Friday, June 27, 2008


George W. Bush to Speak at Monticello on July 4

By David Swanson

The Unitary Executive is scheduled to disgrace the grounds of Thomas Jefferson's house, Monticello, in Charlottesville, Va., making a speech on the morning of July 4, 2008. The event is open to the public, and is Monticello's annual Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony. Numerous immigrants will become citizens in an event besmirched by the presence of a war criminal, and held in the district of Congressman Virgil Goode, whose entire reelection campaign platform consists of hatred for immigrants.

If you support the complaints against the first King George III enumerated on the first Fourth of July in the Declaration of Independence, I encourage you to attend the event. Go early. Wear an impeachment shirt. And bring a copy of our poor abused Constitution. This is not a time for fear and timidity. How dare this fascist blood-soaked murderer set foot in Charlottesville or on the grounds of Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson?

Thomas Jefferson who said: "As to myself, I love peace, and I am anxious that we should give the world still another useful lesson, by showing to them other modes of punishing injuries than by war, which is as much a punishment to the punisher as to the sufferer."

Thomas Jefferson who said: "If there be one principle more deeply rooted than any other in the mind of every American it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest."

Thomas Jefferson who said that to check "the dog of war'' we had to take the war-making power out of the hands of a single person, and give it to Congress.

Thomas Jefferson who said that the people's house of representatives could hold the executive and judicial branches in check only through the power of impeachment.

Thomas Jefferson who authored the Declaration of Independence.

On the first Fourth of July, the members of the Continental Congress signed a declaration of their disloyalty to the third George to rule the empire, denouncing his abuses of power. They complained of harassment by his troops, of his elevating the military above civilian power, of his denying people a fair trial by jury and instead transporting them overseas to be tried on false accusations, and in general of rendering the colonies almost as unpleasant and fearful a place to dwell as occupied Iraq would one day become.

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Betty Bowers explains “Prayer” to Everyone Else

posted in Dicks named Cheney, war and other things Jesus wants, show biz trash, vicious gossip out of Christian concern, Money (and other things Bush puts down the drain), hypocrites, Laura "Pickles" Bush, crack whores, Deven Green, Methodists & Mary Worshippers, Jesus, Mexicans and other people who talk funny, other people's sins, foreign trash, freedom, offending foreigners, pesky sick, poor people, orientals, gasing up your Bentley, wombs and other moist lady parts, my superior values, video |


George Carlin: An Irish Mensch

News of the death of George Carlin has left my eyes wet and reddened. Only last Wednesday, I awoke to the happy news on the front page of the Style section in the Washington Post that George had been named by the Kennedy Center as the winner of the Mark Twain Prize for lifetime achievement in humor. I immediately sent him a congratulatory e-mail in which I said, "No one deserves this award more than you. You're a credit to your race!"

It was my weak attempt to use humor with the greatest humorist of our time. George Carlin was not only one of the funniest comedians in American history; he was also a deep thinker who made very penetrating comments on the social injustice that persists all around us.

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In the Air

Who says big ideas are rare?

by Malcolm Gladwell

The history of science is full of ideas that several people had at the same time.

The history of science is full of ideas that several people had at the same time.

Nathan Myhrvold met Jack Horner on the set of the "Jurassic Park" sequel in 1996. Horner is an eminent paleontologist, and was a consultant on the movie. Myhrvold was there because he really likes dinosaurs. Between takes, the two men got to talking, and Horner asked Myhrvold if he was interested in funding dinosaur expeditions.

Myhrvold is of Nordic extraction, and he looks every bit the bearded, fair-haired Viking—not so much the tall, ferocious kind who raped and pillaged as the impish, roly-poly kind who stayed home by the fjords trying to turn lead into gold. He is gregarious, enthusiastic, and nerdy on an epic scale. He graduated from high school at fourteen. He started Microsoft's research division, leaving, in 1999, with hundreds of millions. He is obsessed with aperiodic tile patterns. (Imagine a floor tiled in a pattern that never repeats.) When Myhrvold built his own house, on the shores of Lake Washington, outside Seattle—a vast, silvery hypermodernist structure described by his wife as the place in the sci-fi movie where the aliens live—he embedded some sixty aperiodic patterns in the walls, floors, and ceilings. His front garden is planted entirely with vegetation from the Mesozoic era. ("If the 'Jurassic Park' thing happens," he says, "this is where the dinosaurs will come to eat.") One of the scholarly achievements he is proudest of is a paper he co-wrote proving that it was theoretically possible for sauropods—his favorite kind of dinosaur—to have snapped their tails back and forth faster than the speed of sound. How could he say no to the great Jack Horner?

"What you do on a dinosaur expedition is you hike and look at the ground," Myhrvold explains. "You find bones sticking out of the dirt and, once you see something, you dig." In Montana, which is prime dinosaur country, people had been hiking around and looking for bones for at least a hundred years. But Horner wanted to keep trying. So he and Myhrvold put together a number of teams, totalling as many as fifty people. They crossed the Fort Peck reservoir in boats, and began to explore the Montana badlands in earnest. They went out for weeks at a time, several times a year. They flew equipment in on helicopters. They mapped the full dinosaur ecology—bringing in specialists from other disciplines. And they found dinosaur bones by the truckload.

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Netroots jilted by Obama FISA stand

by Carrie Budoff Brown

When former Sen. John Edwards dropped out of the presidential race, the progressive Netroots took their affections to Barack Obama, defending him against attack from Hillary Rodham Clinton and others.

But with his support of a government surveillance bill that offers retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies — a bill that he vowed last year to filibuster — the honeymoon has ended.

Disappointed over his position on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the online activists feel jilted and betrayed and have taken to questioning his progressive credentials. One prominent blogger, Atrios, has even given him the moniker "Wanker of the Day."

"He broke faith," said Matt Stoller, a political consultant and blogger at "Obama pledged to filibuster, and he is part of that old politics, in this case, that he said he wasn't. It will spur us to challenge him."

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Torture guidelines



"All told, the most persuasive indictments of Israeli actions come from Israelis themselves. This scrupulous honesty and fairness toward Israel's historic enemies is a triumph of humanity. In short, there are many Israels. When American presidential candidates compete this year to be 'pro-Israeli,' let's hope that they clarify that the one they support is not the oppressor that lets settlers steal land and club women but the one that is a paragon of justice, decency, fairness — and peace."

- columnist Nicholas Kristof, in a recent op-ed titled, "The Two Israels." (Source: The New York Times )

Eisenhowers for Obama

by Andrew Tobias

Julie Nixon Eisenhower – who backed Bush in 2004   is for Obama. 


·        Read the story here.


And Susan Eisenhower – Ike's granddaughter and lifelong Republican – is for Obama. 


I met her last week in Jacksonville at an Obama fundraiser organized in large part by a seriously wealthy Republican businessman who voted for Bush . . . twice . . . but is now persuading his Republican friends to support Obama.


·        As Ms. Eisenhower wrote in the Washington Post this past winter: 


I am convinced that Barack Obama is the one presidential candidate today who can encourage ordinary Americans to stand straight again; he is a man who can salve our national wounds and both inspire and pursue genuine bipartisan cooperation.  Just as important, Obama can assure the world and Americans that this great nation's impulses are still free, open, fair and broad-minded. . . .


. . . If the Democratic Party chooses Obama as its candidate, this lifelong Republican will work to get him elected and encourage him to seek strategic solutions to meet America's greatest challenges. To be successful, our president will need bipartisan help.

Given Obama's support among young people, I believe that he will be most invested in defending the interests of these rising generations and, therefore, the long-term interests of this nation as a whole.  Without his leadership, our children and grandchildren are at risk of growing older in a marginalized country that is left to its anger and divisions.  Such an outcome would be an unacceptable legacy for any great nation.

Susan Eisenhower, a business consultant, is the author of four books, most recently "Partners in Space: US-Russian Cooperation After the Cold War."


I've been making the case that your Republican friends only think they're Republican. 


The whole political landscape, I argue, has shifted so far right that they are now moderate Democrats.  The Harvard Business School Alumni Bulletin allowed me to make that case here.


Yes, the hard right – the Karl Roves and the James Dobsons and the Rush Limbaughs – will do their best to destroy Obama and make him out to be something he's not.  But if the liberals and the moderates and the Eisenhower Republicans – and even some 2004 Bush Republicans like the ones I met in Jacksonville – come out and vote November 4, the country could be reborn.

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A Blueprint for Withdrawal

Common Dreams NewsCenter
by Ali Gharib

WASHINGTON - Proponents of a U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq routinely brush off criticisms that their ideas are "irresponsible". But until today, the charge that withdrawal cannot be accomplished responsibly — and just how that would be done — has never been coherently answered.

With the release Wednesday of the report "Quickly, Carefully, and Generously: The Necessary Steps for a Responsible Withdrawal from Iraq", withdrawal-minded experts, analysts and politicians sought to pull all the answers together in one document.

The report, written by the organising committee after meetings of the more than 20-member Task Force for a Responsible Withdrawal for Iraq in March, does not address the underlying reasons why the withdrawal option is the best one — that case, it says, has already been compellingly made — but rather focuses on how it can be responsibly carried out.

Whenever the topic of withdrawal is broached, said one of three workshop participants from Congress, Rep. Jim McGovern, "the [Pres. George W. Bush] administration screams, 'bloodbath!'" — raising the spectre of Iraq descending into chaos, igniting regional wars, and, as presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain has said, al Qaeda "taking a country".

But far-fetched warnings of worst-case scenarios aside, the alternative of, as the report puts it, withdrawing "U.S. troops while pursuing a diplomatic and political solution to Iraq's civil conflict" is out there.

"What we need to argue is how," said McGovern on a media conference call to discuss the report. "The alternative to not doing anything and not talking about this is resigning to the status quo."

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George Carlin, American Radical


By John Nichols

No one, not Obama, not Hillary Clinton and certainly not John McCain, caught the zeitgeist of the vanishing American dream so well as Carlin.

I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately. -- George Carlin,

The last vote that George Carlin said he cast in a presidential race was for George McGovern in 1972.

When Richard Nixon, who Carlin described as a member of a sub-species of humanity, overwhelmingly defeated McGovern, the comedian gave up on the political process.

"Now, there's one thing you might have noticed I don't complain about: politicians," he explained in a routine that challenged all the premises of today's half-a-loaf reformers. "Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don't fall out of the sky. They don't pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It's what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you're going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. Term limits ain't going to do any good; you're just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans. So, maybe, maybe, maybe, it's not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here... like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There's a nice campaign slogan for somebody: 'The Public Sucks. Fuck Hope.'"

Needless to say, George Carlin was not on message for 2008's "change we can believe in" election season.

Trump mansion sold to "mobsters sans frontieres"

by Daniel Hopsicker


The Russian "businessman" to whom Donald Trump sold his Palm Beach mansion for a purported $100 million was arrested in Russia in April of 1997  and charged with masterminding the killing of a business rival,  in what law enforcement authorities  called "a contract hit."

The MadCowMorningNews has uncovered an April 13, 1997 report in the official Russian news agency TASS announcing that Russian law enforcement authorities arrested Russian fertilizer king Dmitry Rybolovlev and charged him with being behind the murder of the head of another Russian chemical company, in what authorities said was a war for control of Russia's lucrative fertilizer business.  

"The suspected murderers and organizers of the crime, including the head of the FD-Kredit Bank, Dmitry Rybolovlev, have been arrested," TASS reported.

Trump's announcement of his big sale Wednesday received wide play. It was trumpeted everywhere from the Wall Street Journal to Entertainment Tonight.  

The Wall Street Journal, with perhaps unintended irony, called Rybolovlev, a 42-year-old Russian billionaire who currently ranks #59 on the Forbes list of the world's billionaires, "one of Russia's richest and most discreet businessmen."

None of the stories mentioned Palm Beach's newest billionaire's mainline connection to the Russian Mob. 

The real 'never-ending story'

How Donald Trump came to own and sell Maison de l'Amitie,  his 6.5 acre Palm Beach waterfront estate, is just the latest chapter in the "Never-Ending Story," the continuing saga of the moves and machinations of spooks & crooks and other major players in the netherworld  of transnational organized crime.

Billionaire mogul Trump supposedly received a massive windfall,  selling a property for one of the the highest prices ever paid in the United States that he had scooped-up at a bankruptcy sale five years earlier.

Quote of the Day

"Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than in the one where they sprang up."
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. -

Stuff White People Like

This blog is devoted to stuff that white people like
Comparing People to Hitler

By: Isaac "Absent" Amirian
Being a truly advanced white person means being able to speak with authority about pretty much any field of conversation- especially politics. In order for white people to streamline the process of knowing everything, all human beings can be neatly filed into one of two categories: People I Agree With, and People Who are Just Like Adolf Hitler.

Comparing people to Hitler is an easy way for white people to get a strong point across to the less enlightened, or the insufficiently white. Everyone knows who Adolf Hitler was. And everyone knows that Hitler was very, very bad. Therefore, if a white person really, REALLY, doesn't like something or
someone, he or she may angrily say something to the effect of, "This is exactly the same kind of thing that Hitler used to do!" accompanied by varying levels of profanity based on blood-alcohol content. No matter what your gut reaction may be at that point, do not disagree with that white person. Otherwise, well, you love Hitler.

This time-tested white-person maneuver may seem so awesomely useful to you that you are tempted to go out and try it right now. Not so fast. White people have spent the last 30 years perfecting this technique. There are cultural guidelines.

It's also critical that you avoid the fatal mistake of getting creative and comparing people you don't like to other evil dictators, such as Joseph Stalin or Fidel Castro. With few exceptions, white people are actually fond
of almost any dictator not named Hitler, and your remark that "this is just like something Mao Zedong would do" will be met with blank stares and possible social alienation. This is because, with the exception of Hitler,
oppressive dictators share a passion for many of the things white people love- such as universal health care, conspiracy theories, caring about poor people while being filthy rich, and cool hats. Stick to the script and
compare things you don't like to Hitler, and Hitler alone.

Drudge Report of June 2000 Shows Bush Blaming Clinton for High Oil Prices: $20 - $30 a Barrel!


by Meg White

On June 21, 2000, the main headline on Drudge Report shouted that Bush was blaming Clinton and Gore for "high" gasoline/oil prices.

And that, to reiterate, was the year 2000:

In the first half of 2000, gas prices were in the news. Everyone was upset, as oil had been around $10 a barrel the previous year. That spring, the price more than doubled, and it was an election year. So the blame had to go somewhere.

Vice President and Democratic nominee Al Gore blamed oil companies. Texas Governor and Republican nominee George W. Bush blamed President Bill Clinton.

Now that Exxon-Mobil posted record-high earnings, oil is nearing $140 a barrel, and Bush has been in the White House long enough to have affected energy policy, it's no shock that the president's blame game has shifted. So Bush blamed Clinton for gas prices doubling, while prices have increased to record levels under his administration. Bush himself admits that oil prices under his administration have gone up seven-fold!

At an energy summit last weekend in Jidda, Saudi Arabia, there was a fundamental disagreement about the source of high energy prices between producer countries and consumer countries. Producers blame market speculators for driving up prices, while consumers say there just isn't enough oil to meet global demand.

At the summit, Saudi Arabia pledged to increase their oil production by 200,000 barrels a day. But because the market (read: speculators) had already anticipated the Saudi promise, the price of oil actually went up after the announcement instead of down.

The top oil consumer in the world said it was a supply issue. U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman told summit attendees there is no evidence that speculators are driving up the price of oil. Instead, an increase in demand from developing countries such as India and China is to blame.

Dream on, Bush Administration.

Scalia Cites False Information in Habeas Corpus Dissent

Marjorie Cohn says, "Scalia bolstered his hysterical claim that the Boumediene decision 'will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed' with stale information that was proven to be false a year ago."
(Photo: AP)

    To bolster his argument that the Guantanamo detainees should be denied the right to prove their innocence in federal courts, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in his dissent in Boumediene v. Bush: "At least 30 of those prisoners hitherto released from Guantanamo have returned to the battlefield." It turns out that statement is false.

    According to a new report by Seton Hall Law Center for Policy and Research, "The statistic was endorsed by a Senate Minority Report issued June 26, 2007, which cites a media outlet, CNN. CNN, in turn, named the DoD [Department of Defense] as its source. The '30' number, however, was corrected in a DoD press release issued in July 2007, and a DoD document submitted to the House Foreign Relations Committee on May 20, 2008, abandons the claim entirely."

    The largest possible number of detainees who could have "returned to the fight" is 12; however, the Department of Defense has no system for tracking the whereabouts of released detainees. The only one who has undisputedly taken up arms against the United States or its allies, "ISN 220," was released by political officers of the DoD against the recommendations of military officers.

    Scalia bolstered his hysterical claim that the Boumediene decision "will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed" with stale information that was proven to be false one year ago. Professor Mark Denbeaux, director of the Seton Hall Center, said, Scalia "was relying uncritically on information that originated with a party in the case before him."

Coke Director Sam Nunn: A Bad Choice for Obama

Ray Rogers of Campaign to Stop Killer Coke

The media has suggested on numerous occasions that Senator Barack Obama might choose former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) as his running mate. Sam Nunn's name was mentioned for VP fairly recently by Jimmy Carter as he endorsed Obama for president.

Associated Press reported on June 19: "Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich., who leads the Congressional Black Caucus, said members of her caucus asked her to forward the names of Edwards and Nunn when she met Wednesday with Obama's vice presidential search team. The vetting team, Caroline Kennedy and Eric Holder, indicated the two were on the list."

It would be a grave mistake for Obama to choose Nunn as Vice President! Nunn's values are contradictory to those expressed by Sen. Obama.

Sam Nunn sits on the boards of four of the most abusive corporations in the world – The Coca-Cola Co., Chevron, General Electric and Dell Computers. All four have shown scant regard for human rights, the environment and/or the labor movement of the countries in which they operate. Yet Nunn has been silent about the abuses of his corporate bedfellows and, of course, is very well compensated as a board member.

The Coca-Cola Co. (Board Member since 1997) is involved in labor and human rights abuses. For example, lawsuits charge that Coke's bottlers in Colombia are involved in the systematic intimidation, kidnapping, torture and murder of union leaders ( Coca-Cola is also involved in environmental abuses worldwide including India, Mexico and El Salvador as well as benefiting from the use of hazardous child labor in El Salvador.

The Company also has a history of racial discrimination, fraudulent business practices, tax avoidance and corporate welfare schemes. Multinational Monitor named The Coca-Cola Company in their list of the ten worst corporations of 2004. Does Obama need a top policymaker of a company that has been kicked off at least 50 college and university campuses because of its widespread labor, human rights and environmental abuses?


Aug 2: Emergency Call to Action

Stop War on Iran
An Emergency Call to Action
  • An Attack could be Imminent
  • We Can't Afford to Wait
  • Take It to the Streets This Summer
  • U.S. out of Iraq, Money for human needs, not war!

Assemble 12 p.m.
at Times Square

43rd St. & Broadway


Consider as soon as possible if you can organize a STOP WAR ON IRAN protest in your locality during the weekend of August 2 – 3.  Let us know so that your protest can be listed.


The U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan is hated by the people there. These wars have no support at home and are ruining the domestic economy. Instead of pulling out, the Bush administration is preparing for still another war—this time against Iran . This must be stopped!


On June 4, George Bush, with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at his side, called Iran a "threat to peace."  Two days before, acting as a proxy for the Pentagon, Israel used advanced U.S. fighter planes to conduct massive air maneuvers, which the media called a "dress rehearsal" for an attack on Iran 's nuclear facility. Under pressure from the U.S. , the European Union announced sanctions against Iran on June 23.  A bill is before Congress for further U.S. sanctions on Iran and even a blockade of Iran .


Iran as a "nuclear threat" is as much a hoax as Bush's claim of "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq used to justify the war there. The International Atomic Energy Agency, which inspects Iran 's nuclear facilities, says it has no weapons program and is developing nuclear power for the days when its oil runs out. Even Washington 's 16 top spy agencies issued a joint statement that said Iran does not have nuclear weapons technology!

U.S. and Israel are the real nuclear danger. The Pentagon has a huge, nuclear-capable naval armada in the Persian/Arabian Gulf, with guns aimed at Iran . Israel , the Pentagon's proxy force in the Middle East , has up to 200 nuclear warheads and has never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  Iran did sign it.


While billions of dollars go to war, at home the unemployment rate had the biggest spike in 23 years.  Home foreclosures and evictions are increasing; fuel and food prices are through the roof. While the situation is growing dire for many, Washington 's cuts to domestic programs continue.  A new U.S. war will bring only more suffering.


While the summer is a difficult time to call protests, the August recess of Congress gives the White House an opportunity for unopposed aggression against Iran .  We must not let this happen! From the anti-war movement and all movements for social change, to religious and grassroots organizations, unions and schools, let us join forces to demand "No war on Iran, U.S. out of Iraq, Money for human needs not war! "

This call to action is issued by, a network of thousands of concerned activists and organizations fighting to stop a new war against Iran since February  2006.

Endorse the Emergency Call to Action for August 2 at

List your local action at

Sign the Petition at

Make an Emergency Donation at

Tell a Friend

Sign up for updates

Please help build a grassroots campaign to Stop War on Iran

When Oil Men Rule the World

Center for American Progress

Today's Cartoon: When Oil Men Rule the World

Read about today's issue:
Think Again: Drilling Deep to Mislead on Oil Prices

From the Cartoonist Group

View more cartoons in the cartoon archive.

Center for American Progress | 1333 H Street, NW, 10th Floor | Washington, DC 20005

We are doomed! Sort of!

Earth in crisis, food and water increasingly scarce, people freaking out. Should you join them?
By Mark Morford

It would be nice to think much of the ugliness is coming to an end.

It would be lovely to imagine the era of brutal Earth-mauling technologies, coal extraction and petroleum and industrial agriculture and strip mining and clear cutting and industrial fishing and all rest, all the more rapacious and unforgiving notions of how we exist on this planet are, after an era of unchecked capitalistic greed and waste and over-consumption right along with almost zero concern for consequences and the ethics of sustainability, finally moving toward obsolescence -- or rather, are quickly being shoved there by sheer necessity, brutal market forces, as supply runs dry and oil production slows and the Earth groans and spits and says, "enough already."

It is a pivotal time, and now more than ever, you get to choose the lens through which you want to watch it all unfold. Or implode.

Are we headed toward a brighter future packed like a Hooters Energy Drink with a renewed sense of hope and global cooperation? Or is our species plainly doomed to be crushed under the corn syrupy weight of our own gluttony and ego and entitlement? Are we waking up just in time to save ourselves from ourselves, or is that fistful of sociocultural Ambien we downed all those years ago merely causing us to sleep-drive into a wall of nuclear asbestos?

Choose your attitude, baby. Because on the one hand, you can cruise through cool conscious hipster mags like Grist or Treehugger and Dwell and Good and the like, and be happily inspired by all the latest ideas for sustainable development and socially conscious tech -- from micro-turbines built right into the skin of buildings, to amazing new solar panels, cool prefab housing, better batteries, microcars, electric mopeds, eco-nightclubs, dual-flush toilets and CFLs and bamboo everything, wind farms and urban solar initiatives and LEED-certified homes and even some tentative positive ideas from Big Auto. Hell, even toxic monolith Clorox has a green line of products that's actually, well, relatively green. Go figure.

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