Monthly Archives: March 2009


from Smartgrowthamerica, 3/28/09:

This almost certainly will be the year that Congress finally passes global warming legislation. But when they do, they’ll be leaving out a huge chunk of the problem if they don’t include a plan to reduce emissions from transportation — the source of roughly one-third of all carbon emissions in the U.S.

A proposal now in Congress called CLEAN-TEA would help clean up transportation by directing money raised through global warming legislation to the kinds of smart investments that will lower emissions. It would direct funding to clean transportation investments — like public transportation and passenger rail, affordable neighborhoods around transit stops, and neighborhood improvements that increase safety for cyclists and pedestrians.

Sign the petition here.

I know I want to see streets that are safe for pedestrians and cyclists, high-speed trains, and updated metro lines… and CLEAN-TEA will create the incentive — and some of the necessary funding — to make those things a reality.

This is one investment that really will pay dividends — please, join me and send a letter today.

Thanks so much for your help!

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Filed under Environment, Energy, Science, Petition, write, donate

FDR on private power and fascism

“…the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism—ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. …

“Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing. This concentration is seriously impairing the economic effectiveness of private enterprise as a way of providing employment for labor and capital and as a way of assuring a more equitable distribution of income and earnings among the people of the nation as a whole. …”

— Franklin D. Roosevelt, April 29, 1938, “Message to Congress on the Concentration of Economic Power.”

Read FDR’s speech here.

See also this letter sent to the New York Times 3/28/09:

To the editor:

It is no surprise that SEC chair Mary Schapiro (NYT, 3/27) would want to protect her turf. The real problem with another redundant oversight commission is the opportunity for conflict. The real problem with a new behemoth oversight commission — to govern capitalist enterprises that are too big to fail — is that such enterprises are actually more fascist in their conception than they are capitalist. Such enterprises are in their very conception so automatically in restraint of competition and trade, as to overshadow every other business in America.

The transformation of American competition into Japanese zaibatsu cartels needs to be dismantled, both to free our citizens of the inherent risks of such massive failures, and to engender the inherent innovation of individual enterprise, which such huge enterprises routinely smother.

Ben Burrows
Elkins Park, PA

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Filed under Economy, Labor, Tax

Reid on Roberts

“Roberts didn’t tell us the truth.”

— Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, 3/27/09, about current chief justice John Roberts posing as a moderate as his confirmation hearing.


Reid was one of 22 Democratic Senators who voted against confirming Roberts in September, 2005.

But who could have been so obtuse as to think Roberts was a moderate anyhow?

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Filed under Right Wing, Rights, Justice, Law

"Out with the old, in with the new" department

“They will be called advisory and assistance brigades. They won’t be called combat brigades.”

— Defense Sec. Gates, 3/1/09, explaining why current combat units will remain in Iraq after president Obama’s 18-month deadline for their removal.

Source here.

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Filed under Iraq