; needless to say, he didn’t win.

Now I’m not disparaging Malik at all. I’m sure he put is all into his campaign and, if we run candidates, he’s the precise type of person we need. But we’ve got to get rid of these delusions of grandeur. We must face the fact that it is next too impossible for a Green Party candidate to win a seat either on the federal or state level. The system has been set up to insure that we lose and, true to form, we lose almost every single time out.

This past year 143 Greens ran for state or federal office and only 1 — about one-half of 1% — won their race. The one candidate who did win — Richard Carroll in Arkansas — RAN UNOPPOSED. In other words, we won 0% in head-to-head battles with other political party candidates. However you try to frame it, that’s an embarrassing percentage.

I know that some people will suggest that we simply need to get our campaigns better organized and we need to work on better campaign strategies. For me, that’s all well and good, but these variables don’t explain why we don’t win. No, the reason we don’t win is because of a lack of financial resources and this fact is not going to change. The reason it is not going to change is that Greens, by our very nature, are out ahead of the curve and that’s not where the money is. The big money is reserved for those political parties and candidates who support the status quo and, to a much lesser extent, those on the periphery of the status quo. We’re not within a stone’s throw of the periphery.

For example, in the 70s and 80s, Greens (and I don’t just mean our political party) were clamoring for wide-scale recycling efforts. Few people listened to us then and even fewer contributed the big bucks. Corporate America and government fought us on this issue at every turn. In time, a lot folks started catching on. Today, corporations and many governments have embraced the concept of recycling. But, because we stay ahead of the curve, we’ve left recycling in the dust.

Today, we’re pushing for policies that make mere recycling look like child’s play and we’re encountering the very same resistance as before. The rest of the world will catch up with us at some point, but when they do, we’ll already be out ahead of the curve again.

Consequently, the very idea that we’ll one day be “in the money” is poppycock, in my opinion. The money will always be behind us down a distant road and this means our chances of winning state and federal races will be far back down that same road too. Consequently, if we still want to enter state and federal races, we need to do so for a different reason altogether — to build a movement!

In essence, we need to borrow a page from the Ralph Nader play book. When Ralph served as our party’s presidential candidate in 2000 and again as an independent candidate in 2004, he built subsequent organizations out of his base of supporters — organizations that worked in many of the areas he brought to the fore in his campaigns. These organizations were not overtly political, but they continued the work in a variety of ways.

While Duff Badgley’s run for governor was controversial with some GPoWS members, to my way of thinking, he is the precise type of candidate we need to run more of. Duff didn’t run to impact the governor’s race at all; he ran to help publicize a specific issue and to build grassroots momentum. He ran in the hopes of building a stronger movement for climate change which, in my humble opinion, should be the GPoWS bread-and-butter issue for the foreseeable future.

News You May Have Missed
GMO Contamination in Mexico’s Cradle of Corn
Raise the alarm for Mexican corn’s biosecurity: a molecular study conducted by Mexican, American and Dutch researchers demonstrates the presence of genes from genetically modified organisms (GMO) among the varieties of traditional corn cultivated in the remote regions of Oaxaca State in the southern part of the country, even though the Mexican government has always maintained a moratorium on the use of transgenic seed…

One-Fifth of the World’s Corals Are Dead: Climate Change to Blame
The world has lost 19 percent of its coral reefs, according to the 2008 global update of the world’s reef status issued today. Climate change is considered the biggest threat to coral reefs. The main climate threats, such as increasing sea surface temperatures and ocean acidification, are compounded by other threats – overfishing, pollution and invasive species…

Recession Rooted in Self-Interest
While there are many technical explanations for the current recession, the underlying cause is the pervasive ideology of self-interest that has guided President Bush’s Administration and permeated mainstream American ethics. While George Bush ran for President as a born-again Christian and “compassionate conservative,” his behavior indicated he was guided not by the principles of Jesus but rather by a narcissistic morality of personal advantage. While making a revealing documentary about the 2000 Bush campaign, filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi asked the candidate why she should vote for him; Bush replied. “It’s in your interests.” Pelosi observed, “He didn’t push my country’s interest-but rather, my own.” Bush’s primary consideration was what’s in it for me?…

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