Greener Times

Promoting a sustainable society…one day at a time.

September 7 – 13

Posted by Trey Smith on September 5, 2009

Greener Times for the Week of September 7 – 13
Volume 4 No. 21
an e-publication for Greens anywhere and everywhere

Greener Times Collective: Maryrose Asher, Duff Badgley, Tom Herring and Trey Smith (Editor)

In This Week’s Issue
* How Will Global Warming Affect Me? Ask the Climate Wizard
* A Party, Not a Movement
* Cindy Sheehan’s Lonely Vigil in Obamaland
* Thoughts By the Way: Joan of Arc
* Our Climate Crisis: Climate SOS Tour
* Un-Spinning the Spin: The Bad Guys No Longer Wear Black Hats
* This Week in History
* Pencil Shavings: Fer Sale
* News You May Have Missed

How Will Global Warming Affect Me? Ask the Climate Wizard
by Dan Shapley of The Daily Green

On the heels of a National Wildlife Federation report that showed how we can expect more extreme heat waves, thanks to global warming, and in the midst of damaging California wildfires that are among the best indicators of climate change, The Nature Conservancy has published a first-of-its-kind calculator that lets you see just how global warming will affect you in your state: http://www.climatewizard.org/.

This is among the first Web-based tools that gives people access to information that has been widely available publicly, but largely locked up in dense pdf documents.

One conclusion: The American Heartland — Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa — is in for some serious changes, on the order of a 10-degree jump in average temperature by the end of this century. (Since the last Ice Age, the Earth’s temperature has increased about 15 degrees, so that’s nothing to sneeze at.)

“The state-by-state, country-by-country temperature projections are part of a new tool called Climate Wizard that allows people to use an interactive map to explore past and projected climate change data on their computers,” The Nature Conservancy states in its press release. “With Climate Wizard, users can zoom in on any location to quickly see how temperatures and precipitation may change by month, season or year under different emission scenarios.”

The maps go a long way toward illustrating some of the changes that are to come, under current projections from climate models if nothing is done to slow the pace of global warming. In my home, for instance, it looks like by 2100 the winter will be 10 degrees warmer and nearly 25% wetter. Sounds like a flood.

Flooding is a big deal where I live. Recent flooding in the Catskills has wrecked homes, and in my hometown, the water treatment plant has been critically damaged by flooding brought on by a series of deluges typically not seen more frequently than once every 100 years or so. For me, more flooding is likely to mean higher taxes, as my water plant needs repair or replacement or relocation.

Is 10 degrees and 25% more rain waiting for your community? Use the ClimateWizard to find out.

A Party, Not a Movement
by David Sirota

The difference between parties and movements is simple: Parties are loyal to their own power regardless of policy agenda; movements are loyal to their own policy agenda regardless of which party champions it. This is one of the few enduring political axioms, and it explains why the organizations purporting to lead an American progressive “movement” have yet to build a real movement, much less a successful one.

Though the 2006 and 2008 elections were billed as progressive movement successes, the story behind them highlights a longer-term failure. During those contests, most of Washington’s major labor, environmental, antiwar and anti-poverty groups spent millions of dollars on a party objective — specifically, on electing a Democratic president and Congress. In the process, many groups subverted their own movement agendas in pursuit of electoral unity.

The effort involved a sleight of hand. These groups begged their grassroots members — janitors, soccer moms, veterans and other “regular folks” — to cough up small-dollar contributions in return for the promise of progressive movement pressure on both parties’ politicians. Simultaneously, these groups went to dot-com and Wall Street millionaires, asking them to chip in big checks in exchange for advocacy that did not undermine those fat cats’ Democratic Party friends (or those millionaires’ economic privilege).

This wasn’t totally dishonest.

Many groups sincerely believed that Democratic Party promotion was key to achieving progressive movement causes. Additionally, during the Bush era, pushing progressive causes and helping Democrats was often one and the same, because those causes primarily indicted Republican obstructionists.

But after the 2008 election, the strategy’s bankruptcy is undeniable.

As we now see, union dues underwrote Democratic lawmakers who today block serious labor law reform and ignore past promises to fix NAFTA. Green groups’ resources elected a government that pretends sham “cap and trade” bills represent environmental progress. Health care groups, promising to push a single-payer system, got a president not only dropping his own single-payer promises, but also backing off a “public option” to compete with private insurance. And antiwar funding delivered a Congress that refuses to stop financing the Iraq mess, and an administration preparing to escalate the Afghanistan conflict.

Of course, frustrated progressives might be able to forgive the groups who promised different results, had these post-election failures prompted course corrections.

For example, had the left’s preeminent institutions responded to Democrats’ health care capitulation by immediately announcing campaigns against these Democrats, progressives could feel confident that these groups were back to prioritizing a movement agenda. Likewise, had the big antiwar organizations reacted to Obama’s Afghanistan escalation plans with promises of electoral retribution, we would know those organizations were steadfastly loyal to their antiwar brand.

But that hasn’t happened. Despite Democrats’ health care retreat, many major progressive groups spent the summer cheering them on, afraid to lose access and, thus, Beltway status. Meanwhile, The New York Times reports that Moveon.org has “yet to take a clear position on Afghanistan” while VoteVets’ leader all but genuflected to President Obama, saying, “People (read: professional political operatives) do not want to take on the administration.”

In this vacuum, movement building has been left to underfunded (but stunningly successful) projects like Firedoglake.com, Democracy for America, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and local organizations. And that’s the lesson: True grassroots movements that deliver concrete legislative results are not steered by marble-columned monoliths, wealthy benefactors or celebrity politicians — and they are rarely ever headquartered in Washington. They are almost always far-flung efforts by those focused on real-world results, not partisan vanity — those who don’t care about congressional cocktail parties or White House soirees they were never invited to in the first place.

Only when enough progressives realize this truism, will any movement — and any significant change — finally commence.

David Sirota is the author of “Hostile Takeover” and “The Uprising.” He hosts the morning show on AM760 in Colorado and blogs at OpenLeft.

Cindy Sheehan’s Lonely Vigil in Obamaland
by John V. Walsh for CounterPunch

Cindy Sheehan will be at Martha’s Vineyard beginning August 25 a short way from Obama’s vacation paradise of the celebrity elite but very far from the Afghanistan and Pakistan and Iraq where the body bags and cemeteries fill up each day as Obama’s wars rage on. She will remain there from August 25 through August 29 and has issued a call for all peace activists to join her there. For those of us close by in the New England states and in New York City, there would seem to be a special obligation to get to Martha’s Vineyard as soon as we can.

A funny thing has happened on Cindy Sheehan’s long road from Crawford, Texas, to Martha’s Vineyard. Many of those who claim to lead the peace movement and who so volubly praised her actions in Crawford, TX, are not to be seen. Nor heard. The silence in fact is deafening, or as Cindy put it in an email to this writer, “crashingly deafening.” Where are the email appeals to join Cindy from The Nation or from AFSC or Peace Action or “Progressive” Democrats of America (PDA) or even Code Pink? Or United for Peace and Justice. (No wonder UFPJ is essentially closing shop, bereft of most of their contributions and shriveling up following the thinly veiled protest behind the “retirement” of Leslie Cagan.) And what about MoveOn although it was long ago thoroughly discredited as principled opponents of war or principled in any way shape or form except slavish loyalty to the “other” War Party. And of course sundry “socialist” organizations are also missing in action since their particular dogma will not be front and center. These worthies and many others have vanished into the fog of Obama’s wars.

Just to be sure, this writer contacted several of the “leaders” of the “official” peace movement in the Boston area – AFSC, Peace Action, Green Party of MA (aka Green Rainbow Party) and some others. Not so much as the courtesy of a reply resulted from this effort – although the GRP at least posted a notice of the action. (It is entirely possible that some of these organizations might mention Cindy’s action late enough and quickly enough so as to cover their derrieres while ensuring that Obama will not be embarrassed by protesting crowds.) We here in the vicinity of Beantown are but a hop, skip and cheap ferry ride from Martha’s Vineyard. Same for NYC. So we have a special obligation to respond to Cindy’s call.

However, not everyone has failed to publicize the event. The Libertarians at Antiwar.com are on the job, and its editor in chief Justin Raimondo wrote a superb column Monday on the hypocritical treatment of Sheehan by the “liberal” establishment. (1) As Raimondo pointed out, Rush Limbaugh captured the hypocrisy of the liberal left in his commentary, thus:

“Now that she’s headed to Martha’s Vineyard, the State-Controlled Media, Charlie Gibson, State-Controlled Anchor, ABC: ‘Enough already.’ Cindy, leave it alone, get out, we’re not interested, we’re not going to cover you going to Martha’s Vineyard because our guy is president now and you’re just a hassle. You’re just a problem. To these people, they never had any true, genuine emotional interest in her. She was just a pawn. She was just a woman to be used and then thrown overboard once they’re through with her and they’re through with her. They don’t want any part of Cindy Sheehan protesting against any war when Obama happens to be president.”

Limbaugh has their number, just as they have his. Sometimes it is quite amazing how well each of the war parties can spot the other’s hypocrisy. But Cindy Sheehan is no one’s dupe; she is a very smart and very determined woman who no doubt is giving a lot of White House operatives some very sleepless nights out there on the Vineyard. Good for her.

Obama is an enormous gift to the Empire. Just as he has silenced most of the single-payer movement, an effort characterized by its superb scholarship exceeded only by its timidity, Obama has shut down the antiwar movement, completely in thrall as it is to the Democrat Party and Identity Politics. Why exactly the peace movement has caved to Obama is not entirely clear. Like the single-payer movement, it is wracked by spinelessness, brimming with reverence for authority and a near insatiable appetite to be “part of the crowd.” Those taken in by Obama’s arguments that the increasingly bloody and brutal AfPak war is actually a “war of necessity,” should read Steven Walt’s easy demolition of that “argument.” (2) Basically Obama’s logic is the same as Bush’s moronic rationale that “We are fighting them over there so we do not have to fight them over here.” There is a potential for “safe havens for terrorists,” as the Obamalogues and neocons like to call them, all over the world; and no one can possibly believe the US can invade them all. However, the ones which Israel detests or which allow control of oil pipelines or permit encirclement of China and Russia will see US troops sooner or later.

The bottom line is that everyone in New England and NYC who is a genuine antiwarrior should join the imaginative effort of Cindy Sheehan in Obamaland this week and weekend. We owe it to the many who will otherwise perish at the hands of the war parties of Bush and Obama.

1. See: http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2009/08/23/war-coverage-and-the-obama-cult/
Or go to Antiwar.com and make a contribution while you are there. It’s almost as good as CounterPunch.com.

2.See: http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/08/18/the_safe_haven_myth

John V. Walsh welcomes comments, and he looks forward to seeing crowds of CounterPunchers at Martha’s Vineyard this week and weekend.

Thoughts By the Way: Joan of Arc
Tom Herring is a former Vashon Island Community Council member, but now chooses to sort nails in his shop. Catch more of Tom’s thoughts on his blog.

The English tried her for heresy and killed her brutally, but religion had nothing to do with it. The French Charles VII whom Joan had indirectly caused to be crowned then got the Pope to reverse her conviction for heresy in order to clean up his baggage. This is a tale of hypocrisy, cruelty, and sham religion. We accept hypocrisy and sham religion as par for the course, but burning at the stake seems to us today to belong to an uncivilized past we can saw off and forget. Yet can we? Would it make any difference if we substituted the image of Joan at the stake for the image of Jesus on the cross? I’m going to go with Joan because the political events that killed her resemble present US foreign policy. I’ll argue that what our government by corporation is doing is just as bad as burning Joan at the stake. With that understanding maybe we will quit wasting time pleading and instead send some smoke signals.

The point is so obvious I wonder how to make this worth reading. We plead for investigation of torture as if the government can be reasoned with. We rally for single payer health care as if the government can be reasoned with. We march to end the Asian wars as if the government can be reasoned with. We lobby against a bad climate bill as if the government can be reasoned with. Enough. We fail to recognize that we are dealing with a human-like entity that thinks nothing of inflicting pain on children on the same scale as Joan. We are back in the year 1430 under the heel of power. Joan was killed in that particularly horrible way in order to let the public know the peril of disobedience. Just so, the purpose of Guantanamo is to let the public know the peril of opposition.

People need to gather, talk, and prepare, for they are on their own. The only defense against the human-like entity is cohesion within walking distance. The larger a group, an organization, a state, the greater the chance of corruption. Meanwhile we need to consider smoke. How about cultivating dollar-free communities?

Our Climate Crisis: Climate SOS Tour
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.

Editor’s Note: Duff will be filing reports from the road and each report will be posted on the Greener Times website. You can also find more information about the tour here.

Climate SOS is launching a nationwide car-free tour to defeat the climate bill now being considered in the Senate and to demand that any new legislation be grounded in science instead of politics.

Capping the tour on September 22, Climate SOS plans mass nonviolent civil disobedience, office occupations and protests in San Francisco, Seattle, Boston and New York. Climate SOS will occupy California senator Barbara Boxer’s office in San Francisco and Senator John Kerry’s Boston office on that day.

The Climate SOS Heartland Tour will feature meetings with senate staffers in North Dakota, Indiana, Arkansas, and Ohio. Climate SOS organizer Duff Badgley, traveling exclusively by bus and train, will touch down in Bismarck on September 8, in Indianapolis (September 10-11), Little Rock (Sept. 14-15), and Cleveland (Sept. 17-18). His message? “Kill the Bill—Worse Than Nothing is Not Good Enough!”

Climate scientist Dr. James Hansen has personally endorsed the Climate SOS campaign. According to Hansen, if the Senate climate bill is based upon the House-passed American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACESA), it will be “worse for the environment than doing nothing.”

Day One (Tuesday, September 8): Bismarck, North Dakota — Senator Kent Conrad (D) + Senator Byron Dorgan (D).
Day Two (Friday, September 11): Indianapolis, Indiana — Senator Richard Lugar (R) + Senator Evan Bayh (D).
Day Three (Tuesday, September 15) Little Rock, Arkansas — Senator Blanche Lincoln (D) + Senator Mark Pryor (D).
Day Four (Friday, September 18) Cleveland, Ohio — Senator Sherrod Brown (D).

Northeast “Day of Occupation” – Tuesday, September 15. On Day Three of the Tour, Climate SOS will lead simultaneous office occupations of these senators who now support cap-and-trade, or have not opposed it. We must show these senators this cap-and-trade bill will lead to mass environmental destruction. We plan to stay in their offices until they publicly pledge to VOTE NO! on cap-and-trade. NVCD activists welcome and needed!

Massachusetts (Boston offices) Senator John Kerry (D)
Kerry is the classic’ progressive’ Democrat supporting cap-and-trade. Let’s target Kerry!

Vermont (Burlington offices) Senator Bernie Sanders (I) + Senator Patrick Leahy (D)
Sanders publicly supports cap-and-trade and biofuels. Let’s target Sanders!

New York (New York City and Albany offices) Senator Chuck Schumer (D) + Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D)

Pennsylvania (Philadelphia and Harrisburg offices) Senator Arlen Specter (D) + Senator Bob Casey, Jr. (D)
Specter has announced he’s against the filibuster strategy of senate Democrats opposing cap-and-trade. If a filibuster is defeated, the vote on cap-and-trade would go to the Senate floor where chances of its passage greatly improve. Let’s target Specter!

West Virginia (Charleston offices) Senator Jay Rockefeller (D)
He is a key swing vote.

West Coast “Day of Occupation” -– Friday, September 18. On Day Four of the Tour, Climate SOS will lead simultaneous office occupations of these senators who now support cap-and-trade, or have not opposed it. We must show these senators this cap-and-trade bill will lead to mass environmental destruction. We plan to stay in their offices until they publicly pledge to VOTE NO! on cap-and-trade. NVCD activists welcome and needed!

Washington (Seattle offices) Senator Maria Cantwell (D) + Senator Patty Murray (D)
Cantwell has expressed her worry that cap-and-trade will “make big money for a few people”. But she is waffling. We need to help her off the fence. Let’s target Cantwell!

California (Sacramento and Los Angeles offices) Senator Diane Feinstein (D) + Senator Barbara Boxer (D)
Boxer is the Senate’s chief author of its cap-and-trade bill. She chairs the pivotal Environment and Public Works Committee. She also holds the Senate position of Chief Deputy Whip in Majority. Let’s target Boxer!

Oregon (Portland and Eugene offices) Senator Jeff Merkley (D) + Senator Ron Wyden (D)

Un-Spinning the Spin: The Bad Guys No Longer Wear Black Hats
Maryrose Asher is a former Chair of the Green Party of Washington State and a tireless activist of many causes.

There is no monopoly in common sense
On either side of the political fence
We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
Believe me when I say to you
I hope the Russians love their children too
— From Sting recording titled “Russians”

I recently read a post in The Confluence by blogger myiq2xu titled, “Do the Republicans love their children too?” and want to credit the author for providing the lyrics above as well as creating the string of thought for this week’s column.

Something is terribly wrong. There is too much division in the world today and an intolerable amount of hate.

My youngest grandson was visiting recently and, while watching a movie with my husband, had to ask who the “good guys” were. Yet, I get an email from my 81-year-old mother and she can tell you exactly who the “bad guys” are, by race, color, creed, and political party.

Is this just human nature to start out in innocence and openness and to end harboring such close-mindedness and hatred?

Growing up in the 50s, life seemed a little simpler than it is for my grandson, as it was easier then to know the good guys from the bad guys. Our television shows always had the good guys wearing white hats. Now, life is a little more complicated as those who seem to be good people turn out not to be and vice versa.

Coming also from the 60s “love generation,” I am ashamed of what our generation is leaving in its wake. I thought we were rebelling against the rigidity and close-mindedness of our parents’ generation, but obviously our “rebellion” was short lived and lacking real substance because here we are today with our peers Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and so many others from the 60s generation causing horrible wars, increasing poverty, and selfishly destroying our planet.

One thing I know for certain is that this climate of hate is being fueled by our politicians and their corporate soul mates. It suits their purposes perfectly that we “commoners” are so divided, so mistrusting of one another, and, to be honest, this hate is not just coming from the right.

I like the term “Democratic tribalist mindset” blogger myiq2xu uses and also this quote from the post in The Confluence:

If you are a loyal Democrat then you MUST believe that Republicans are evil, racist, sexist, homophobic, selfish, greedy, corrupt stupid, ignorant and insane haters who want to destroy the environment, melt the ice caps and blow up the world. Democrats, of course, are virtuous saints whose only flaws are that they act timid and weak and keep falling for the Republicans’ “bipartisanship” routine.

I see this in the community where I live. My local Green Party in a draft of the annual membership letter wrote, “With Democrats in control of Congress and the White House, important changes are being made, but how can we further implement our Ten Key Values?” There may be further discussion on this at our next meeting, but do I really want to be part of a third party who identifies so closely with one of the two major parties?

George W. Bush is no longer president. These are now Obama’s wars and Obama’s fiscal policies that are handing out bailouts to banks and Wall Street and allowing corporate control of our government. I have already written about Bagram, Obama’s secret prison in Afghanistan which is reportedly worse than Guantanamo, and Obama’s Department of Justice (DOJ) is continuing the secret rendition program and all that was done by the Bush administration to undermine our civil liberties, all causing the ACLU to file numerous lawsuits against the Obama DOJ.

Greens need to do better at “marketing.” They need to stand out from the two major parties through encouraging social interaction and growing a hate-free zone in their community. Most of all, we should not be closet supporters of the Democratic Party. If we do not stand out as dissenters of the status quo, then how are we improving the world around us?

The real enemies are the politicians in both parties, and their corporate supporters, not the Republican guy next door, or the Ron Paul supporter on the bus, or, heaven forbid, that 9/11 Truther who posts on our email lists. What has happened to principled pragmatism in our dealings with one another? Those who are not against us are with us.

Again from The Confluence,

Republicans are not stupid or ignorant, they are just as informed and educated as we are. They see the same world with all the same problems that we do, but they draw different conclusions as to the causes and solutions. And yes, they love their children too.

We need to find a way to reach out to individuals in our communities to dialog with them and work together on common causes. The labor unions are growing restless, coming to the realization that the Democratic Party they have supported for so many years was never really there for them, but they will not turn to the Green Party unless we, as individuals, get actively involved with their organizations and their causes.

And, as I have tried to express time and time again, this openness and spirit of cooperation may result in something new politically and we should be willing to adapt. The one important quality we should put at the forefront is a willingness to compromise for the greater good. It does not have to be “our way (i.e. party) or the highway.”
There is so much we need to do to build bridges between various organizations and individuals. We need to become more sophisticated in our approach, but most of all we need to take off our blinders and come to the realization that the Democratic Party is not the good guy wearing the white hat; in fact, quite the opposite.

Let’s really try to find ways to work with others with ideological differences and try to come together for the sake of the next generation and the ones after that and recognize it is government policy, corporate greed, and manipulation of information by the media all working together to keep us fighting among ourselves.

United we can make difference. If we stay divided, then the “bad guys” do win.

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.

September 8, 1941: In Norway, 2000 workers in the shipyards went on strike against diversion of milk, “depriving mothers and babies,” to military use by the German soldiers in Finland. In retaliation, Oslo was placed under a 7 o’clock nightly curfew, after which transportation was stopped, public meetings prohibited, radios seized, dancing forbidden. Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and Salvation Army organizations were all dissolved.

September 10, 1996: Sheryl Crow’s second album was banned from Wal-Mart stores because the song she co-wrote with Tad Wadhams, “Love Is A Good Thing” opens with “Watch out sister, watch out brother, Watch our children while they kill each other With a gun they bought at Wal-Mart discount stores….”

September 13, 1971: President Richard Nixon, speaking to his Chief of Staff Robert Haldeman, was recorded on the White House’s taping system saying: “Now here’s the point, Bob. Please get me the names of the Jews. You know, the big Jewish contributors to the Democrats. Could we please investigate some of the cocksuckers?”

Pencil Shavings: Fer Sale
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.

If you haven’t heard the news yet, let me be the first to tell ya — it’s been announced that the worst recession in 70 years is over!! It seems that manufacturing and housing sales rose a bit more than expected and we’ll soon return to the times of milk and honey. I’m so deliriously happy I’m going to burn some of my excess millions in the fireplace…oh wait…I don’t have ANY excess pennies, let alone dollars!

Maybe the economists are right, but you sure couldn’t tell it from my neck of the woods. Most families in Pacific County, Washington, are hurting and hurting bad. How can I tell? On almost every street in the area, one can find a “for sale” sign. These signs adorn homes, cars, boats, trailers, bicycles, golf clubs — just about anything that can be turned into quick money. I won’t be surprised if I start seeing a few such signs on pets!

Even our local second-hand store is in trouble. Normally, when the economy sags a bit, second-hand stores see an uptick in business as more people find it necessary to eschew new doodads for used ones. But the economy around here has gotten so bad that Wild Bill’s is holding a “going out of business” sale with their already low prices slashed by 70%!! The owners had planned to end the sale on August 31, but sales have been so slow that they’ve extended it.

I know that Della and I are hanging on by a bare thread. So, I hope the learned economists are correct. I’m just not going to hold my breath.

News You May Have Missed

India’s Generation of Children Crippled by Uranium Waste
Their heads are too large or too small, their limbs too short or too bent. For some, their brains never grew, speech never came and their lives are likely to be cut short: these are the children it appears that India would rather the world did not see, the victims of a scandal with potential implications far beyond the country’s borders. Some sit mutely, staring into space, lost in a world of their own; others cry out, rocking backwards and forwards. Few have any real control over their own bodies. Their anxious parents fret over them, murmuring soft words of encouragement, hoping for some sort of miracle that will free them from a nightmare…

The Latest Insurance-Industry-Approved Talking Point from Democrats
The Associated Press reports that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) says while he says he supports the concept of a public option, he also is making sure to say it probably won’t pass. This is almost exactly what Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet (D) said – and I’m guessing we’re all going to start hearing this a lot. It’s a brilliant insurance-industry-approved talking point in that it permits Democrats to claim they are for the wildly popular public option, but just can’t pass it…for no concrete reason, of course…

Three Good Reasons To Liquidate Our Empire
However ambitious President Barack Obama’s domestic plans, one unacknowledged issue has the potential to destroy any reform efforts he might launch. Think of it as the 800-pound gorilla in the American living room: our longstanding reliance on imperialism and militarism in our relations with other countries and the vast, potentially ruinous global empire of bases that goes with it. The failure to begin to deal with our bloated military establishment and the profligate use of it in missions for which it is hopelessly inappropriate will, sooner rather than later, condemn the United States to a devastating trio of consequences: imperial overstretch, perpetual war, and insolvency, leading to a likely collapse similar to that of the former Soviet Union…

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