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11.16 Scotland was first Industrialized Country to Run wholly on Wind in October

11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]

11.15  The long read:  The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]

11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]

11.15 Trump administration to cut air pollution from heavy-duty trucks

11.14 Backed by Ocasio-Cortez, Youth Climate Activists Arrested in Pelosi's Office Demanding Democrats Embrace 'Green New Deal'

11.13 What would a smog-free city look like?

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11.13 Interior department whistleblower: Ryan Zinke hollowed out the agency

11.12  This Land is Your Land:  The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.12 Planned Parenthood's new president warns of 'state of emergency' for women's health

11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]

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11.17 As Energy for Medicare for All Explodes, Steny Hoyer's Plan Includes Waiting for Trump to Help Make Obamacare Better [Another who is unfit to be Democrat leader]

11.17 'A Staggeringly Bad Idea': Outrage as Pelosi Pushes Tax Rule That Would 'Kneecap the Progressive Agenda' [Unfit to be Democrat leader]

11.17 Trump Is Starting to Panic

11.16 As 'Green New Deal' Demand Grows, Democrats Have Choice: Confront and Defeat Fossil Fuel Industry or Take Credit for 'Doomed' Planet [Two choices: Save life-on-Earth or help Republicans let it die?]

11.16 Trump’s latest interview shows a president who’s in way over his head

11.16 Why the political fight in Georgia is far from over

11.16 Florida judge sides with Democrats, giving thousands a second chance to fix their ballots

11.15 Democrats Won Big. Can They Go Bold, Too? [it's about suppressing the influence and leadership by Republican-like Democrats who counsel 'íncremental' (no) change, such as Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Shumer and Joe Biden]

11.15 Pentagon Officials Forced to Make Fewer Public Appearances to Avoid Provoking Trump [...by revealing Trump's huuuge ignorance]

11.15 REPUBLICANS USED A BILL ABOUT WOLVES TO AVOID A VOTE ON YEMEN WAR [if there are 'defense industry' profits to be made—including congress-critter insider-trading—and political 'donations' to be had, we mustn't stop killing innocent civilians!]

11.15 Big Oil v the planet is the fight of our lives. Democrats must choose a side

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11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]

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11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]

11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]

11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]

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11.17 Saudi crown prince's 'fit' delays UN resolution on war in Yemen

11.17 Thousands gather to block London bridges in climate rebellion [We're losing WWIII because the enemy is invisible while we're like frogs slowly cooking. We aren't informed enough to be alarmed, but must get organized and motivated to fight back. We need a War Plan to ruthlessly pursue the fight of our lives!]

11.17 Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds [Climate catastrophe is increasingly likely without worldwide organization, funding and commitment to winning THE WAR AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING.]

11.17 CIA finds Saudi crown prince ordered Jamal Khashoggi killing – report

11.15 Cuba to pull doctors out of Brazil after President-elect Bolsonaro comments [terms must be negotiated for fairness to Cuba's health professionals without disruption of healthcare for Brazil's poor]

11.14 'Appalling' Khashoggi audio shocked Saudi intelligence – Erdogan [Exposing a psychopath?]

11.14 Israel and Hamas launch hundreds of attacks in Gaza clash

11.14 Mueller seeking more details on Nigel Farage, key Russia inquiry target says

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  Print view: The Dishonor of Militarism
SPEAKING OUT:

The Dishonor of Militarism

by Sheldon Richman
Thursday, 2 September 2010
The U.S. government has committed the greatest imaginable betrayal of American values as professed in the Declaration of Independence: Born in rebellion against an empire, America now is the empire against which others rebel.

What a blown opportunity! Glenn Beck gathered thousands of people at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday to urge a restoration of American honor—but not once did he mention the most egregious assault on America’s honor: militarism.

It would have been a perfect time to call for dismantling the American empire, ending the bloody occupations and covert wars in Muslim lands, and terminating the gross violations of the rights of Americans and foreigners alike. Under the guise of the “war on terror” those things have stained this country’s reputation—perhaps beyond repair. Yet judging by the speeches at Beck’s rally, you would never know they were happening. He and his fans must think those things don’t dishonor America.

Beck says the country must return to its values, but he seems not to realize that the U.S. government has committed the greatest imaginable betrayal of American values as professed in the Declaration of Independence: Born in rebellion against an empire, America now is the empire against which others rebel.

Here’s a clue to how out of touch with reality the event was: Beck’s headliner, Sarah Palin, praised the military as “a force for good in this country, and that is nothing to apologize for.”

No? I guess she’s been too busy the last nine years to realize that the American military is a weapon of empire. Rather than keeping the American people safe, it endangers them by occupying foreign lands, imposing corrupt puppet governments, and killing resisters as “insurgents,” “militants,” and “terrorists.” Regularly occurring “mistakes” take the lives of people not even suspected of resistance.

Far from opposing the militarism that has taken the lives more than a million people since 2001, Beck and Palin embrace it. As the Associated Press reported, “The event’s website says the rally is to pay tribute to America’s military personnel and others ‘who embody our nation’s founding principles of integrity, truth and honor.’” I suppose those “others” are the politicians, military bureaucrats, lobbyists, and defense contractors pursuing an agenda as far removed from integrity, truth, and honor as it can be. Those are the people who lied Americans into illegal wars that by the government’s own reckoning create more “terrorists” than they destroy. When a member of the military actually acts with integrity and honor, as PFC Bradley Manning apparently did by exposing to Wikileaks what’s happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, he’s threatened with half a century in prison.

For Beck, all that is to be ignored. He told his audience, “This country has spent far too long worrying about scars and thinking about scars and concentrating on scars. Today, we are going to concentrate on the good things in America, the things that we have accomplished, and the things that we can do tomorrow.”

Well, the people in the Middle East and Central Asia whose lives have been scarred by U.S. policy can’t wait for Beck and his crowd to get over their feel-good session. They want the bombings and surges to stop now.

It is unseemly to brag about how good “we” are while the U.S. government causes such misery day after day across the world.

Until we understand the “scars” and the deeds that continue to cause them, they will overshadow any good things. It is unseemly to brag about how good “we” are while the U.S. government causes such misery day after day across the world. Beck touts America’s exceptionalism, but to those receiving its Hellfire missiles, that just means America can trash the rest of the world with impunity.

Shame on Beck for ignoring all this.

Beck and his audience make themselves irrelevant in another way. They claim to be concerned about what they call “socialism”—government domination of the economy—but they have no clue that today the greatest impetus for it is militarism and empire. Those cost an incredible amount of money—more than $1 trillion a year—and divert an intolerable amount of scarce resources and labor to the politicians’ hegemonic purposes rather than to making average people’s lives better. Without the bloated national-“security” apparatus, companies would compete for consumers’ patronage in the marketplace rather than striving to become government contractors milking the taxpayers.

How ironic that a rally for honor and against socialism gave a pass to the biggest sources of disgrace and government consolidation of our time.


Sheldon Richman is senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation and editor of The Freeman magazine.



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This story was published on September 2, 2010.
 

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