Here is the link to today's (2/28/09) presidential address. It is by far his best so far, and is the rallying cry we have been waiting for. This is no modest assessment. It is "damn the torpedoes; full speed ahead!" As of today, I have great confidence we will succeed.
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go
It's a cruel ... cruel summer"
Saturday, February 28, 2009
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
For the quarterly period ended September 30, 2008
For the transition period from to
Commission File Number: 333-112246
Morris Publishing Group, LLC
Morris Publishing Finance Co.*
(Exact name of Registrants as specified in their charters)
"We have purchased a software license agreement to replace the print edition newspaper in education (“NIE”) copies at all of our newspapers with electronic editions in order to reduce our net production costs. In addition, we anticipate marketing electronic edition only copies to new subscribers and providing print subscribers free access to these electronic editions during the first six months of 2009," p. 23.
Posted by George Schwarz at 1:25 PM
Posted by Barry Cochran at 10:12 AM
Here are the top two headlines from today's Roanoke Times:
Obama sets firm date to end Iraq war he inherited
Blacksburg wins case against superstore
The times, they are a'changin'! It has been a long, dark night, and the morning is still cold, but sunrise is unmistakable. Not to stretch the metaphor beyond its limits, but we do know that there will be another night. We need to build our shelter while there is still daylight. If you have the sense that the last eight years dragged on interminably, and that the past month has just flown by, that is the result of having much to do in a limited time.
It is not enough just to change policy that can be changed back later. We need to be about the business of building both a legal and a political infrastructure that will make the next night less cold and dangerous. That means (a) writing as much of our agenda into law as possible, rather than relying upon executive order, and (b) making as clear as possible to as many as possible that the past eight years were not the result of one rogue administration, but of the consistent application by that administration of a set of philosophical principles that simply do not work. And, as I have written before, that work demands that, at least for a while longer, we put less emphasis on whatever disagreements we may have among ourselves, because we cannot afford to be distracted from the objectives I've laid out.
Meanwhile, this is a time to be proud of the United States. By tradition and by law, we have set the example of a nation that can dramatically revise its priorities and goals without resort to violence.
Posted by Demophoenix at 10:09 AM
Friday, February 27, 2009
I agree with Spacedark. I think a newspaper person should be held to a higher standard, but by the same token we are human and typing may not be our strongest suit. That isn’t as important as my real beef. (Oh, Les, do read this. ) He and Morris Communications are part of a corporate machine that has sold
I have it on good authority that when Les went into the departments to announce layoffs, there was no “Thank you for your 20, 25 or 30 or 35 years of service.” It was, “You are no longer employed at the Amarillo Globe-News.”
That reflects a corporate callousness that I find counter to his widely professed Christianity. Further, before Les closed his Facebook page to the public, around the time of the layoffs, he asked people to pray for him. I think if I were in that position, I might have also asked people to pray for the employees who were to be laid off.
Further, if you look at Les’ blog, there really are very few comments there. I don't think most people in the community really care what Les has to say or write. His credibility and the credibility of the Globe-News is pretty much in the toilet. Fact is, so many times Les has said one thing to his own employees and done something else that his own people don’t believe or trust him.
As for the rolls of newsprint, it’s possible that there were only three left right before a just-in-time delivery. After the new truck gets unloaded, he sends one of his crack “investigative” photographers to take nice pictures and -- bingo! -- he has a another way to spin his spin. There are other scenarios, too, but the point is, why should anyone believe him?
By the way, what’s an “investigative” photographer? This implied disdain for investigative reporting -- well, Les can’t escape from showing his disdain for real journalism. How is that statement backed up?
A few years ago, the AGN did a Franklin Covey program, one part of which was to come up with “Wow!” stories -- articles that people would talk about around the water cooler. He told the newsroom that there were no “sacred cows.” Most of the staff just rolled their eyes and knew that was total BS.
Want more? Let’s try this one: In the PTS blog Les cites, he labels it “reporting.” But the very blog post he linked to in order to criticize it slugged it as “rumor” and acknowledged, “I'm publishing this because we're a blog with no standards of verification. And we've heard it from multiple sources.” So why does Les call it “reporting” when it was clearly stated it wasn’t?
Maybe he’ll tell us in his next blog post. Or not.
The fact is that the big Billy and the little Willy have a callow kid running the Amarillo Globe-News. And the workers and the community pay the price.
Posted by George Schwarz at 7:48 PM
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Less-is-more Simpson has both given us backhanded compliments and accused us of not being "so good in [sic] giving you the truth" in his 13-day-old blog. So we weren't surprised to see our good friend Reyne Telles mentioned by Simpson in his post about Panhandle Days in Austin:
Also present were some former Amarilloans, including Emily Klein (formerly of Leadership Amarillo/Canyon) and Reyne Telles (former of Cal Farley's), who is now Media Relations Manger with the City of Austin.Except that we weren't aware that Reyne was a "Manger." Born in one, maybe.
See, Les, when you blog, there are no flunkies out there in the ether beyond your office who will correct your grammar and spelling before you embarrass yourself.
But we will, after you embarrass yourself.
Posted by Barry Cochran at 5:14 PM
Monday, February 23, 2009
Geithner as Spock?
This is an economic post, so I wanted to make you laugh first, 'cause it's bleak. And after talking with a bunch of analysts, whom I trust implicitly to give me info to base my own families future hopes on, I gotta be honest . . .
I got pink-slipped last Thursday. Out on my ass in the worst economy in 25 years. In an industry that is on life-support. More in a minute . . .
First, I believe that life is about keeping our promises, and I made promises to my family . . . that my wife and I would retire with dignity. A promise to help my kids with their undergrad. Wedding for my daughter? Gratis. All of this was based upon the fact that for the last 80 years or so, the markets went generally up. The most plain vanilla mutual fund, left alone, grew around 11% for the last 25 years before fees. Bond funds around 6%. Market timers generally made 3%.
Until last year.
All correlations that I can get technical research on have been reset to zero. I have been reading until late just about every night. This is a meltdown where we have to find a new way, 'cause we are in a dark alley. You know this already . . .
As a good little capitalist-American, I bought the "social security won't be there" argument, that business needs some oversight, but that smart people start companies that make it, and investment banks propel the economy forward through smart loans as a result of serious due diligence, and not a handshake.
I also had faith that regulators in the financial world were not as revolving door as I thought. I was wrong.
I was wrong about so much . . . why shouldn't hedge funds be allowed to make $$ on the way down as well as up through short sells? Why shouldn't seeking alpha (or greater than average returns) be the holy grail?
Hedge funds manipulated market research, brokerage firms became the largest oil companies in the world through futures, banks made up highly complex fiction, and rating agencies who get paid by said banks put an "Aaa" stamp of approval on that fiction. All lies.
Back to my prospects. . .
I am luckier than others, because the family is healthy, and I have a few months salary in a money market. Three months, by our budget. Many, many, many, many others are dealing with choosing between meds and food. Or a house and food. I can use my industry knowledge to buy temporary high deductible health insurance rather than rip-off COBRA, and that will help some.
But here is the thing . . . I was kicking ass for for my company. Me and one other guy represented 50% of all departmental sales out of 10 people. I added $1.6 MM in yearly recurring revenues to the firms bottom line in a failing economy. Budgets have to be cut in bad times, Prodigal Son, C U.
Being a great performing, loyal, w2 employee does not mean anything anymore other than you are one day away from being shit-canned. These at-will work laws, union suppression, the total belief in unfettered free markets that police themselves. . . brother and sisters, there has to be another way.
I have one, and will post it later . . . but now, please excuse me. I am going to go wrestle around with the kids, kiss them, and get them ready for bed.
One last thought . . . in the end, a house is a house, car is just a car, but is a promise made to our kids for a better life than their folks, and then broken when they are too young to understand just one of life's hard lessons?
Posted by Prodigal Son at 8:50 AM
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Right Wing Radio hosts have been allowed to mouth off the most extremist views imaginable over the past thirty some odd years. Their work has created a group of people riddled with views so moronic and far fetched that even their own party is embarrased to put them on the news. In her documentary Right America: Feeling Wronged Alexandra Pelosi shows one Republican after another spouting lies about Obama...
Obama is a Socialist
Obama is a Muslim
Obama is the AntiChrist
Obama will take away your guns
Obama will abort babies right and left
and the biggest lie of all
All media is a left wing lie and everyone on the left is brainwashed by it. This despite Fox News and the literal domination of radio by Right Wing nutjobs like Rush Limbaugh.
These people, I believe, have come to make up the majority of all Republicans and that is horrifying. We have a nation filled with people who believe lies.
Posted by lequino at 5:24 PM
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Maybe you or someone you know is a current-event-interested, young, democratic, student, citizen, liberal? If so, please behold and/or forward, a schedule:
Panhandle Young Democrats (PYDs) Chartering Meeting Feb 22, 2009
Date: Feb 22
Time: 7pm to 9pm
Location: Cadillac Joe's
Address: 4111 Wolflin Avenue, Amarillo, TX
Contact: Brandon Dix, email@example.com
Meeting and celebration to charter with the Texas Young Democrats, and to ratify our club constitution and by-laws. Food, drink and fun! Come be a Charter member!
Potter-Randall Democratic Club (PRDC) Monthly Meeting Feb 23, 2009
Date: Feb 23
Location: Amarillo United Citizen Forum’s Black Historical Cultural Center
Address: 901 N Hayden, Amarillo, TX
Contact: Gentry Powell, Jr, 381-2012, firstname.lastname@example.org
Prenis Williams speaks on “Black History Journeys Then and Now”. Refreshments and fellowship!
West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) Democrats Club Meeting Feb 25, 2009
Date: Feb 25
Location: Jack B Kelley (JBK) Student Center, Room 13
Address/Map Hyper-link: WTAMU Campus, see building 2, Canyon, TX
Contact: Wes Condray, email@example.com; Donna Raef, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Lisa Caid, email@example.com
Free pizza! Membership is open to all WTAMU students, faculty, staff and alumni. Membership drive is now underway!
Amarillo United Citizens Forum (AUCF) Banquet Feb 28, 2009
Date: Feb 28
Location: Black Historical Cultural Center
Address: 901 N. Hayden, Amarillo, TX
Cost: $15 per person, or table of eight for $12.50 per person (J Stein and B Dix have reserved tables)
Contact: AUCF; Jerry Stein, 351-2744, firstname.lastname@example.org; Brandon Dix, email@example.com
Volunteers wanted (contact B Dix) to help cook for and support the AUCF Banquet!
Liberals Welcome the Texas Observer “Opening the Eyes of Texas Since 1954” to the Conservative Texas Panhandle Feb 28, 2009
Date: Feb 28
Location: Amarillo Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Building
Address: 4901 Cornell (Across from Bonham Jr High), Amarillo, TX
Contact: 359-4473; or 626-2452
Call for story suggestions about the Texas Panhandle: can be investigative, ironic or humorous. Submit on letter-sized paper with suggested title, 2 - 3 sentences about the story and your contact information!
Find out what is really going on in the Lege, meet Editor Bob Moser and Publisher Carlton Carl, plus tamales, beer, wine, music and SPEECHES!
Posted by It's only me . . . at 5:07 PM
I have written before about how regrettable it is that we have such a divided politics in this country. It would be nice if we could have discussions about which of several reasonable ideas is most likely to produce a desired outcome. This would make our politics more worthy of a civilized nation, and more likely to result in some generally positive course of action, even if at the same time our political structure became rather less clear cut.
For better or worse, we do not have that luxury. The national Republican Party is dominated by people whose election depends upon building and maintaining convenient fictions for the consumption of voters who do not recognize the fictional nature of their preferences. Until these fictions can be completely blown up, and those who hold them relegated to the fringes of politics, we have no choice but to make common cause with everyone who will fight them. The Democratic Party, while certainly not perfect, is at least dominated by those with a willingness to be guided by fact and reason. That is why our politics remain very polarized, and explains the outcome of a new evaluation of members of Congress, based upon their voting patterns. In it, those Democrats rated least progressive outdistance the most progressive Republicans by considerable margins. While such analyses are necessarily imperfect, because they involve someone's estimation of the meaning and weight to give to individual votes that are, at least superficially, much more complicated, they do provide some insight. Specifically, as I have suggested previously, our objective must be not to quarrel too much among ourselves until we have induced a major change in the construction of the Republican Party. Until that party either disappears as a major force or restructures itself as a party willing to succumb to evidence and reasoning, they will be an unacceptable alternative that cannot be given any breathing room. In other words, if there is an opportunity to replace a generally less progressive Democrat with a more progressive one, then fine. But when the choice is between a Ben Nelson or a Mary Landrieu and a generic Republican, we are indeed well served to support the Democrat whole-heartedly.
Posted by Demophoenix at 12:02 PM
First came word of renewed activity in the case of the Tylenol killer. Now, we hear that an arrest may be impending in the Candra Levy case. Locally, we've even seen sudden resolutions of cold cases.
What is this all about? Trying to tie up all the loose ends before the end of our civilization?
Posted by Barry Cochran at 9:28 AM
............................Piles of unread newspapers. (Michigan Daily)
I have way mixed feelings about this (also here). Both articles are a bit vague on where the endowment ($5 billion for the New York Times alone) would come from, but, in the current economy, it's hard to imagine it coming from anywhere but the federal government. On the one hand, call me Grover (Norquist, not the muppet), but my knee jerks against the idea of the U.S. government having a state-owned media, its own personal Pravda.1 On the other hand, the news media hasn't really been independent anyway since the newspapers and the television stations all became subsidiaries of the corporate megaliths. On the third hand, I'm dubious whether the newspapers are worth saving. For example, Kamiya makes a big deal about field reporting-- but field reporting has been dying since the eighties. The world is already the "less known place" he fears. On the fourth hand, the partially publicly-funded media that already exist-- PBS and NPR-- do actually do a better job of reporting (with fewer resources) than the mainstream media. On the fifth hand, I barely read newsprint anymore. I read even the Amarillo Indy online (though I do pick up a couple of copies at Market Street, figuring that will somehow help George with his advertisers. I promptly drop them in the recycling bins.) On the sixth hand, I...uh...do the crosswords. When I'm really bored.
1Yes, I wrote that. This isn't the fake Spacedark. Here, maybe this comment will help: didn't we bitch about excessive government control of Fox News throughout the Bush years?
Posted by Barry Cochran at 8:07 AM
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
"And why is that?", the Globe-Republican asks. Could it have anything to do with the laissez-faire policies espoused by your paper throughout the Bush years? The same hands-off attitude that allowed our financial system to go rocketing out of control? Let the markets decide? Well, the markets decided. Whether it's peanuts or credit default swaps the market decided it's best to look the other way, ultimately putting us all at risk.
Posted by blogarillo at 7:30 AM
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
The PTS forensic lab, from an undisclosed, secure location, releases the following evidence in support of the Karl Rove-Heinrich Himmler association previously revealed by Lequino. It had previously been thought that Rove more resembled Nazi master propagandist Freidrich Goebbels, but the following DNA fingerprint evidence firmly establishes that Rove is none other than Himmler, or his more evil twin. Starting on the left, lane 1 is Rove, followed by lane 2, Goebbels; lane 3, Joseph Stalin; lane 4, Pol Pot; lane 5, Himmler; lane 6 Dick Cheney.
Food for thought, indeed.
Posted by Demophoenix at 8:25 PM
Posted by lequino at 11:16 AM
Remember when Darth Cheney said, "Reagan proved deficits don't matter."
Was he a lying sack then, or are you Rethugs lying sacks now?
Oh, and Jim DeMint (R, Confederacy), when you out and out LIE about the stimulus, you do not have a pot to piss in.
Just sayin . . .
Posted by Prodigal Son at 9:55 AM
Monday, February 16, 2009
Begala points out that S. Carolina already gets more back from federal spending than it pays in taxes. So I say let's let Governor Sanford's state off the hook completely. They don't have to pay any federal taxes but don't get any federal money either. Nothing...not from the stimulus package and not from current programs. We'll save a lot of cash.
There you go Sanford...happy now?
You might also notice that Begala rightly points out that Sanford made no new suggestions on how to solve the crisis, just the same old Republican stuff that got us where we are today. I'll go ahead and paste in Sanford's solutions (from Begala's article) for the crisis...see if they don't look familiar.
"... cutting the payroll tax, opening foreign markets through an expansion of our trade agreements, and reducing our corporate tax, which is among the highest worldwide."
It's the same, pump up supply side, economic policy that has put us in a situation where we're swimming in supply and no one can buy anything. I'm not an economist but come on, you can't keep building supply when there is no demand.
Republican solutions according to Sanford
Cutting payroll tax -- Why so these guys can make more product and remodel their offices?
Open Foreign markets -- I'd say they're pretty well open now...especially where our manufacturing jobs are concerned.
Expand Trade Agreements -- Do you think we can build cheaper products than countries where they have slave labor...duh I don't think so.
Reduce Corporate Tax -- See "cutting Payroll Tax" except add golden parachutes.
It's the highest in the world -- Yeah but we also have the highest salaries in the world, by far -- think other things factor into our corporate tax rate? -- think corporate tax lawyers haven't got about a million other loopholes they can jump through to avoid paying taxes-- Haven't seen the statistics showing the number of corporations that pay nothing in taxes? -- think it might just be another way for greedy business jerks to rip taxpayers off?
Posted by lequino at 10:22 AM
Sunday, February 15, 2009
It's coming up real quick.......
The Amarillo United Citizens Forum banquet is set for Saturday, February 28,
2009 at 6:30 PM at the Black Historical Cultural Center, 901 N. Hayden. The
price is $15.00 per person but if we get a table of eight, the price is
$12.50 per person.
As Democrats, let's at least get one table. Jerry Stein is in charge of
making up the table(or tables). Please let him know by Monday, February 16,
2009. Jerry's number is 351-2744 or E-Mail Address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
HQ Executive Cmt. Chair
Posted by Barry Cochran at 9:57 AM
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Republican Mark Sanford reminds us all that we shouldn't mortgage the futures of our children. Guess he and his fellow Republicans didn't think about that when they set record deficits every year of Bush's two terms.
Posted by lequino at 11:08 AM
Monday, February 09, 2009
We hear that David H. Henry, Dave-the-wingnut, occasional Ghostly VoiceTM of the Amarillo Globe-Republican, will no longer be cutting-and-pasting text from the Limbaugh Letter to the Opinion Page. Apparently, he's been transferred back to the Sports Desk. (Rest easy, though, Globe-Republican fans. Jon Mark Beilue, at this writing, is still on the Old-Men-Drinking-Coffee beat.)
We know. The Ghostly VoiceTM was supposed to be the "
hysterical historical voice" of the Globe-Republican and not Dave Henry's personal opinions gleaned from an overdose of Fox News and cheap vodka from a plastic bottle, but if you believe that you probably also believe that the Canadian "River" is actually a body of water and not just a ditch running through the northern Panhandle. So, we have to ask, whither the Ghostly VoiceTM? Will the mythical spectral journo be able to maintain the façade of party-line wingnuttery without Mr. Henry's distinctive perspective? What, in the bigger picture, will happen to Globe-Republican conservatism in the Post-Partisan Era of Obama? (What will happen to PTS? the CTs will ask. But we'll take care of ourselves, thank you very much.) Virgil's long gone. Without Dave, the Globe-Republican Opinion page is reduced to John Kanelis' nanny-stateism, which– to be perfectly honest– annoys conservatives just as much as it does us. I know. I've talked to them. They– shudder– blame Kanelips on us.
I guess there's always Sagan. (Is there?) If you know what he believes, you should send him an email and let him know.
Are you there, our Once and Future Sportswriter? Dave? Listen to us: we're being honest. We'll miss you, man. And we're glad– genuinely glad– that the reprehensible neocon policies that have cost so many their jobs – policies, honesty compels us to add, that you mouthed– have not cost you yours. At least not completely. At least not yet.
We honestly hope you can hold on at the paper1, in some capacity. We don't want anyone causing you any grief, any hurt, or any pain.
Well, besides us, I mean.
1 Though to refer to it as a "paper" seems a bit quaint, dunnit?
Posted by Barry Cochran at 5:00 PM
Sunday, February 08, 2009
I have recently been reading The Tipping Point, by journalist Malcolm Gladwell. The basic premise is that large social changes can be catalyzed by seemingly small efforts, if done in the right way. While, as an academic exercise, the book reeks of typically sloppy journalistic style, it nevertheless hits on a vitally important, if not new idea. Anthropologist Margaret Mead is credited with the quotation, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." So, the idea has a long history. Still, the collection of examples that Gladwell puts together, many of which are not intuitive, is quite instructive.
Posted by Demophoenix at 9:36 AM
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Thursday, February 05, 2009
My only regret is that the plan could not be comprehensive. We need to put a gigantic pump squarly in the middle of the reptilian brained, greed addled, culture that is our investment/ banking/ lending/ insurance/ medical/ weapons foundering, overdriven cesspool of a swamp. We need to drain that muggy mosquito ridden lowland and like ranchers slaughtering disease ridden cattle in a pit systematically destroy every Fioriniesque Gila Monster crawling around in the muddy remains.
Posted by lequino at 1:33 PM
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Speaking truth to power in
The credibility of those in leadership goes to the heart of “
First, no panelist spoke the “unvarnished truth” as they promised. Few of their responses were direct answers to the questions from moderator Ellen Robertson Green, who made clear that the show was McCartt’s and that the two cheerleaders were the mayor’s choice. McCartt could have shown more respect for the truth had she invited someone paid to be objective, like an economist or business professor. Instead, she revealed more about herself than she realized. She gave the public a choice between the “unvarnished truth” and a verbal dance and the public got the soft shoe.
Other “leaders” are part of the spin. Marc Gilmour, general manager of KVII-Channel 7, recently ran promotions about our “strong local economy” just days after laying off staff. In an e-mail to Green, Gilmour argued the layoffs were the result of weakness elsewhere in Barrington Broadcasting Co. But, it still doesn’t change the fact that the layoffs occurred in
Molberg and David each provided flawed information. Molberg claimed that he thinks a lot about the small business community in
And David characterized the data on subsidized or free school lunches, a reflection of poverty in the community, as “typical” of the
The perception is Obama is faltering. The Rethugs, villagers, and establishment Washington want to "Take Him Down a Peg."
Well, he is the President, and here's how he can win, and get this stimulus bill wrapped and shut the critics up.
I respectfully suggest that the President co-op 5 minutes at the beginning of the evening news. Tonight. Every channel, even cable.
Just take 5 minutes, and use a power point to show us how the bill will help. Say directly who is holding up the train (republican bastards) and a specific example of how this is hurting America. That they are hurting your family to make a political point.
At the end, ask for our help and flash the switchboard number to congress. Tell us to call in the morning at 9 AM and ask our congress critter/senator to put America first and support the stim bill now!
We need an FDR moment here. Simple. Direct. Bypasses the Broder/Scarborough/Will/Dowd/ crowd.
BTW, when I have called the white house switchboard (202-456-1414) to suggest this, I have asked to be connected to:
Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel
Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina
Deputy Chief of Staff Mona Sutphen
Senior Adviser David Axelrod
Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett
Senior Adviser Pete Rouse
I was always put moved to general comments. Can anyone pass this message on from a regular guy?
Posted by Prodigal Son at 10:23 AM
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
I'm publishing this because we're a blog with no standards of verification. And we've heard it from multiple sources.
Word around town is that the Globe-News will stop publishing a print edition this fall and go online only.
If this is true, the Independent will be excited because they'll be the only general-interest newsprint in town.
We'll be excited because the Globe-News will have no more credibility than the Panhandle Truth Squad. But we'll miss the crossword puzzles.
Again, this may be just a rumor, one the Globe-News should nip in the bud if untrue. But with the bankruptcy and the cutting back to two sections...
Posted by Barry Cochran at 5:32 PM
Posted by blogarillo at 12:37 PM
I've followed the development of the +$800 billion stimulus bill and its debate in the House and now the Senate. It doesn't take long to fall behind in understanding this complex legislation, to become frustrated at it all. Some of it will do what is intended - generate activity in the economy; and some of it probably won't. I sense though, that it will fall far short of what we need.
So, what needs to be done?
There are at least three interrelated challenges we face.
First, we must arrest the increase of greenhouse gases and stabilize carbon dioxide at less than 350 ppm (we're currently at 385 ppm and increasing almost 2 ppm/year). If we achieved that, global warming would probably be held to less than 3.6 deg F, which would avert the most catastrophic effects of planetary warming. If we don't, humans are in for a scale of change that our current 'civilization' hasn't ever faced. I'm talking major hard times for us and the ecosystems we depend on.
Second, we must eliminate our dependence on imported oil. The major mission of our global military imperium is to protect and ensure a reliable supply of oil. It's why we maintain hundreds of military installations around the world projecting American power, why we invaded Iraq, why we coddle Arab dictators and kings, why our balance of trade is so out of whack. It's an addiction that could hit us cold turkey when we slide down the backside of the peak oil curve not long from now.
Third, we must create new jobs - jobs that afford a decent living wage, jobs that will stay in America - dignified, productive, socially valuable jobs that contribute to making this a better place.
The key to these three challenges is that we must transition, as quickly as possible, to a non-fossil fuel based energy economy. It took a World War to pull us out of the Great Depression. And it will take a similar, probably even greater, effort to transform our economy and society and get us out of the descending, steadily warming handbasket we find ourselves in now.
Instead of bombers and battleships, we build wind generators and solar collectors and smart grids. Instead of tanks and jeeps, we build light rail and electric cars. Instead of victory gardens, we embrace community supported agriculture and become localvores. Instead of a military draft, we employ an army of experts to retrofit our buildings to be energy efficient. Instead of debt to China, we sell Renew Bonds to invest in our transformation here at home.
If we can do these, we could build a low carbon, sustainable, renewable energy economy that reduces global warming and its negative impacts, that eliminates our dependency on foreign energy sources and the need to protect them, and that creates new jobs for a sustainable economy that plugs the leaks that drain our wealth.
Nothing less is going to save us from a world of hurt.
The change I believe in would have President Obama call on the American people to rise to meet these challenges. We don't need a new New Deal that tinkers around the edges, but a Great Transformation that will create an economy and society that will give us a fighting chance to pass on a better world. That's the speech I want to hear, the direction I want to pull in, and the hope and change I want President Obama to articulate and lead us toward.
What do you think? Will we hear that speech?
Posted by pazamarillo at 10:58 AM