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  Twelve Compelling Reasons to Have Chosen to Elect

       Barack Obama and not John McCain

                                                                                            www.EarthManifesto.com                                                                                                            Dr. Tiffany B. Twain  

                                                                        November 7, 2008

In the hopes that the Earth Manifesto would be discovered by millions of people before the November 2008 election, I had modified One Dozen Big Initiatives to Positively Transform Our Societies to be an advocacy piece for Barack Obama and the positive change that he potentially represents.  Here it is, for the historical record.


The Presidential election that will take place on November 4, 2008 is critically important to our future.  Twelve principal categories of public policy are discussed in detail below.  It is vitally important for us to courageously and honestly address these issues.  We must deal with these challenges in a bipartisan way, and emphasize fair and sound economic policies.  And we must remember to take into account the social and environmental aspects of all public policies so that they are sane and long-term-oriented.

The backdrop of this election is startling.  The most serious economic crisis since the Great Depression confronts us.  Banks and insurance companies on Wall Street and in Europe are failing.  Credit, which is critical to business and trade, is paralyzed, causing normal business activities to be disrupted.  These circumstances are creating dangerous financial instability, and they are forcing our federal government (and thus taxpayers) to make desperate and extremely costly bailouts of giant corporations that are “too big to fail”. 

We must now change our priorities and alter the status quo.  We need to elect a smart, flexible and fair-minded leader who understands the numerous ways in which our current policies are undermining the greater good by squandering resources, creating undue risk, piling up debt, obstructing progressive change, eroding hopes of actualizing good-citizen goals, unfairly exploiting workers, damaging ecosystems, and putting the prosperity of people today and future generations at risk. 

Consider the following twelve comprehensive plans that would help achieve the common good goal of making the world a better, fairer and safer place:

1.  A SOUND ECONOMY.  We need to protect our economy by reestablishing sensible banking and financial industry regulations to prevent the harm done by greed, speculation, overly-risky debt leveraging, corporate conglomeration, imbalanced conflicts of interest and the unaccountable power of big corporations.  We must promote broadly-distributed prosperity in our nation, and prevent abuses of power and unfair privileges for insiders.  Instead of pandering to wealthy people, CEO’s, speculators, war profiteers, polluters, the radical religious right, and economic fundamentalists who oppose sensible regulations and oversight, we must embrace economically sound policies and innovative ideas, prudent risk-taking, greater transparency, economic justice, farsighted environmental policies and sustainable activities.  We must reverse the trends in our government and society toward fiscal irresponsibility, misallocations of resources, dishonesty, deception, discriminatory practices highly-leveraged speculation, and hyper-partisanship that have created such serious systemic risks.  Desperate government bailouts must safeguard the greater interests of the mainstream public, and not just those of investors and Wall Street banks.  All economic stimulus and recovery efforts should contain socially-just provisions and ecologically-sound plans.

2.  ENERGY POLICIES.  The United States needs to achieve independence from its addiction to fossil fuels.  The best way to do this is to boldly change course on national energy policies.  Instead of shortsightedly continuing to subsidize oil companies and stimulate efforts to “Drill, Baby, Drill”, we must invest in a world energy-modernization program along the lines of the “Ten-Point Plan for Good Jobs and Energy Independence” that is advocated by a coalition of business, labor, environmental, and community leaders called the Apollo Alliance.  This revolutionary change will shift the emphasis of our national energy policies to greater efficiency of energy use, and toward conservation of energy resources, and to the development of alternatives to fossil fuels.  It will also help us to make significant reductions in climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions.  These are extremely important steps for us to take in order to create a healthy economy and improve our national security.  John McCain is the wrong candidate to lead on this issue because is nearly as deeply in the pockets of Big Oil as the Bush/Cheney crowd, and he has supported shortsighted expediencies like a wrong-headed “gas tax holiday” and he has opposed bold approaches to the adoption of renewable alternatives.

3.  MIDDLE CLASS FAIRNESS.  We need to strengthen and expand the middle class and improve opportunities for social mobility.  To do this, we must renew commitments to policies that benefit the majority, rather than merely pandering to the rich.  The middle class has been significantly harmed by unfair and regressive Republican tax and social policies.  To restore this vital segment of American society, we must once again implement strategies that helped build the middle class in the first place:  (a) regulate Big Business so that it primarily benefits “We the People”, and not just investors and wealthy people;  (b) make higher education more affordable for everyone by providing inexpensive financing and a program similar to the post-World War II “G.I. Bill”;  (c) invest in our nation’s crumbling physical infrastructure rather than in wars abroad;  (d) restore taxation that is fairer and more progressive;  (e) create balanced incentives for home ownership that are fair to a maximum number of people; (f) enact and enforce laws that give workers more power in their struggle against the abuses of capital;  (g) create a social safety net of universal healthcare and reduce the severe inequities that currently exist in medical care;  and (h) provide for a true Social Security retirement benefits program that protects retirees from having their payroll taxes squandered by the government.  These are progressive ideas much more likely to be implemented by Barack Obama and a Democratic Administration than the economic fundamentalists of the radical right who currently control our country.  

4.  WAR AND PEACE.  We need to find a way to courageously commit our nation to the diplomatic and peaceful resolution of conflicts between nations of the world.  We must pursue foreign policies that respect the sovereignty of other nations and enhance the mutual security of all.  We must reject wars for resources and military aggression and preemptive warfare.  Policy deciders must be prevented from waging wars to divert attention and money from domestic problems, OR to abuse power in the name of national security.  General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the enormously successful war hero of World War II and U.S. President from 1956 to 1961, warned Americans about the “military-industrial complex” and a "disastrous rise of misplaced power".  He emphatically counseled:  "Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”  A Cabinet-level Department of Peace should be created to advance the causes of international cooperation and responsible statesmanship in the resolution of conflicts.  Stronger international agreements, laws and institutions should be supported to prevent wars and torture and genocide.  A summit of Middle Eastern countries should be convened to develop strategies to solve conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan in ways that are most likely to ensure that these nations do not become failed states.  A bold new plan must be developed to guarantee a safe homeland for Palestinians and to make sure that they peacefully coexist with Israel.  A revolutionary new initiative should be launched to reduce the influence of radical extremism and religious fundamentalism worldwide.  International social justice, human rights and sustainable development should be actively promoted as top priorities along with these proposed robust peace-building initiatives.  Significant taxes should be levied on all sales of guns, ammunition and military weapons, and the funds generated should be used to create more just societies and to engage in proactive peace-building programs.  We need to elect a truly honorable leader, and NOT another representative of hawkish war enthusiasts and domineering supremacist Stern Father ideologies.  John McCain embodies the mentality of aggression and overweening influence by the defense and armaments industries.  He supports surges of military escalation and harbors a belligerent attitude toward Iran.  We must reject such Neoconservative ideas and the misallocations of resources that accompany them. 

5.  CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS.  We need to defend our Constitution and its checks and balances from Executive infringements.  George Bush and Dick Cheney have betrayed Americans by aggressively expanding the power of the Presidency.  In doing so, they have undermined the responsibilities of Congress and diminished the civil liberties of citizens.  Bush and Cheney have done this by using legal maneuvers and signing statements to evade rules of law, and by controlling information, acting with secrecy, exploiting fears to divide people, using propaganda and deceit, suppressing dissent, spying on American people with warrantless monitoring of communications, violating international treaties on torture, using “extraordinary renditions” of prisoners to offshore prisons, creating secret military tribunals, abridging habeas corpus rights, obstructing oversight and investigations, disdaining human rights, reducing workers’ rights and collective bargaining powers, cherry-picking science, intertwining government and religion, diminishing the prerogatives and reproductive rights of women, figuratively pillorying gays and lesbians, and manipulating the judicial system by consistently appointing right-wing judges.  John McCain is the representative of the radical right in this election, and to trust him to be more honest and responsible with these expanded presidential powers would be a risky gamble.  Eight years is far too much of these authoritarian gambits!  And we cannot afford to have another right-wing corporatist judge appointed to the Supreme Court to join John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia.  Give us a break!

6.  ETHICAL POLITICS.  We need to make politicians and our government more responsive to the needs of the people.  To do this, we should enact publicly-financed “Clean Money, Clean Election” legislation to institute far-reaching campaign finance reform.  We should also enact a more far-reaching Congressional Ethics Act to prevent politicians from giving in to the corrupting influence of corporate lobbyists and Big Money in our government.  We simply must reduce the overarching power that big corporations have in influencing Congress.  Bipartisan initiatives like this must be implemented to limit institutionalized bribery.  Misguided perks and wrongheaded subsidies and programs that facilitate the externalizing of costs upon society must be eliminated.  We must vigorously advance and protect the interests of small businesses, entrepreneurs, workers, women, children, minorities, and future generations.  We cannot continue to let our American democracy be damaged by the proliferation of ethical conflicts, influence peddling, deceptive practices, rash risk-taking, favoritism for the rich, cronyism, shortsighted profiteering, media manipulation, and outright fraud.  

7.  FAIR TAXATION.  We need to make taxation more progressive.  This means lower taxes for 90% of Americans and higher marginal tax rates and higher taxes on capital gains and a reinstatement of the pre-2001 status of the Estate Tax on the inheritances of rich kids.  To accomplish this egalitarian goal, we should enact a Social Justice Taxation Act that will make Tax Code revisions to ensure fairness.  This Act should be made consistent with the criteria of the wise lawgiver Solon, who created taxes that were graduated in such a way that the rich paid a rate 12 times that of the poor.  The most practical way to do this is to revise the federal Tax Tables so that every taxpayer will pay 4% (vs. the current 10%) on the first $15,000 of Taxable Income (for status of “Married, filing jointly”), and all taxpayers will pay 48% (vs. 35% currently) on any earnings they make in excess of $250,000.  A progressive sliding scale would determine tax rates for all earning brackets in between $15,000 and $250,000.  The tax changes should be made so that they are revenue neutral, i.e. they involve no new taxes in total.  In addition, tax loopholes and offshore incorporation that allow giant corporations to evade tens of billions in U.S. federal income taxes should be eliminated.  Hedge fund managers should be required to pay taxes on their income at regular rates, not low capital gains rates.

8.  BALANCED BUDGETS.  We need to stop our federal government from recklessly indulging in the short-term-oriented expediency of borrowing enormous amounts of money to squander it on tax breaks for rich people and fighting wars.  We should make a binding commitment to reduce the spiraling use of debt, and to stop the lavish waste of taxpayer funds and borrowed money.  To achieve this, we must reinstate Pay-As-You-Go spending rules for the federal budget.  We should also establish a new mechanism that will be effective in discouraging our expedient inclination to live beyond our means.  We should create a Fiscal Responsibility Act that will force lawmakers and the White House to set honest priorities and end government spending on wasteful bureaucracy, pork barrel projects, corporate welfare, corrupt profiteering and wars of aggression.  The following 3-year plan is guaranteed to be effective, because it will give a powerful motivation to the primary deciders in our system (wealthy people and big corporations) to support balanced budgets.  Here’s how it will work:  Pass a law requiring Big Businesses and the Wealthy to be assessed for federal deficits at the end of every fiscal year.  For instance, for the fiscal year running from October 1st, 2009 to September 30, 2010, assess 25% of any federal budget deficit as follows:  half of this obligation will be assessed to businesses that earn net incomes of more than $2 million, and the other half will be assessed to individuals with taxable incomes above $250,000.  Allocate these assessments on a progressive scale with higher percentages for higher incomes.  Then, in the following fiscal year, assess 50% of any deficits using the same methodology;  and in the year after that, assess 100% of any such deficits.  In recognition of the fact that the use of borrowed money can be sensible if it is used for such purposes as improving our nation’s schools and physical infrastructure, we should establish an effective system for issuing bonds with preferred low interest rates for citizen-approved investments.

9.  ECOLOGICAL SANITY.  We need to make revolutionary commitments to sustainable existence and a better quality of life.  To accomplish this, we should give higher priority to the following initiatives:  require all coal-burning power plants to be modernized with pollution-control equipment;  defend and enforce the Clean Air Act and its New Source Review provisions;  limit suburban sprawl;  establish more ocean Marine Reserves;  ensure that environmental laws are upheld, including the Clean Water Act, the Wilderness Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Endangered Species Act;  and increase protections of National Parks, Bureau of Land Management lands, National Wild and Scenic Rivers, and roadless areas of National Forests.

10.  HONEST ACCOUNTING.  Require the General Accounting Office (GAO) to improve internal controls and accounting and reporting practices, with the goal of having an unqualified audit opinion rendered to Congress and the American people that certifies the financial statements of the federal government are fairly stated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.  In connection with this audit, empower the GAO (or newly-created civil Grand Juries of distinguished and responsible citizens) to make recommendations designed to make the government, and the Defense Department in particular, better controlled and more effective, frugal, honest, and accountable. 

11.  FAIR AND EQUAL HUMAN RIGHTS.  Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to give equal rights to women and men.  The ERA was first proposed in 1923, and was once ratified by 35 of a necessary 38 states.  It would be a cornerstone of fairness that should be incorporated into our great Bill of Rights.  Likewise, a new Constitutional Amendment should be created to give gays and lesbians fair treatment and reasonable protections under the law.  And while we are at it, let’s strengthen the Constitution to make clear our common agreement that no Church should be able to impose its dogmas on society, and that pursuant to the guarantees in the First Amendment, reasonable separations between Church and State must be established and protected.

12.  POPULATION GROWTH.  One of the fundamental contributing factors to all of our social and environmental problems and conflicts in the world is the surging number of human beings on Earth.  We need to reduce global human population growth from its current net increase of about 75 million people per year.  To do this, we must provide better education and opportunities to girls and women worldwide.  We should help finance women’s reproductive healthcare clinics and provide free contraceptives to women everywhere.  This will have a great humanitarian collateral benefit of simultaneously reducing the transmission of sexually-transmitted diseases like AIDS.  The Republican Global Gag Rule that restricts U.S. support for family planning programs abroad should be revoked and we should immediately pay our Congressionally-approved annual contributions to the United Nations Population Fund that have been held up for years by the Bush Administration.  We should also guarantee women the right to make their own personal reproductive choices.  We must stop forcing women to have children who do not want them.  To do this, we should enact an Amendment to the Constitution that establishes reproductive rights for women as defined by the practical Roe vs. Wade decision of the Supreme Court.  The official Republican platform calls for exactly the opposite, a constitutional amendment banning abortion even in the case of rape or incest or danger to the life of the woman.  This is obscene!


These are the 12 top reasons that it would be best to elect Barack Obama as our next President.  He is a very intelligent man who seems committed to the betterment of our society.  He is calm, cool, collected and rational --- a distinct contrast to the erratic and temperamental John McCain, who styles himself as a “maverick” despite having voted with the orthodox Bush/Cheney Republican line more than 90% of the time in the Senate. 

When Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama on Meet the Press on October 19, 2008, he said: “I think he is a transformational figure … a new generation coming onto the world stage.”  He noted that we need a leader who reaches out to younger people for greater inclusiveness and diversity in our societies.  I strongly agree that we must let a new generation of people lead our nation.  We need an open-minded leader who has both the ‘social intelligence’ to be able to articulate the true nature of problems and the ‘emotional intelligence’ to be able to communicate effectively with Americans about what needs to be done to assure the greater good in the short term as well as in the long run.  We need leaders with want to unite people and who demonstrate honesty and integrity.  The “Make-Believe Maverick” article about John McCain in the October 16, 2008 issue of Rolling Stone magazine makes it startlingly apparent that John McCain, despite the image that his campaign has tried to craft, is poorly suited to be our nation’s president.

Think about the election from another point of view.  We are voting to elect not just a President and Vice President, but an entire phalanx of thousands of civil servants who will be chosen by the president we elect in November to be appointed to his cabinet and the many agencies of the federal government.  Republicans have hyper-politicized these positions, giving control of agencies to partisan political operatives who advance narrow ideological initiatives instead of the common good.  We must reject this Machiavellian philosophy and turn government once again into a force for the advancement of the greater good. 

A lifelong Republican recently said to me, “I did not leave the Republican Party;  it left me.”  Think about this!  The Republican Party deserves to be renounced for its unfair policies, its fiscal irresponsibility, its ideological stubbornness, its aggression in warfare, its shortsightedness, its anti-environmentalism, its socially regressive actions, its abuses of power, and its failure to honestly address such problems as our addiction to oil and the inequities in opportunity, legal justice and healthcare.  As John McCain gets more desperate because he is trailing in the election polls, he has indulged in campaign tactics that are reprehensible and deserve repudiation, especially those tactics that manipulate people’s fears and insecurities, divide people, make terrorist insinuations, and try to suppress voter turnout.  “Too radical.  Too Risky.”  We’ll see!

The issue of trust is paramount in this election.  Conservatives are fearful that they cannot trust a progressive black man;  liberals are even more concerned that they cannot trust John McCain and the Republican Party which has so seriously betrayed the public good in the last 8 years.  As a candidate, George Bush rhetorically reassured us that he would “be a uniter, not a divider”.  He said he would bring honor and integrity to the government, but once he got into office he pushed through policies that pandered to the narrow agenda of right-wing Neoconservatives, the base of the Republican Party to which John McCain has been pandering for support to get elected. 

The litany of evidence concerning the Bush/Cheney failings is long:  the Administration gave expanded special privileges to vested interests, and pushed through distinctly unfair legislation, and acted in ways that are fiscally irresponsible and patently wrongheaded.  The Bush/Cheney regime vastly expanded the national debt by spending profligately and cutting taxes in ways that that primarily benefited the already rich.  They opposed safeguards of oversight and regulation.  They committed one of the worst foreign policy blunders in history by using flawed intelligence, public deception and preemptive war policies to recklessly attack and occupy Iraq and pursue a prohibitively costly and misguided security racket (“the war on terror”).  They have aggressively infringed upon citizen liberties and Constitutional rights.  And they have helped create an unfair and unstable and unsustainable economy. 

It would be folly to trust that John McCain will now deliver something completely different.  He is the representative of the party that has championed this retrogressive state of affairs, and he advocates MORE tax breaks for the rich and giant corporations.  We are at a moment of great potential for positive change.  Today’s housing crisis, high inflation in the cost of necessities, healthcare inequities, fragile economy, volatile markets, huge investor losses, and widespread insecurity make it necessary for us to enact far-sighted reforms, not just quick fixes and disingenuous reforms.  Instead of stimulating booms that will once again go bust, we must wisely institute fairer and more sound economic policies.  We must act to make sure that banks use less borrowing leverage and honor better credit principles.  Banks must be subject to greater oversight and supervision to prevent speculation and fraud and usury and insolvency. 

Visionary understandings must be cultivated so that we can identify the best courses of action.  See the Progressive Agenda for a More Sane Humanity for an extensive and detailed list of such suggestions and ideas (it can be found linked to the Earth Manifesto home page).

We must essentially transcend the short-term expediencies of politics and recognize the ways that we are “fleecing the future”.  How are we doing this?  Think about it!  We are squandering resources, dumping wastes and toxins into the environment, degrading fresh water resources, spewing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that are changing the Earth’s climate and causing extensive damage to ecosystems worldwide.  We are also piling vast amounts of debt onto those in the future and allowing Golden Rule principles to be ignored, and letting our leaders infringe upon the civil liberties of citizens, and making old people and workers and young people more insecure, and failing to respect other nations’ sovereignty, and indulging in extremely costly military occupations.  And now, in a big way, we are shortsightedly allowing profits to be privatized while enormous risks are socialized.  This is essentially establishing a welfare system for the rich and the well-connected and Wall Street.  We simply must refocus our national policies so that we leave a less disastrous legacy to our descendents!

Privatizing profits and socializing risks?  How are we doing this?  We have allowed risks to be socialized in two ways:  (1) we let corporations externalize onto society the costs of pollution, toxic wastes, worker healthcare and a fair share of taxes, instead of requiring these costs to be included in the prices of product and services;  and (2) we let our economic system be ‘gamed’ by speculators so that they can make outsized gains and create economic bubbles, and then when this risky behavior threatens to destroy the entire financial system, we bail them out and have the government/taxpayers assume the ‘toxic assets’.  

Underlying this shortsighted and unfair perversion of capitalism, there are a number of overarching challenges that we must squarely face:  the foolishly short-term orientation of our activities, the unsustainable depletion of resources, the failure of democratic system to thwart domineering ideologies, and the harm we are inflicting on Earth’s ecosystems and other species of life.

I strongly believe that Barack Obama is better qualified by intelligence and temperament and honesty and progressive principles to lead us to a better future.  I encourage voters to elect him!


        Dr. Tiffany B. Twain     


p.s.  John McCain initially tried to reassure Americans in the face of the collapse of Wall Street banks, mortgage institutions and insurance companies that the fundamentals of our economy are strong.  Yet fear and insecurity grip the nation, and near panic seems to have overtaken Washington D.C.

It is valuable to ask if our resilient economy really does have strong fundamentals.  The basic foundations of economic prosperity are these:

(1)  The health of natural ecosystems, upon which we completely depend, including the land, topsoil, fresh water resources, forests, fisheries, wetlands, rivers, oceans, clean water and air, and biological diversity.   STATUS:  Poor, and declining.

(2)  The health and well-being of American workers, including their education, physical fitness, nutritional security, reasonable healthcare, affordable necessities, psychological well-being, and the fairness of shared benefits of their productivity.   STATUS:  Poor, and declining.

(3)  The good management of the economy and its financial soundness, as measured by balanced priorities, wisely-targeted investments in research and development and national infrastructure, social well-being, prudent risk-taking, sensible debt levels, reasonable credit availability, and sustainable long-term orientation.   STATUS:  Poor, and rapidly and frighteningly deteriorating.

(4)  The vibrancy of our democratic institutions, as reflected in their fairness, equality of opportunity and justice, the awareness of the electorate, the fair balance of power between capital and labor, the civil liberties of citizens, governmental adherence to rules of law, the independence of the media, and the protections of privacy and individual rights.   STATUS:  Fair, but under concerted assault.

(5)  A stable and peaceful government with fairly-realized national security and good relationships with neighboring countries and our allies, and a stance toward our ‘enemies’ that is not overly arrogant and antagonizing and humiliating and merciless.  STATUS:  Poor, and declining due to policies of preemption and unilateral action.

Let’s restore these foundations!  Let’s reject the status quo, and embrace new ideas and new leadership.  Let’s embrace positive change that we can believe in!  We cannot afford to have right-wing radicals prop up another B-grade leader to implement inequity-filled ideologies and to manipulate people with deceptive moralizing worldviews and aggressive militarism.  These are the overriding reasons that we would be wisest to elect Barack Obama!

During the first Presidential debate on September 26, 2008, John McCain repeatedly asserted that Barack Obama “does not understand”.  McCain’s military mind does not seem to be capable of understanding that opposing points of view may have equal or greater validity than one’s own cherished beliefs.  McCain claims to see stark clarity in military matters and he has certitude in the value of strength and domineering power, but he seems to be unclear on the pragmatic reality behind the effectiveness of “soft power” and the seriously counterproductive limitations of ruthless “hard power” options.  The fact of the matter is that there is a “fog of war” that obscures a good many truths, and it can mislead people into supporting strategies that can be prove to be very detrimental and collectively insane. 

John Steinbeck, on a naturalist expedition with Doc Ricketts to the Sea of Cortez during World War II, observed that if we were to regard the behaviors of the human species with the same objective scrutiny that we give other creatures, we would see that humans have a decidedly distinct propensity to occasionally use violent aggression against others of our own species, especially during times of collective insanity that characterize long-lasting wars.  This is essentially why General Douglas MacArthur said “I believe that the entire effort of modern society should be concentrated on the endeavor to outlaw war as a method of the solution of problems between nations.”  

War is not the answer, Senator McCain.  As conflicts over resources and markets and ideologies and control and religions heat up in the world under the stress of increasing human numbers and intensifying global competition, we need calmer civilian heads to prevail.  We need to have a leader who is NOT hot-tempered, grandstanding, military-honor driven, superiority asserting, privilege pandering, right-wing coddling, judgment-impaired, deceitfully dissembling, closet authoritarian, indignant or evangelically stubborn. 

The McCain campaign has become very ugly with its distortions and desperate attempts to link Barack Obama to terrorists, socialism, anti-Americanism, and Muslims.  It brings to mind the quote by the venerable Adlai Stevenson in the 1950’s:

"I'm not an old, experienced hand at politics.  But I am now seasoned enough to have learned that the hardest thing about any political campaign is how to win without proving that you are unworthy of winning."

John McCain and Sarah Palin are proving to many voters that they are not worthy of winning.  We cannot have another Administration that embraces self-righteous certitude and asserts that any means is justified to accomplish the narrow ends of getting elected and then misusing power, especially to start wars and forcefully occupy other countries.

               “War is never a solution; it is an aggravation.”

                                                                           --- Benjamin Disraeli

Sure there are people who “do evil” in the world.  But we must see deeper truths about the nature of “evil”.  I personally think that the Taliban in Afghanistan are horrible men for the oppressive way they treat women and for their religious fundamentalism and their tribal violence against the long-suffering poor people of Afghanistan.  But trying to impose our values on Afghanistan is proving to be quite costly.  And it has been an epic blunder for the U.S. to have taken its eye off the ball in Afghanistan to attack and occupy more “target rich” Iraq.  There is a profound extent to which war is a distraction that is used by aggressor leaders to gain strength for domestic exploitation and profiteering and power and control and repression.

We must understand Sir Peter Ustinov’s words:

“Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich.”

It is folly to attack, oppress, humiliate and wreak injustice on those who oppose economic imperialism and aggressive militarism.  Terrorism should be combated the way that the 9/11 Commission Report indicates in its chapter “More Than a War on Terrorism”:  "long-term success demands the uses of all elements of national power:  diplomacy, intelligence, covert action, law enforcement, economic policy, foreign aid, public diplomacy, and homeland defense."  We must act to prevent unnecessary wars!

The declaration of a broad “war on terrorism” against entire nations and entire religions actually gives counter-support to terrorism.  Such tactics strengthen terrorist impulses and give them more recruits, and relatively more power as we recklessly harm our own nation in our obsessive bullying, superiority-presuming, self-righteous, angry, vindictive, endless and extremely costly efforts to win a “victory” over a tactic.  We are acting like the British Redcoats during the Revolutionary War, marching in superior force formation while being picked off by colonist rebels hiding in the woods and defending their homes and farms and country and religious freedoms against the oppressive forces of King George.  See Reflections on War in PART TWO of the Earth Manifesto for fuller understandings concerning war and peace.

Anyway, make no mistake about it:  John McCain and Sarah Palin represent the right wing in this election.  They stand for dominion-oriented hubris and the escalation of wars and the forces of control and exploitation and repression and power abuse and secrecy and stonewalling and retribution.  To elect them would be folly, for they stubbornly vow to ramp up this suicidal struggle against fairness, international justice, diplomatic pragmatism, sovereign integrity, peaceful coexistence, religious tolerance, progressive taxation and ecological sanity.  Elect Barack Obama!

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin recently said, "I'm not going to solely blame all of man's activities on changes in climate."  Ha! – Women everywhere may feel exactly the same way!  The motives behind man’s activities are indeed sometimes inscrutable.  Sarah’s arrival on the national stage promises to give us a whole new genre of “Bushisms”.  But maybe Sarah Palin is onto something, inadvertently.  The most powerful of all influences in determining man’s activities is human nature.  Whether or not the weather affects us all, or arctic extremes, or stresses, or hormones, or even Mercury in retrograde, it’s simple, really.  This is not rocket science.  Once we understand and accept what we know from personal experience about natural human behaviors and propensities, it becomes clearer that we need strong safeguards and better design of our economic and political systems in order to establish fair and sustainable societies that are not vulnerable to shrewd manipulators and greedy opportunists and power-obsessed madmen --- or false mavericks and deceptive barracuda!

Thanks, John McCain, for trying to put a woman in such a high position in national politics.  It is highly regretful that the particular woman you chose is one who insidiously stands against the majority of things that would benefit women the most. 

McCain and Palin remind me of the Bush/Cheney crowd.  Think about it: circuitous argumentation, deceptively-scripted speeches, devious secrecy, the obstruction of investigations, the cheerleading for right-wing causes, the attack-dog political ads, the disingenuous populism, the deregulators giving lip service to the need for government oversight and supervision of corporate and banking activities, and the agitators for creating divisive culture-war conflicts over hot-button social issues. 

A last word on Sarah Palin, bless her clever barracuda-alluring soul.  Alaska is the last of our frontiers, and like the frontier Old West, it hews towards guns, hunting, vigilante justice, shooting varmints, romanticizing outlaws, patriarchal strength, States’ rights, and even the cultivation of ideas about independence and secession.  Think about the homemade signs that people created for a heavily-attended ‘Alaska Women Reject Palin Rally’ that was held in Anchorage on September 14th.  They are quite revealing:

  Pro-woman Anti-Palin:  Beware of Tricksters

    Voted for Her Once:  Never Again                 

      “God’s Will” is NOT a Foreign Policy

          Great Performance Sarah But We’re Not That Stupid

              Palin is George Bush with Lipstick          

                Mc Same!

                    Reckless.  Inexperienced.       

Choose Obama and Biden!