2016 election

I, Virginia Bergman, pledge not to vote for a male presidential candidate in 2016 just because he's male.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Gen. Petraeus: U.S. Violated Geneva Conventions

Gen. David Petraeus


Despite Obama’s “We’re too busy to deal with it” excuse for not investigating the possibility of war crimes committed by the previous administration, the torture issue is not going to go away.


John Stolz, a co-founder of VoteVets.org who served as a captain in Iraqi Freedom is calling attention to a recent statement by Gen. Petraeus in which he admits the U.S. has violated the Geneva Conventions.


Stolz quotes Petraeus from his recent appearance on Fox News:

Question: So is sending this signal that we're not going to use these kind of techniques anymore, what kind of impact does this have on people who do us harm in the field that you operate in?


Gen. Petraeus: Well, actually what I would ask is, "Does that not take away from our enemies a tool which again have beaten us around the head and shoulders in the court of public opinion?" When we have taken steps that have violated the Geneva Conventions we rightly have been criticized, so as we move forward I think it's important to again live our values, to live the agreements that we have made in the international justice arena and to practice those.

To read more and watch a video by Jay Bagwell of VoteVets.org on the use of torture go here.



Thursday, May 28, 2009

Images of Rape and Sexual Assault Among Torture Photos Obama Won’t Release

As shocked as most of us were when the initial batch of torture photos from Abu Ghraib surfaced, those the Obama regime is refusing to release are even worse according to recently published descriptions.

The Daily Telegraph states that Retired Major Gen. Antonio Taguba agrees with Obama that the remaining torture photos should not be released arguing that "The mere description of these pictures is horrendous enough, take my word for it."

If the descriptions from the Daily Telegraph below are accurate, one has to wonder how on earth Obama can claim his people are too busy to even investigate the complicity of Bush Administration officials in crimes against humanity:

Duncan Gardham and Paul Cruikshank report:

At least one picture shows an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee.

Further photographs are said to depict sexual assaults on prisoners with objects including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube.

Another apparently shows a female prisoner having her clothing forcibly removed to expose her breasts.

Detail of the content emerged from Major General Antonio Taguba, the former army officer who conducted an inquiry into the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq.

Allegations of rape and abuse were included in his {Taguba’s} 2004 report but the fact there were photographs was never revealed. He has now confirmed their existence in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ten More Years in Iraq and Afghanistan for U.S. Army?

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey


On Memorial Day, I reminded readers that Obama had abandoned his campaign promise to withdraw a brigade a month from Iraq this year and ordered a surge in troop levels in Afghanistan.


Two days post-Memorial Day, the AP’s Tom Curley reports:

Gen. George Casey, the Army chief of staff, said the world remains dangerous and unpredictable, and the Pentagon must plan for extended U.S. combat and stability operations in two wars.

"Global trends are pushing in the wrong direction," Casey said. "They fundamentally will change how the Army works."

He spoke at an invitation-only briefing to a dozen journalists and policy analysts from Washington-based think-tanks. He said his planning envisions combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan for a decade as part of a sustained U.S. commitment to fighting extremism and terrorism in the Middle East.

Let’s all salute Obama, the war president, as he strides forth wearing Dubya’s mantle for the remainder of his first and hopefully his last four-year term.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009: Obama Continues to Manipulate the Media

Image courtesy of citizensagainstproobamamediabias


Lest we forget, Memorial Day 2009 reminds us that as of the third week in May, American service men and women who have died in combat numbered 682 in Afghanistan and 4299 in Iraq.


Even as we honor the nation’s war dead, hundreds of Americans will be watching news coverage today from our two war zones, praying for the safe return of a loved one.


My family and I can empathize. All told, we’ve given about a hundred years to the military, serving in World Wars I and II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Casualties include a brother-in-law killed in action at Anzio Beach and a brother wounded in Korea.


In the meantime, our president, who incessantly proclaimed his better judgment in the 2008 primary on the basis of a single anti-war speech as an Illinois state legislator, has abandoned his campaign promise to withdraw a brigade a month from Iraq this year and ordered a surge in troop levels in Afghanistan.


In his defense, Obama’s more faithful left-wing supporters continue to argue their guy is simply smarter than the rest of us: while we inferior beings are stuck out here in the sandbox, he’s outwitting his opponents with clever moves on the chess board.


Just how clever Mr. Obama and his aides really are is revealed in E. J. Dionne’s column this morning as he reports on an exercise the Obama team recently pulled off in their sustained and mostly successful efforts to manipulate the media.


It’s to Dionne’s credit, amidst his usual pandering, that he includes a warning to the One about overreaching his powers. Dionne writes:


The disturbing aspect of Obama's effort to create his new political alignment is that building it requires him to send rather different messages to its component parts. Playing to several audiences at once can lead to awkward moments.

Last Thursday afternoon, for example, the White House invited in journalists, mostly opinion writers, to sell them on the substance of the president's big speech on Guantanamo and the treatment of detainees.

Unbeknown to the writers until afterward, they had been divided into two groups, one more centrist with a sprinkling of moderate conservatives, the other more liberal. (I was in the liberal group.) The president made an unscheduled appearance at each briefing. As is his way, he charmed both groups.

The idea, as far as I can determine, was to sell the liberal group on those aspects of Obama's plan that are a break from George W. Bush's policies, and to sell the centrist group on the toughness of the president's approach and the fact that it squares with Bush's more moderate moves later in his second term.

The dual selling job was helped along immensely by former vice president Dick Cheney's attacks on Obama right after the president delivered his own speech.

For the left, which is unhappy about Obama's decisions on such issues as preventive detention, Cheney's outlandish explosion was a reminder of how much better Obama is than the guys who came before. While civil libertarians grumbled about parts of Obama's speech, much of the left concentrated its fire on Cheney.

The center and near right, in the meantime, could have the satisfaction of dismissing the over-the-hill Cheney and comment knowingly on how basically "sound" and "realistic" the president's plans really were.


Dionne continues:


Obama's center-left two-step is also on display in the domestic sphere. He is pushing hard for programs progressives have sought for years -- and, in the case of health care, for decades. But on the economic crisis, he has tacked carefully to the center, pushing aside calls for nationalizing the banks and working closely with the financial establishment to revive the economy.

And there's subtlety within his subtlety: Obama wants a more regulated financial market, but he would not disrupt the basic arrangements of American capitalism. If Obama has his way, investment bankers will make a bit less money and pay more in taxes, but they'll continue to be rich.


Dionne concludes:


The establishment Obama is trying to build would make the country better -- more equal, more just and more conscious of the government's constitutional obligations. The far right is being isolated, and Republicans are simply lost.


But establishments have a habit of becoming too confident in their ability to manipulate people and events, and too certain of their own moral righteousness. Obama's political and substantive gifts are undeniable. What he needs to realize are the limits of his own mastery.


Um, E.J., some of us have been issuing that warning ever since the One chose to link himself to Abraham Lincoln that day in Springfield, Illinois.





Friday, May 22, 2009

Both Conservative and Liberal Pundits Acknowledge Obama’s Continuation of Bush Policies

In his op-ed column today, the conservative pundit and long-time Obama booster, David Brooks, cleverly presents a meme that many of us have been warning the easily misguided electorate about for weeks. But here’s the difference: Brooks sees Obama’s morphing into George W. Bush as something to celebrate while true progressives are gaining little satisfaction from thoughts of “We told you so.” Instead, we’re standing by in horror at what is increasingly shaping up as a third Bush term.


But allow Mr. Brooks to speak for himself (emphases mine):


What Obama gets, and what President Bush never got, is that other people’s opinions matter. Goldsmith puts it well: “The main difference between the Obama and Bush administrations concerns not the substance of terrorism policy, but rather its packaging. The Bush administration shot itself in the foot time and time again, to the detriment of the legitimacy and efficacy of its policies, by indifference to process and presentation. The Obama administration, by contrast, is intensely focused on these issues.”

Obama has taken many of the same policies Bush ended up with, and he has made them credible to the country and the world. In his speech, Obama explained his decisions in a subtle and coherent way. He admitted that some problems are tough and allow no easy solution. He treated Americans as adults, and will have won their respect.

Do I wish he had been more gracious with and honest about the Bush administration officials whose policies he is benefiting from? Yes. But the bottom line is that Obama has taken a series of moderate and time-tested policy compromises. He has preserved and reformed them intelligently. He has fit them into a persuasive framework. By doing that, he has not made us less safe. He has made us more secure.

In yesterday's White House Watch, Dan Froomkin summarized well the Bush Administration policies Obama has chosen to continue, albeit with new packaging:

When it came to what to do with the detainees at Guantanamo, he declared that he would work to create a system that would enable the indefinite detention without trial for a limited number of people whom the government is unable to prosecute for past crimes, but whom are nevertheless considered to be threats to the country. Even though he spoke of establishing lawful standards and periodic reviews, that's a dangerously extreme policy proposal. He once again expressed his intention to use a reformed military commission process for some detainees -- but gave no reason to think it won't run into many of the same legal challenges that Bush's process did. He spoke of sending many detainees to face trial in federal courts -- but then promised that no one would be released who endangers our national security. The whole point of a fair judicial system is that the executive can't guarantee the results.

Obama spoke passionately about his commitment to transparency, but offered up the same lousy and unpersuasive excuses he did last week for his decision to fight the court-ordered release of more photos of prison abuse. In particular, the weight he put on his responsibility not to release information that would inflame our enemies was deeply disturbing.

He offered no additional clarity regarding his position on the state secrets doctrine, where his lofty promises still stand in dramatic conflict with what his administration is actually doing.

So there you have it. Representatives from both the conservative and liberal MSM are apparently catching on to the reality that in his continuation of Bush policies, Obama offers mighty small change to believe in.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The President’s Big Speech: Obama Attempts to Quell Critics on Both the Left and the Right

Guantanomo Prison


In the Highs and Lows of Obama’s Big Speech, the Washington Post’s Dan Froomkin offers a comprehensive analysis of the president’s attempt to quell critics on both the left and the right in response to several of his recent policy moves.


In hitting the lows, Froomkin contends:


But in some parts of his speech, Obama appeared to be defending actions and even taking positions that didn't live up to his own professed standards.


When it came to what to do with the detainees at Guantanamo, he declared that he would work to create a system that would enable the indefinite detention without trial for a limited number of people whom the government is unable to prosecute for past crimes, but whom are nevertheless considered to be threats to the country. Even though he spoke of establishing lawful standards and periodic reviews, that's a dangerously extreme policy proposal. He once again expressed his intention to use a reformed military commission process for some detainees -- but gave no reason to think it won't run into many of the same legal challenges that Bush's process did. He spoke of sending many detainees to face trial in federal courts -- but then promised that no one would be released who endangers our national security. The whole point of a fair judicial system is that the executive can't guarantee the results.


Obama spoke passionately about his commitment to transparency, but offered up the same lousy and unpersuasive excuses he did last week for his decision to fight the court-ordered release of more photos of prison abuse. In particular, the weight he put on his responsibility not to release information that would inflame our enemies was deeply disturbing.


He offered no additional clarity regarding his position on the state secrets doctrine, where his lofty promises still stand in dramatic conflict with what his administration is actually doing.


And in continuing to oppose the creation of an independent commission that would fully investigate the abuses of the Bush administration, he marginalized those of us who want to find out what happened as polarizers, much like those who continue to doggedly defend Bush policies. He said the recent debate has obscured the truth -- when all we want is to let it free.


Froomkin has more to say on Obama’s disrespect for those who support at least an investigation of possible war crimes by the Bush Administration.


On how those nutty people who want to find out what really happened are really only interested in finger-pointing, and are just as bad as the Bush dead-enders:


"It's no secret that there is a tendency in Washington to spend our time pointing fingers at one another. And it's no secret that our media culture feeds the impulse that lead to a good fight and good copy. But nothing will contribute more than that than an extended relitigation of the last eight years. Already we've seen how that kind of effort only leads those in Washington to different sides to laying blame. It can distract us from focusing our time, our efforts and our politics on the challenges of the future.


"We see that above all in the recent debate -- how the recent debate has obscured the truth and sent people into opposite and absolutist ends. On one side of the spectrum, there are those who make little allowance for the unique challenges posed by terrorism and would almost never put national security over transparency. And on the other end of the spectrum, there are those who embrace a view that can be summarized in two words: 'Anything goes.' Their arguments suggest that the ends of fighting terrorism can be used to justify any means, and that the president should have blanket authority to do whatever he wants, provided it is a president with whom they agree.


"And both sides may be sincere in their views, but neither side is right. The American people are not absolutist, and they don't elect us to impose a rigid ideology on our problems."


Read Froomkin’s column in its entirety here.




Obama Debates Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Leaders in Run-up to Guantanomo Speech (see transcript of speech and watch videos of both events)

Update: Dick Cheney’s Rebuttal of Obama’s Guantanomo Speech

Before you read the transcript of Obama’s Guantanomo speech at the National Archives or watch the video here check out the important and relevant information below:

Thanks to Taggles at the Widdershins this morning for her post regarding a meeting last night between President Obama and the leaders of several civil rights and civil liberties groups and the related video of Rachel Maddow’s interview with Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff.

Taggles explains:

…The meeting was called by Obama and took place in the White House Cabinet Room. Obama, Emmanuel, Axelrod, Holder and Craig were there. The groups were there to voice their displeasure with Obama and his moving to the right (embracing Bush policies on torture, war, rendition, military tribunals etc). So, Obama wanted to try to reach out to these groups and bring them into the fold. In other words, try to get them to back off and keep their mouths shut. The leaders of the groups did not back down and voiced their grievances to Obama directly.

According to Isikoff, “Obama didn’t like that”, “Obama was complaining about the mess he was left by his predecessor”. When the groups pushed back, according to Isikoff, “Obama did not like it and stated it was not helpful to equate me with President Bush”.


Here’s the video:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Obama-ites in the MSM and Blogosphere: “What hast thou wrought?”

UPDATE: Obama to Make Major Anti-terrorism Speech Thursday

It couldn’t have been in response to Maureen Dowd’s column linked to below that provoked President Obama into making a major anti-terrorism policy speech tomorrow, Thursday, May 21, could it? Politico’s Allen and Vanderhei announced minutes ago:

President Barack Obama will attempt to regain control of a boiling debate over anti-terrorism policy with a major speech on Thursday — an address that comes on the same day that former Vice President Dick Cheney will be weighing in with his own speech on the same theme.

The dueling speeches amount to the most direct engagement so far between Obama and his conservative critics in the volatile argument over what tactics are justified in detaining and interrogating suspected enemy combatants.

Read more:


Reuters

Still taking no responsibility for their not insignificant role in electing Barack Obama president, liberal pundits in the MSM and pajama clad Obama-ites in the blogosphere continue shaking off the last shreds of denial while stepping forward to publicly ask themselves, “What hast thou wrought?”

Maureen Dowd has had it with the “Boy Wonder” as she presents a scenario featuring Rummy and Cheney in today’s column titled Cheney Grabs a Third Term.

Modo begins:

“Dick and Rummy are at Cafe Milano in Georgetown, holding court. The maître d’ fawns. Waiters hover. Tourists snap pics on their digital cameras. Cable chatterers stop by to ingratiate themselves.”

Modo’s cannily crafted drama unfolds:

“I can’t believe how easy it was to bring Obama into line,” Rummy says, gnawing on Gorgonzola. “We wouldn’t have needed waterboarding if everybody cracked like a peanut. It was even easier than getting the bit into Junior’s mouth. Way simpler than if we’d had to contend with McCain. In the end, the right guy won.”

Dick is surprised, too, but who can tell?

“You’re running national security now and everyone knows it,” Rummy says. “You got Obama to do an about-face on the torture photos. He’s using our old line about how it would endanger the troops. He’s keeping our military tribunals. His Justice Department invoked our state secrets privilege to try to get that lawsuit on torture and rendition dismissed. He’s trying to stop any sort of truth commission, thank goodness. He’s got his own surge going in Afghanistan. He’s withdrawing from Iraq more slowly. He’s extended our secret incursions over the Afghan border into Pakistan.”


Dick smiles on one side of his face.

“Transparency bites,” he snarls.

“By golly, yes,” Rummy says. “We controlled Junior by playing on his fear of looking like a wimp just as his dad did. And now we’re controlling Boy Wonder by playing on his eagerness to show that the Democrats are tough on national security. He’s a sucker for four-star generals, can’t resist anyone in uniform. Petraeus and Odierno speak and he jumps. If we want to roll him, we just send in the military brass flashing their medals.”

Rummy knocks back some more brunello, and shoos away some Japanese tourists after confiscating their cameras.

Modo’s one-act tragic-comedy would be good theatre if it were not such a realistic portrayal of how the Obama Administration continues to blindly follow the destructive path of its predecessor.

Sad to say, the nation and the world will now have to pay the price for the unholy alliance in 2008 between Democratic party leaders and their media allies, including Maureen Dowd, that delivered the nomination to Barack Obama and saw to it that he won the general election.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Rumsfeld to Bush: “The Lord Your God Will Be With You Wherever You Go"


Confirming what I said in a previous post about George W. Bush’s and Barack Obama’s common vulnerability to intimidation by their advisors, Frank Rich in today’s NY Times cites how Donald Rumsfeld bullied Bush, noted for his ostentatious piety, with this notation attached to the Worldwide Intelligence Briefing for April 3, 2003:


Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Concerned about Obama’s inability to turn the page on the Bush Administration, Rich writes:


TO paraphrase Al Pacino in “Godfather III,” just when we thought we were out, the Bush mob keeps pulling us back in. And will keep doing so. No matter how hard President Obama tries to turn the page on the previous administration, he can’t. Until there is true transparency and true accountability, revelations of that unresolved eight-year nightmare will keep raining down drip by drip, disrupting the new administration’s high ambitions.

That’s why the president’s flip-flop on the release of detainee abuse photos — whatever his motivation — is a fool’s errand. The pictures will eventually emerge anyway, either because of leaks (if they haven’t started already) or because the federal appeals court decision upholding their release remains in force. And here’s a bet: These images will not prove the most shocking evidence of Bush administration sins still to come.


In addition to highlighting Robert Draper’s exposure of Rumsfeld’s use of scripture to manipulate President Bush, messages which if they had been leaked “would have reinforced the Muslim world’s apocalyptic fear that America was waging a religious war,” Rich cites other examples of malfeasance at the Pentagon that have been covered up or ignored even when reported by the media.


But Rich, the NY Times columnist who trashed Hillary Clinton during the primary and aided and abetted the DNC in handing the nomination to Obama, has some whining to do about the new administration in today’s column:

But the new administration doesn’t want to revisit this history any more than it wants to dwell on torture. Once the inspector general’s report on the military analysts was rescinded, the Obama Pentagon declared the matter closed. The White House seems to be taking its cues from the Reagan-Bush 41 speechwriter Peggy Noonan. “Sometimes I think just keep walking,” she said on ABC’s “This Week” as the torture memos surfaced. “Some of life has to be mysterious.” Imagine if she’d been at Nuremberg!

The administration can’t “just keep walking” because it is losing control of the story. The Beltway punditocracy keeps repeating the cliché that only the A.C.L.U. and the president’s “left-wing base” want accountability, but that’s not the case. Americans know that the Iraq war is not over. A key revelation in last month’s Senate Armed Services Committee report on detainees — that torture was used to try to coerce prisoners into “confirming” a bogus Al Qaeda-Saddam Hussein link to sell that war — is finally attracting attention. The more we learn piecemeal of this history, the more bipartisan and voluble the call for full transparency has become.

Rich opened this latest column with a plea for – no kidding – transparency and accountability in the Obama Administration in dealing with the crimes of his predecessors, and he concludes by asking for a new commission:

I’m not a fan of Washington’s blue-ribbon commissions, where political compromises can trump the truth. But the 9/11 investigation did illuminate how, a month after Bush received an intelligence brief titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.,” 3,000 Americans were slaughtered on his and Cheney’s watch. If the Obama administration really wants to move on from the dark Bush era, it will need a new commission, backed up by serious law enforcement, to shed light on where every body is buried.





Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Idolatry of Obama Leads to Loss of Hope

Author Naomi Klein


As one who takes my faith seriously and practices daily spiritual disciplines such as mindfulness meditation, it’s been my lot over the past two years to tell euphoric Obama supporters from time to time that I don’t need a charismatic politician to give me hope; my hope springs from deep within myself.


So it was with some amusement and a good deal of satisfaction this afternoon (don't know how I missed this earlier) that I came across Naomi Klein’s Lexicon of Disappointment for Obamafanland in which she offers a few variations on the word hope.


Klein writes:


Whatever the last straw, a growing number of Obama enthusiasts are starting to entertain the possibility that their man is not, in fact, going to save the world if we all just hope really hard.


This is a good thing. If the superfan culture that brought Obama to power is going to transform itself into an independent political movement, one fierce enough to produce programs capable of meeting the current crises, we are all going to have to stop hoping and start demanding.


The first stage, however, is to understand fully the awkward in-between space in which many US progressive movements find themselves. To do that, we need a new language, one specific to the Obama moment. Here is a start.


Hopeover. Like a hangover, a hopeover comes from having overindulged in something that felt good at the time but wasn't really all that healthy, leading to feelings of remorse, even shame. It's the political equivalent of the crash after a sugar high. Sample sentence: "When I listened to Obama's economic speech my heart soared. But then, when I tried to tell a friend about his plans for the millions of layoffs and foreclosures, I found myself saying nothing at all. I've got a serious hopeover."


Hoper coaster. Like a roller coaster, the hoper coaster describes the intense emotional peaks and valleys of the Obama era, the veering between joy at having a president who supports safe-sex education and despondency that single-payer healthcare is off the table at the very moment when it could actually become a reality. Sample sentence: "I was so psyched when Obama said he is closing Guantánamo. But now they are fighting like mad to make sure the prisoners in Bagram have no legal rights at all. Stop this hoper coaster--I want to get off!"


Hopesick. Like the homesick, hopesick individuals are intensely nostalgic. They miss the rush of optimism from the campaign trail and are forever trying to recapture that warm, hopey feeling--usually by exaggerating the significance of relatively minor acts of Obama decency. Sample sentences: "I was feeling really hopesick about the escalation in Afghanistan, but then I watched a YouTube video of Michelle in her organic garden and it felt like inauguration day all over again. A few hours later, when I heard that the Obama administration was boycotting a major UN racism conference, the hopesickness came back hard. So I watched slideshows of Michelle wearing clothes made by ethnically diverse independent fashion designers, and that sort of helped."


Hope fiend. With hope receding, the hope fiend, like the dope fiend, goes into serious withdrawal, willing to do anything to chase the buzz. (Closely related to hopesickness but more severe, usually affecting middle-aged males.) Sample sentence: "Joe told me he actually believes Obama deliberately brought in Summers so that he would blow the bailout, and then Obama would have the excuse he needs to do what he really wants: nationalize the banks and turn them into credit unions. What a hope fiend!"


Hopebreak. Like the heartbroken lover, the hopebroken Obama-ite is not mad but terribly sad. She projected messianic powers onto Obama and is now inconsolable in her disappointment. Sample sentence: "I really believed Obama would finally force us to confront the legacy of slavery in this country and start a serious national conversation about race. But now he never seems to mention race, and he's using twisted legal arguments to keep us from even confronting the crimes of the Bush years. Every time I hear him say 'move forward,' I'm hopebroken all over again."


Hopelash. Like a backlash, hopelash is a 180-degree reversal of everything Obama-related. Sufferers were once Obama's most passionate evangelists. Now they are his angriest critics. Sample sentence: "At least with Bush everyone knew he was an asshole. Now we've got the same wars, the same lawless prisons, the same Washington corruption, but everyone is cheering like Stepford wives. It's time for a full-on hopelash."


In trying to name these various hope-related ailments, I found myself wondering what the late Studs Terkel would have said about our collective hopeover. He surely would have urged us not to give in to despair. I reached for one of his last books, Hope Dies Last. I didn't have to read long. The book opens with the words: "Hope has never trickled down. It has always sprung up."


And that pretty much says it all. Hope was a fine slogan when rooting for a long-shot presidential candidate. But as a posture toward the president of the most powerful nation on earth, it is dangerously deferential. The task as we move forward (as Obama likes to say) is not to abandon hope but to find more appropriate homes for it--in the factories, neighborhoods and schools where tactics like sit-ins, squats and occupations are seeing a resurgence.


Political scientist Sam Gindin wrote recently that the labor movement can do more than protect the status quo. It can demand, for instance, that shuttered auto plants be converted into green-future factories, capable of producing mass-transit vehicles and technology for a renewable energy system. "Being realistic means taking hope out of speeches," he wrote, "and putting it in the hands of workers."


Which brings me to the final entry in the lexicon.


Hoperoots. Sample sentence: "It's time to stop waiting for hope to be handed down, and start pushing it up, from the hoperoots"


At the Huffington Post, Klein invited readers to contribute to a more complete lexicon, and she received 700 or so comments. Read more.