Sitting On the Fence Is Creasing My Activist Butt

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The topic below was originally posted in my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal, as well as the Independent Bloggers Alliance, the Peace Tree, Wild Wild Left and Worldwide Sawdust.

Warning, this is a long post. It's long because supporting a presidential candidate for me is deeply personal. It's not simply deciding which candidate I will pull the lever for in the privacy of a voting booth. Rather I approach the decision as an activist and ask myself: after weighing all the virtues and flaws of the declared candidates on whose behalf am I willing to devote my free time?

In my darker moments I'll ask myself, "Do any of these lying corporatist whores deserve my support? Why bother with any of them?" The ship has long sailed on my days of being a "true believer."

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An Interview With Talk Radio's Code Breaker Thom Hartmann

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The topic below was originally posted on my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal,as well as The Wild Wild Left,Independent Bloggers Alliance, the Peace Tree and Worldwide Sawdust.


From 1968 to 2004, conservatives utilized the art of communication to persuade voters into supporting policies against the interests of peace and their personal prosperity. While liberals advocated obscure abstractions and responded with cerebral nuance, conservatives prevailed by hitting people in their gut. Law and order, welfare Cadillac Queens, Willie Horton, death tax, permissiveness, the flag and God were all exploited to define liberals as weak elitist traitors and conservatives as upstanding guardians of American values.


Even the presidencies of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton did little to prevent the center of political gravity from shifting to the right. Consequently, a corporate plutocracy plundered the American economy at the expense of working people and small business owners, our civil liberties were systematically eroded and the neo-conservative empire culture shamefully eroded America's moral authority and geopolitical position.

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The Sutras of Abu Ghraib: An Interview With Conscientious Objector Aidan Delgado


The topic below was originally posted in my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal, as well as the Out of Iraq Bloggers Caucus, the Independent Bloggers Alliance, the Wild Wild Left and Worldwide Sawdust.


In 2001, Aidan Delgado was twenty-years old and in need of a life anchor. Delgado had primarily grown up abroad in far away places such as Cairo, Egypt, Thailand and Senegal due to his father's career as a diplomat. While attending college in Florida, Delgado felt culturally out of place and adrift. Having led an "ivory tower" existence of academia and privilege, Delgado opted to join the United States Army Reserves for a different perspective.


By sheer coincidence he signed his enlistment contract on September 11th. Those closest to him questioned the wisdom of Delgado's choice. The terrorist attacks convinced Delgado he made the correct decision as the country underwent a surge of patriotic feeling and rallying to the flag. At the time he was proud of having decided to join the United States Reserves before September 11th. Delgado didn't know it yet but the next three years of his life would transform his entire being.

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Conservatives Have No Clothes: An Interview With Greg Anrig


The topic below was originally posted in my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal as well as the Independent Bloggers Alliance, The Peace Tree, Wild Wild Left and Worldwide Sawdust.

To paraphrase former President Ronald Reagan, conservatism is not the solution to the problem; conservatism is the problem. In the recently published book, <u>The Conservatives Have No Clothes: Why Right-Wing Ideas Keep Failing</u&gt (Wiley & Sons), policy expert and journalist Greg Anrig indicts right-wing ideology and examines their legacy of insipid governance.

It's a familiar tale of woe for liberals at this point. The conservative method over simplifies problems such as terrorism with misguided fear mongering about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Domestically conservatives will distort the root causes of why inner city schools fail by demonizing the entire public school system or make false claims that Social Security is poised for imminent collapse. In terms of obtaining and holding onto power the conservative method of marketing distortion has been highly effective in most national elections since 1968.

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Albany's Mayor For Life: An Interview With Erastus Corning Biographer Paul Grondahl


The topic below was originally posted in  my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal as well as the Independent Bloggers Alliance, The Peace Tree, The Wild Wild Left and Worldwide Sawdust


Erastus Corning 2nd was elected mayor of Albany, New York eleven times, serving forty-two consecutive years, an unsurpassed tenure in American political history. Even before birth, Corning's destiny as Albany's "mayor for life" was scripted. As pillars of the WASP establishment, Corning men were expected to attend Groton and Yale and assume positions of leadership in industry and politics. One could say that the Corning family was noblesse oblige on steroids: an assumption that with wealth, power and prestige come social responsibilities. Yet the noblesse oblige represented by the Cornings had a dark side as their class established an oligarchy in Albany to preserve their status and power.


In the 1920s, the financial, institutional and industrial strength represented by the Corning dynasty forged an omnipotent alliance led by a salty tongued Irish working class political boss named Dan O'Connell. This unlikely union of the well bred Corning family and the O'Connell clan of Irish saloonkeepers initially bonded through cock fighting! Eratus's father Edwin served as Lt. Governor in the late '20s and collaborated with O'Connell until poor health forced him to step away from politics.

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An Interview With Iranian Expert and Journalist Barbara Slavin


The topic below was originally posted on my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal as well as The Peace Tree, the Independent Bloggers Alliance and Worldwide Sawdust.


Barbara Slavin, senior diplomatic correspondent for USA Today since 1996 and author of the recently published book, <u>Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the U.S., and the Twisted Path to Confrontation</u&gt (St. Martin's Press), writes that,


"Iran and the United States are like a once happily married couple that has gone through a bitter divorce. Harsh words have been exchanged - husband and wife have come to blows and employed others to inflict more punishment. Apologizing is hard and changing behavior even harder. This relationship is unequal, with one side or the other feeling more vulnerable at any given time and afraid the other will take advantage of concessions."

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Are Voters Irrational: An Interview With Economist Bryan Caplan


The topic below was originally posted in my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal as well as The Peace Tree, the Independent Bloggers Alliance and Worldwide Sawdust.


People across the political spectrum routinely question the senses, intelligence and values of their fellow voters. A decade ago conservatives chafed, as President Bill Clinton remained popular in spite of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. In recent years liberals like myself seethed while Republicans maintained one-party dominance in spite of their incompetence and criminal policies. They're also citizens who challenge the wisdom of any voter who supports the two-party duopoly.


Bryan Caplan, an economist at George Mason University and co-editor of EconLog challenges the rationality of voters with his book, The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies (Princeton University Press).

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The Industrial Revolution Unplugged: An Interview With Author Gregory Clark

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The topic below was originally posted in my blog the Intrepid Liberal Journal as well as the Independent Bloggers Alliance, The Peace Tree and Worldwide Sawdust.


Our current world of globalization, technological advancement and the widening schism between rich and poor stems from the Industrial Revolution. Indeed, the Industrial Revolution is arguably the most important historical watershed in human history. So why did it happen in eighteenth-century England? Furthermore, how come the unprecedented economic growth it produced only served to make parts of the world even poorer?

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Purgatory For Alan Greenspan

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The topic below was originally posted on my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal as well as the Independent Bloggers Alliance, The Peace Tree and Worldwide Sawdust.


Alan Greenspan belongs to the Club of Emasculated Moderate Elites who enabled corporate theocrats to destroy the American Dream at home and annihilate our moral authority abroad. A prerequisite for membership is to first allow crazy ideologues to exploit their prestige and later disown the disastrous policies their reputations facilitated. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is a charter member of this club and a pathetic figure who criticizes the Bush Administration about Iraq when it no longer matters. Powell's domestic policy soul mate, Alan Greenspan, joined him with his new memoir, The Age of Turbulence: Adventures In a New World.

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Government Lies About the Drug War: An Interview With Criminal Justice Professor Matthew Robinson

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The topic below was originally posted on my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal, as well as The Peace Tree, The Independent Bloggers Alliance and Worldwide Sawdust.


The "war on drugs" doesn't consume as much oxygen in the public square as it used to. In September 1989, President George Herbert Walker Bush, spoke from the Oval Office, held up a plastic bag filled with white contents and announced,


"This is crack cocaine seized a few days ago in a park across the street from the White House . . . It could easily have been heroin or PCP."

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