Bend — or break

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In this broader discussion of our many differences, it’s a no-brainer that we need to put ourselves in the other guys shoes … toe in, toe out … to see if the water is as chilling as it’s touted to be. Here, on the Left, we are accused of being too soft, too tepid, too undisciplined, not tough enough on all the ills of the world. Pushovers, as it were.

The Hawks are screaming today, lead by wee Lindsey Graham (whom Bill Maher gleefully references as John McCain’s bitch) calling for more aggression and leadership … wah wah wah … and that water is waaaaay too hot.

Indeed, today I listened to just about every Sunday pundit from the moderate to Right-leaning, talk about how Obama is asleep at the switch and how America is virtually leaderless. If you suck up the Kool-aid on this level, you’ll agree with those who believe it’s un-American not to keep the rest of the world on a choker-chain, obedient to our might (makes right? Not!)

And yet, if you examine the numbers on most progressive issues, you’ll find that the populous at large wants less war, more safety nets and government regulation, more dialogue and — most definitely — solutions to the many problems we suffer … answers to which, should Obama lead on them, will not be tolerated nor supported from the Right.

They want more military solutions but won’t fund military expansion. They want more boarder control and answers to the dilemma that’s put hundreds of thousands of children in our care, but they won’t fund immigrations needs. No matter what the need, always the fault of this black president, it won’t be funded so they can continue to bitch, non-stop, about lack of leadership. It’s just freekin’ tiresome!

This is a post containing two letters to those who will not flex, about why they should — and a MoveOn petition asking Hillary to flex on GMO’s. That last is especially worthwhile considering the recent decision by the House Agriculture Committee that the American public is just too damned dumb to understand the science (and necessity) behind modified foods.

Quick, excellent reads for a weekend. Excellent pieces to pass on to anyone who is beginning to question some of their hard-core stance. The GMO petition is an activist/op.


Letter to Boehner: What the hell, pal?
OPEN LETTER TO JOHN BOEHNER published in the Cincinnati Inquirer in response to an op-ed by Boehner entitled “Obama is trampling the Constitution”
July 15, 2014

John, I consider you a friend of mine. We’ve known one another for well over 50 years. Our parents knew each other, were friends and neighbors in Reading. Our family businesses were directly across the street from each other for over 70 years. But John, what the hell are you doing?

You’ve got nothing more pressing to do than sue a president who was elected twice by the majority of voting Americans?

You say “the majority of Americans are frustrated.” I agree, but not with this president. They’re frustrated with the childishness of those purporting to serve all the American people.

The majority of Republicans are frustrated. Sure, I get that. But everything shouldn’t come to a halt because you don’t control the White House. By the way, you better get used to that too. You won’t get that back by appealing to Old White Guys.

John, whatever time you’ve got left in Washington, roll-up your sleeves and get Washington moving in the correct direction. Not this “we block everything you want” and “you block everything we want” mentality.

Now, how about a round of golf at Sharon Woods on Sunday? On me. I’ll need 2 a side.

Your pal, Mooch
Jerry Mouch, Wyoming ++

This Jew Can’t Support Israel
Ellen Davidson, via
July 18th, 2014

Growing up in my Jewish family, it was a given that Jews supported civil rights, opposed the Vietnam War and believed in education, science and progress. This didn’t make it easy to be a teenager in a small working-class town in central Pennsylvania, an area not known for either diversity or liberal views at the time. Israel was a distant place where survivors of the brutal European Holocaust struggled to live in peace, occasionally beset by terrorists and attacking armies from the surrounding countries.

When I went to college, naturally, I became active in the late-1970s campus movement for divestment from South Africa. Somewhere along the line, I realized that Israel was the only country in the world that violated the international arms embargo on the apartheid state, and that Israel was on the wrong side of all the struggles for freedom and national liberation I supported, that it backed dictatorships in Guatemala, Chile, Brazil and elsewhere.

The more I learned about Israel, the more I realized that what I had been taught growing up was a lie. But I also discovered that, even in the progressive movements in the 1980s, the issue was contentious. I spent my twenties working at the Guardian radical newsweekly, a paper that staunchly supported Palestinian rights; periodically we would lose a significant segment of our readership due to our alleged “anti-Semitism,” and we would receive occasional bomb threats from the Jewish Defense League, a nasty organization whose members would physically attack participants in pro-Palestine demonstrations.

This kneejerk labeling of critics of Israel as “anti-Semitic” (or in my case, a “self-hating Jew”) made me even more firm in my conviction that it was the special obligation of U.S. Jews to stand against racism in Israel. As more of us demanded equal rights for all in Israel/Palestine, it became harder to smear supporters of Palestine as “anti-Semitic.” The needle on this debate has moved considerably since the 1980s, when just to say the word “Palestinian” was considered inflammatory, even in some left circles.

These days, as Israelis rampage through the streets of Jerusalem calling for killing all Arabs and Gaza is once again bombarded in a storm of collective punishment, the racist underpinnings of the Jewish state become harder to ignore. This is drawing larger numbers of people into pro-Palestinian protests on the streets of this country.

Indeed, at a July 13 vigil I attended in Woodstock, New York, there were many faces I had never seen before. But not everything has changed. A hostile group of tourists walked by and began berating us for our stance. “You should try talking to some Jews,” said one man. “We are Jews,” two of us answered simultaneously. “Then you’re fucked up,” he snapped.

In the past decade, I have made a point of traveling to Israel/Palestine, so that I can both show my solidarity in person and bring back firsthand accounts of the conditions in the occupied territories and within the formal borders of Israel. I have never encountered anything but warm welcome from the Palestinians I encountered.

When I return, every time I speak as a Jew of personally seeing demolished Palestinian houses, military checkpoints, the concrete wall separating communities from their farmland, the overcrowded refugee camps built as temporary solutions 60 years ago, I like to think that it widens the crack that has been opening up in the U.S. Jewish community, leaving just a little more space for honest discussion of what is being done in our name.++

Hillary Clinton: It’s time to dump Monsanto and support public health, and regenerative, organic agriculture
Petition by Katherine Paul, Organic Consumers Association
To be delivered to Hillary Clinton

Petition Statement

Speaking at this year’s BIO International Convention, you reiterated your support for genetically modified organisms (GMOs). You said the industry needs “a better vocabulary” to change negative public perception about GMO agriculture. But mounting scientific evidence says the public is right to be concerned about the impact of Monsanto’s GMO crops and food on the environment, public health and global warming. We don’t need a better vocabulary. We need leaders who will stand up to Monsanto. As a mother, soon-to-be grandmother and potential future candidate for U.S. president, I ask that you do what’s right, not what the biotech industry lobbyists want you to do.

There are currently 80,493 signatures. NEW goal – We need 100,000 signatures!

Petition Background

Hillary Clinton could be the next Democratic presidential nominee. Do we really want someone in the White House who protects Monsanto’s profits at the expense of public health?

Scientists, medical professionals and climate experts warn us that a food and agriculture system built around poisons like Monsanto’s Roundup and Dow’s 2,4-D, a system that promotes soy and corn monocultures instead of crop diversity, is unhealthy for humans and the environment. Genetically engineered agriculture has failed. It has created superweeds that require increasingly toxic poisons, and those poisons are showing up in the blood, urine and breast milk of humans. The United Nations last year issued a report entitled “Before It’s Too Late,” stating that not only will genetically engineered crops not feed the world, as the biotech industry claims, but they are a huge contributor to global warming.

Polls show that 93% of Americans want GMO labeling laws. Yet politicians like Hillary Clinton, whose ties to the biotech industry run deep, continue to pander to Monsanto. Even Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who claims that he is pro-states’ rights, has said he would not defend states’ rights to label GMOs.

The next leader of the U.S. needs to take a stand against huge corporations that are devastating the environment and human health. If Hillary Clinton is not that leader, consumers will look to candidates like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who has a proven track record of supporting states’ rights to label GMOs, and the transition to organic, sustainable, regenerative agriculture.

Sign the petition here:


“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”
~ The Reverend Martin Luther King

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

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