Focus, People!

Occupy Wall Street, Mainstream Media
and The Club of 99 

* Mainstream Media Person interviewing Occupy Wall Street Participant—

MMP:  How does this translate into action, something more than just a kind of cri-de-coeur, without any focus?

OWSP:  It’s a very clear focus when you say, “Occupy Wall Street”.

 *    *    *    *    *

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the interviewer tossing off the “cri-de-coeur” bon mot was from NPR, the distinguished Brooke Gladstone of On the Media.

What is surprising is that Ms. Gladstone, like so many other mainstream media commentators, insist on evaluating Occupy Wall Street and its now-nationwide international offshoots through the lens of an outdated political success narrative.

Throughout her Oct. 9 On the Media report, Ms. Gladstone seemed positively exasperated that the Occupy Wall Street movement “offers no specifics, no demands, no candidates”.

Memo to pundits:  Occupy Wall Street isn’t going to offer specifics, demands or (and especially not) candidates. Not now. Not ever.

But it is likely to have a memorable impact on the future U.S. political landscape because it has achieved the unthinkable:  getting increasing numbers of Americans from across the ideological spectrum to put aside party loyalties just long enough to pay closer attention to the details defining the nation’s economic and social dissolution.

Certainly, key economic and social issues are discussed incessantly within the daily churn of broadcast talk shows, op-eds and partisan web blogs. Up till now most Americans haven’t been listening too closely.

They’ve been trusting lawmakers and corporate leaders to figure Things out and get Things back to Sort of OkayNormal, back to when nobody except economics geeks and business reporters paid attention to financial yadayada like Economic Indicators, Factory Orders Reports, Bond Yields, Producer Price Indices and — lurking like a psycho slasher in the shadows — Weekly  Jobless Claims.

Occupy Wall Street is pointing out publicly, loudly and without any talking-head nuance that the folks who messed Things up to begin with aren’t probably going to do a better job fixing them now. Occupy Wall Street is telling us we ought to be scared as well as mad.

Occupy Wall Street is group therapy for a troubled America, the America that belongs to the anxious, confused and struggling poor and middle-class members of The Club of 99, their ranks drawn from the entire rainbow-with-no-pot-o’-gold spectrum of 2011 America — the young, the old, men and women, students and workers, the unemployed and underpaid found among every ethnicity and in every single state of the union. Occupy Wall Street has given this broad swath of America permission to go on-camera, on-line and in-person to a demonstration near them to express their own economic indicators.

They’re speaking out because they realize that — finally — there are people listening. Not politicians, not pundits, not professional political activists. But People Like Them whose future aspirations of having the American Good Life appear to be rapidly sinking into a quicksand pit of economic inequality. With not a single helping hand in sight.          

That’s your Focus, media prophets, and that’s your Action:  Occupy Wall Street has gotten people to see the Bigger Picture affecting the welfare of everyone in The Club of 99 … and to stop being ashamed because they’re not part of the elite tail that wags the nation’s economic dog.

Occupy Wall Street has enticed people away from their televisions to poke their heads up and take a glance at what’s going on outside their digital cocoons.

It’s the realest reality show sweeping the country, because it’s making some real facts a whole lot realer than most people wanted to think about until now.

It’s the reality show of Food Stamp Stars:  America the Outsourced …

STARRING!!!  … the 46 million Americans (nearly 1 in 6) who are miserable, suffering, desperately poor (including the 43 million and growing who rely on food stamps to keep from starving) … the hundreds of thousands of white, blue, all-collar workers laid off monthly even as corporate “job creator” profits climb … the nearly 50 million Americans without health insurance as Republican-dominated state legislatures sabotage the 2010 federal health care laws … the 28% of U.S. home owners drowning in underwater mortgages … the wholesale rewriting of environmental, labor, drug and food safety laws to satisfy special-interest whims of That Magical Mystical One Percent who control 42% of the nation’s wealth.

Not to mention the pathos of Corporate America trembling over the possibility of paying a slightly increased share of the public costs needed to maintain the stable economic and social infrastructure that has helped their businesses earn trickle-up profits for decades.

There’s your beaucoups of cri-de-coeur and then some.

But inquiring media minds ask:  will any of this have discernible consequences for the 2012 elections?

Occupy Wall Street will cause many voters to ask different questions in 2012 than they might have previously. Traditional political action operates on an exclusionary principle, and Occupy Wall Street is significantly tweaking that.

Example:  I vote for Candidate A because she promises to protect me from Candidate B and the illogical/deluded/incompetent people I believe he represents through his utterly wrong-headed proposals. You vote for Candidate B because he promises to protect you from me, my dangerous fellow travelers and our disastrous ideas on how to run the country.

You and I cling to our party identities like they were threadbare security blankets. At the end of the day, we don’t keep warm and the blanket is never big enough … but we do own a large pile of odorous lint we can barter on craigslist. 

Occupy Wall Street is saying to politicians and corporate leaders:  you’re all guilty till you prove yourself innocent with rational legislation to correct the imbalances of our economic system that are harming millions of Americans.

Show us the responsibility.

Show us you really care about our ravaged environment and our children getting a decent education and our workers getting the chance to transition to relevant 21st-century jobs that can’t be outsourced to exploited labor populations overseas.

Show us you really give a damn about this America that has been so bountifully good to you and your personal bottom line.

Start from there, and we can work out the myriad of details that make a functioning Democracy.

Or else.

Or else What?

That’s the question that has the mainstream media in a tizzy. What next Big Action can this un-focused, un-regulated, individual-centered form of instant politics generate?

Already there are a galaxy of single-issue spinoffs such as the upcoming “National Bank Transfer Day” slated for Nov. 5, started by a 27-year-old Los Angeles art gallery owner who’s mad as heck about big U.S. banks increasing fees, shucking off their tax duty and hoarding taxpayer-funded TARP bailout money while holding back loans.

But at its core, Occupy Wall Street is a classic “media-is-the-message” paradigm. The Media … 300 million of American Us delivering a heart-felt Message that proclaims: 

Every One of Us is a Shareholder in America.

Every individual American is Too Big to Fail.

When corporations and Congress make public policy, the bottom line of every American should be considered.

Occupy Wall Street has served as a stark, simple reminder that We the People is Us.

It may end up representing not just a rare moment in time when ordinary people speak Truth to Power.

As much as ordinary people speaking Power to Power.

# # #

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It’s 11 o’clock… do you know where your nuke plants are?

It’s 11 o’clock… do you know where your nuke plants are?

We’ve got 104 of them in the continental U.S., and this is where they are: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kroodsma/nuclear-plants-risks_b_836572.html

The second map shows the plants in relation to recent earthquakes.

They’re talking now about the possibility of evacuating 12 million people from Tokyo, which is 150 miles away from the dying Fukushima nuke plant.

According to the U.S. map, I’m 60 miles south of one plant and 80 miles north of another. A third is 70 miles to the southwest, as the radiated crow flies.

What, me worry?

* * * * *

My 3 Favorite Pop-Up Ads on Google Today:

• Earthquake Survival Kits
• Stay Safe 72 Hours After Disaster Buy Directly from the Manufacturer — QuakeKare.com

• Jewish & Prepared?
• Learn how to handle a disaster
• Learn why all Jews need — jewishpreppers.blogspot.com

• Best Survival Seed Banks
• Compare Banks by Price, Shelf-Life, Weight, Varieties, Count |Best Deal — non-hybrid-seeds.com

“Yes, please, I’d like to order a six-pack of kosher rutabagas… just enough for 3 days, thanks.”

————————————–

* Fat Johnny artwork by Lino M


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Can Green Politics Ever Influence Elections?

Can Green Politics Ever Influence Local Elections?

Three market-based clean energy initiatives and their possible electoral impact on U.S. politics

by L.E. McCullough  © 2010 L.E. McCullough

________________________________

Commentators have observed that one of the few positive aspects of the BP oil spill is a long overdue re-focusing on America’s urgent need to deploy clean energy technology and resources. Because the media has begun to present a greater number of stories on alternative fuel topics, voters will presumably examine the subject more closely in upcoming elections.

Environmental issues have circulated in the U.S. national political debate since the 1970s, and Green Party candidates have appeared on ballots in nearly every state. Current polls indicate that a majority of Americans are deeply concerned about looming environmental and energy challenges.

However, as a dominant political issue capable of influencing the outcome of American elections, the Environment has yet to match the breadth and scope of War, Economy, Crime, Taxation, Reproductive Rights or even The President’s Rumored Religion in commanding widespread voter attention.

How might this change in the near future? Is it possible that the U.S. economy can successfully transition to a clean energy foundation without a comprehensive, top-down legislative reform effort from Congress?

The true Greening of America may not start in the voting booth but at the hardware store.

Below are three market-based approaches that would “seed and speed” the process at the local, micro-economic level and lay groundwork for far-reaching effects in U.S. energy policy.

1)  Suspend for three years all local and state sales taxes on purchases of clean energy/sustainable products and services.

Experts agree that for sustainability to become an integral part of the average American’s lifestyle — as automatic as popping into the nearest convenience store for milk and a pack of batteries — consumers must feel adequately informed about Green products and able to buy them on a daily basis. The mystery and perceived complexity of Buying Green must be eliminated.

There are presently tens of thousands of Green products that promote sustainability and thousands of American-owned/based companies involved in making and selling them. This growing but still struggling segment of the U.S. economy would receive a tremendous boost if sales taxes on Green products and services were suspended for a trial three-year period, just long enough for the notion of Buying Green to take firm root in consumer consciousness and become a habit instead of a luxury.

With 45 states and District of Columbia utilizing sales tax, the cumulative effect of a nationwide sales tax moratorium would provide a massive, rejuvenating impact throughout the Main Street economy, even if begun as individual state initiatives.

It would provide immediate and ongoing financial incentive for tens of millions of consumers to buy more Green products and services more often. The additional tens of billions of dollars in sales would benefit large and small retailers from WalMart to the corner dollar store, while encouraging manufacturers and service employers throughout the country to confidently commit to developing sustainable sector jobs.

While it is impossible to accurately estimate how much of the nation’s $228.1 billion 2009 state sales tax revenue resulted from Green products and how much future revenue might be lost from a Green sales tax moratorium,[1] the loss would be partially offset when consumers put money saved from Green purchases back into the economy by purchasing non-Green items, thereby generating sales tax from these ancillary purchases and offering additional revenue to retail and wholesale businesses.

Those most concerned about sovereignty of market competition would be pleased:  a national sales tax moratorium would rely on a stable supply-and-demand fulcrum to spur economic growth without direct industry subsidy or “corporate welfare”. Clean energy businesses embracing innovation and genuine usefulness would be the winners — as decided by consumers.

2)  Create automatic federal Green tax deductions with Green purchases.

The basic federal tax rebate rewarding clean energy investment should be simple and straightforward:  every Green dollar an individual or business spends equals an equivalent number of Green Points, whether the purchase is energy-efficient HVAC equipment for an office building, a hybrid automobile or a pouch of organic dog food.

Accumulated Green Points translate via direct formula into pro-rated tax deductions on individual and business federal tax returns. Tracking Green Points could eventually be done by means of bank or credit cards. Absent sophisticated accounting software, taxpayers interested in taking advantage of the program would score Green Points the way they tally current deductions — saving and adding receipts.

Even more than re-directed sales tax revenue, federal Green tax deductions would prove valuable to businesses, especially the much-beleaguered financial services sector. Banks could offer special Green Points savings accounts, investment firms special portfolios highlighting clean technology mutual funds — abetting additional recirculation of money through the active market economy.

Current state and federal tax credits, loan programs and incentives for purchasing clean energy technology should remain in place and would continue to benefit those able to meet their requirements. But a broad-based federal tax deduction system predicated upon everyday Green Purchases would heighten Americans’ awareness of sustainability issues and enable taxpayers to play a significant role in reshaping the economy.

3) Have all U.S. consumer utility companies contribute a percentage of their annual net revenue to a Local Clean Energy Fund.

One more step is needed that would deliver enormous short- and long-term benefits:  institute a Local Clean Energy Fund drawing upon contributions from all power companies servicing a particular locality.

Virtually all of the nation’s nearly 3,300 utility companies are to some degree addressing sustainability by encouraging conservation and clean energy research through grants, weatherization programs, bill assistance, education outreach, etc.

The Local Clean Energy Fund, however, would be paid directly to the community and be administered by its local governing unit. No competitive grants, no sporadic initiatives, no product giveaways — just a steady flow of immediately usable dollars into a dedicated municipal fund implementing public clean energy projects:  solar panels, building retrofits, public transportation, improved walkways and bicycle paths, green job training, whatever makes most the economic sense for a particular locality

The LCEF would stimulate local jobs, civic improvements and increased public visibility for the concept of sustainability and emphasize how utilities play a leading role in crafting energy solutions, not problems.

Increasing numbers of industry executives are beginning to grasp this concept of paying forward. At a recent business lunch in Somerset, New Jersey, chairman and CEO Ralph Izzo of PSE&G, the nation’s 7th-largest public utility, spoke of the urgent need to convert America’s current carbon-based economy to a sustainable, clean-fuel economy. Stated Izzo, “The common theme to greenhouse gas emissions, to national security, to clean air, to economic development, is:  What are we doing to stay competitive in the sustainable-energy economy?”[2]

Some might view the LCEF as a backdoor corporate tax. Rather, it is a shrewd corporate investment strategy. By channeling money straight into community infrastructure development, utility companies bolster the economic health of the communities from which they draw profit today and tomorrow. . . communities in every part of the United States.

Which brings us full circle to the start of this discussion:  when millions of LCEF dollars begin to be allocated within a local community, the heretofore abstract topic of Clean Energy will quickly become an issue of intense interest to voters across the country.

Voters who will be asking their municipal leaders informed questions about how the town’s “Green money” will be spent to insure maximum community benefit.

Voters whose expanded scope of civic involvement may not result in establishing a formal political party but whose view of government, corporate and individual responsibility for addressing critical energy issues will be greatly expanded. And with that responsibility, an enhanced opinion regarding electoral accountability at all levels.

There is no denying that money is at the heart of contemporary American politics and policy-making. It is also the prime engine of our nation’s economy. The challenge is to utilize the power and leverage of money to transcend the partisan political culture and unfocused corporate vision hamstringing the nation’s transition to a clean energy economy.

Implementing these three proposals would have the potential to put into active play hundreds of billions of dollars touching every economic sector, including foreign trade. Dollars that would allow tens of millions of Americans to build a stable clean energy economy from the ground up. Dollars that would bring renewed value to The American Dollar at home and abroad.

Meanwhile, Mr. Izzo’s prescient question resonates:  “What are we doing to stay competitive in the sustainable-energy economy?”

The best answer will likely be the simplest:  follow the money. And make it grow green.

______________________________________________________________

— L.E. McCullough is a clean energy advocate and resident of Woodbridge, New Jersey.

[1] State Government Tax Collections in 2009, U.S. Census Bureau, p. 1.

[2] “PSE&G chief: U.S. falling behind on green technology” by Jared Kaltwasser, NJBIZ.com, July 30, 2010.

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Report: Candidate in Ohio wore German SS uniform

Report: Candidate in Ohio
wore German SS uniform

ASSOCIATED PRESS

updated 10/9/2010 7:42:29 PM ET

__________________________

TOLEDO, Ohio — A report says a Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Ohio dressed up in a German SS uniform to participate in Nazi reenactments.

The Atlantic magazine says Rich Iott, a favorite of the ultraconservative “tea party” movement in northwest Ohio, has taken part in the reenactments for years.

Iott is running in Ohio’s 9th District against Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur, who was first elected in 1982.

Iott says he didn’t mean to disrespect anyone who has served in the military. He says he’s been involved with historical reenactments from different eras since he graduated college.

The Democrats’ House campaign arm says Iott’s participation in the reenactments — and the fact that Republicans embrace Iott — sends a chilling message to Americans.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39595055/ns/politics/?GT1=43001

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The Supreme Court Doesn’t Hate Jeff Chiplis

The Supreme Court Doesn’t
Hate Jeff Chiplis

But they’re okay with people having an easier time
buying guns to shoot him

by L.E. McCullough
© 2010 L.E. McCullough

BREAKING NEWS, AMERICA:  By a 5-4 vote, U.S. Supreme Court has issued a ruling in McDonald v. Chicago that will likely prevent your local government from regulating handgun sales and possession.

I need to ask my friend Jeff Chiplis how he feels about that. He got shot twice in the back last month by robbers as he strolled to his favorite music pub in Cleveland, Ohio.

I’ve known Jeff since second grade growing up together on the Westside of Indianapolis, rooming together in college and having him serve as best man at all three of my weddings. I’m fairly positive he’ll have an opinion on this landmark judicial decision.

Though Jeff unwittingly became one of 56,000+ people in the U.S. injured in a gun attack each year, he had the darn good luck to not be among the 13,000+ who die from said attacks. After the muggers left him for dead, the gutsy 58-year old artist and home energy repairman used his bloodied cell phone to call 911. The bullets had hit no truly vital organs, and 10 days after his initial trauma surgery, Jeff walked out of the hospital to the applause of a televised press conference and a waiting stack of ginormous medical bills.

The police are confident they’ll catch Jeff’s attackers. When they do, it’s a safe bet they’ll find that both handguns used in shooting him were obtained illegally without the owners submitting to background checks or any state or municipal restrictions on buying the weapons. An estimated 40% of U.S. domestic gun sales occur in this “secondary market” that bypasses even the minimal laws regulating which of our fellow Americans is privileged to own a deadly weapon for personal “use”.

Of course, it’s not as if the five justices voting to limit state and local gun laws have anything personal against my friend Jeff — even though they’ve just made it easier for individuals like his assailants to take advantage of the already lax gun purchase laws that make Ohio 9th among the states in recovered crime guns originally bought within the state, according to a 2008 report published by Mayors Against Illegal Guns.  Ohio also ranks 13th in number of crime guns supplied to other states per capita.

Every which way you turn, Ohio’s got guns coming and going… boom-boom Buckeyes!

But those facts failed to faze Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the majority opinion on behalf of Justices Kennedy, Thomas, Scalia and Roberts. Striving to achieve a balanced and perhaps charitable tone for those who may soon be shot or murdered as a result of the decision, Justice Alito stated that the ruling “limits (but by no means eliminates)” the ability of states and cities to “devise solutions to social problems that suit local needs and values.”

Let’s ponder these words of judicial wisdom. By “social problems”, may we presume Justice Alito means “thugs using guns to shoot and murder people”?  I haven’t been to Cleveland in a while, but perhaps Jeff (having regained the faculty of speech) can hip me to whether the “solution” suggested by Justice Alito – such as striking down laws regulating gun ownership –  would suit his town’s needs and values.

If we may presume by “needs and values” we actually mean “not being shot and murdered”.

Naturally, no one expects the Supreme Court to remedy the myriad psycho-social factors that have resulted in some Americans believing it’s perfectly okay to rob and shoot their neighbor. The Court’s task is to interpret what steps the federal Constitution allows our various levels of government to take in trying to establish a civil society. The task of maintaining that civil society is our responsibility… all nearly 310 million of us who don’t wear black robes to work.

But now the Court says Jeff Chiplis can simply buy his own gun, so that the next time he feels threatened, he can threaten back. Strictly speaking, that would be his Constitutional right under the Second Amendment.

Is that Constitutional right helping build a more civil society? Is it addressing the root causes of the social pathology that spurs violent street crime in this country and fuels a continuous wave of war and genocide across the planet?

Are we really safer when all of us are armed and potentially dangerous? Is that the definition of “civil society” we’re willing to accept and offer to our children as their American birthright?

Jeff Chiplis: Artist, Best Friend, Gun Violence Victim

As we celebrate Independence Day — the world-changing day when 56 visionary Americans affirmed their commitment toward building a society based on individual liberty and respect for the common welfare, a true divine paradise on earth —  it might be a good time to ask ourselves what we can do individually and collectively to bring to the table the genuine American freedom that’s been slow-cooking for 234 years.

I’m going to start by asking my local elected officials here in New Jersey to use more of my tax dollars for better schools and mentoring programs that help children decide they don’t want to grow up wanting to rob and shoot people. And provide funding for true job training opportunities for adults desperate to earn an honest living. And create and enforce laws that strongly penalize people who put guns in the hands of criminals.

I’m going to start with just those three things, which I know we as a freedom-loving nation can achieve in every corner of our great democracy — if we’re truly serious about this Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness concept.

That way when Jeff Chiplis comes to visit me in New Jersey, he won’t feel as if he needs to pack a bazooka in his suitcase.

It’s the least I can do for somebody who’s put up with being my best friend all these years. And wants to keep on living to tell about it.   # # #

———————————————————————-

*** To make a donation to his medical expense fund, mail your check or money order to:

Jeffry Chiplis Neon Heart Fund
Fifth Third Bank
309 North Levitt Road
Amherst, OH 44001
Attn: Melissa Hicks

*** To see some of Jeff Chiplis’ neon art, go HERE:

*** For information about gun violence in America,
visit the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence

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Pilots on Food Stamps

Corporate Greed Flying High:

“You know, maybe it’s just me, but the two occupations whose workers shouldn’t be humpin’ a second job are brain surgeons and airline pilots. Call me crazy… My pilot showed me his pay stub. He took home $405 this week. My life was completely and totally in his hands for the past hour and he’s paid less than the kid who delivers my pizza.” — Michael Moore, “Pilots on Food Stamps”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-moore/pilots-on-food-stamps_b_319929.html

 

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Thank a Liberal. . .

Thank a Liberal. . .

If you do not have skin cancer, and have ever stood outside without having a peeling sunburn within moments, thank the ozone layer, thank the ban on CFCs, and thank a liberal.

If you have not died in a heat wave, drought, hurricane, flood, wildfire, or other climate change disaster, and like the idea of your children and grandchildren not living in desert wastelands, thank a liberal.

If you have ever breathed clean air or drank clean water, thank a liberal.

If no woman you know has died or been maimed in a back-alley Abortion, thank a liberal.

If you have never been lynched, or had your children firebombed in a church, thank a liberal.

If you are glad we don’t live in a right-wing dictatorship along the lines of what conservatives overtly and covertly created in Iran, Guatamala, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, the Congo, Chile, Brazil, El Salvador, the Phillipines, Indonesia and many others, thank a liberal.

If you have ever used Medicare or plan on using Social Security or disability benefits, thank a liberal.

If you have not gotten cancer from radiation, thank the Nuclear Test Ban and thank a liberal.

If you have ever sat on a public seat, drank from a drinking fountain, stood on a bus, or done anything in public without worrying about being beaten up for being in the wrong section for your skin color, thank a liberal.

If you’ve ever driven on an interstate highway, thank a liberal.

If you grew up in a family of less than 12 kids, like the idea of being able to choose if you have 12 kids or not, if you don’t live in an overpopulated third world slum, or just think birth control is a good idea, thank a liberal.

If your family benefited from the GI Bill of Rights, FHA Mortgages, and so forth, thank a liberal.

If you have ever bought anything from Europe, and are glad the Marshall plan kept it from remained a bombed-out shell or falling to communism or neo-fascism, thank a liberal.

If you are glad that the Nazis don’t control half the world (conservatives opposed joining World War 2 until it was forced on them), thank a liberal.

If you have ever eaten food (agricultural subsidies), flicked on a light switch (rural electrification) or benefited from the Tennessee Valley Authority, thank a liberal.

If you ever drank a beer or a glass of wine without being thrown in jail, thank a liberal.

If you are not a land-owning white male, but have voted, thank a liberal.

If you have not died from tainted meat, been prescribed something useless or poisonous by a quack doctor, have not given your children cough syrup which turned out to have heroin as its secret ingredient, thank a liberal.

If your workplace is safe and you are paid a living wage, including overtime; if you enjoy a 40-hour week and you are allowed to join a union to protect your rights without being lynched, thank a liberal.

If you’ve ever seen a national park, and it hadn’t been strip mined and clearcut into a desert wasteland, thank a liberal.

If your children go to school instead of working in coal mines, thank a liberal.

If you’re a Native American and have not been killed or died in a concentration camp, or if you live near Native Americans and are not at war with them, thank a liberal.

If you have an industrial or high-tech job – or really, any job other than those available in a slave-powered cash crop economy (ie, a third world economy) thank a liberal.

If you’re not a slave or indentured servant, don’t think protection of slavery belongs in the constitution, if you’ve never been chained to a boat where half the passengers die, been whipped, had your family split up, been forced to “breed” with another slave you’ve never met, been raped by your boss, or killed for not being profitable, thank a liberal.

If you oppose political parties starting massive wars to destroy America, just because they lost the election, and killing hundreds of thousands of Americans in process – if you just don’t have that much fanatical hatred of Lincoln’s policy of to restricting slavery to states where it already existed, thank a liberal.

If you’re part-Irish, Catholic, Jewish, or for that matter anything not Anglo-Saxon Protestant, and are allowed to live in America, and are not harassed and attacked for failing to be born Anglo-Saxon Protestant, or if you’ve ever bought or used anything built by a non-ASP American, thank a liberal.

If you kind of like freedom of speech, and don’t want the state government to be able to censor you – (you think the 14th amendment is a good idea) – thank a liberal.

If you have ever bought or sold anything transported by the transcontinental railroad, or eaten food from a farm created by the railroad, thank a liberal.

If you think the US constitution is pretty cool, and have ever traveled too or done business with a country whose democracy was inspired by the American revolution, thank a liberal.

If you have not been drafted and used as cannon-fodder in some war caused by some petty insult between nobles, clan leaders, or other various overfed dictators, or suffered rape or looting in one of those countless wars, thank a liberal.

If you have not been tortured to death in a religious inquisition, thank a liberal.

If you don’t have to walk though ankle-deep sewage in the streets (because sewers are big gummint), thank a liberal.

If you have ever done anything that is a religious or superstitious taboo (i.e,. done anything at all) without being stoned to death or cast out as a heretic, thank a liberal.

If you have never been raped, and then had the rapist escape punishment on the grounds that he marry you, thank a liberal.

If you are not a slave toiling to build a pyramid for some lazy dictator who’s so spoiled he thinks he’s god, and won’t even see it until he’s dead, thank a liberal.

If you have not been killed as a human sacrifice in the name of some god, thank a liberal.

In short, if you’ve ever enjoyed anything of the post-stone-age world, thank a liberal.

…And if not, become a conservative.

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