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Eat Whatever You Want! (and solve our energy crisis while doing it)

Another reason to Eat Liberally, via Alternet:

I say to my fellow humans: It's time to stop feeding off the dead and grow up! I don't know about food, but I have a plan for achieving fuel self-suffiency in less time than it takes to say "Arctic National Wildlife Refuge." The idea came to me from reports of the growing crime of French fry oil theft: Certain desperate individuals are stealing restaurants' discarded cooking oil, which can then be used to fuel cars. So the idea is: why not could skip the French fry phase and harvest high-energy hydrocarbons right from ourselves?

I'm talking about liposuction, of course, and it's a mystery to me why it hasn't occurred to any of those geniuses who are constantly opining about fuel prices on MSNBC. The average liposuction removes about half a gallon of liquid fat, which may not seem like much. But think of the vast reserves our nation is literally sitting on! Thirty percent of Americans are obese, or about 90 million individuals or 45 million gallons of easily available fat -- not from dead diatoms but from our very own bellies and butts.

This is the humane alternative to biofuels derived directly from erstwhile foodstuffs like corn. Biofuels, as you might have noticed, are exacerbating the global food crisis by turning edible plants into gasoline. But we could put humans back in the loop by first turning the corn into Doritos and hence into liposuctionable body fat. There would be a reason to live again, even a patriotic rationale for packing on the pounds.

Drink Responsibly, No Matter What the McCains Say at Drinking Liberally constantly remember the dangers of drunk driving. As it says above, "as you drink liberally, always drink responsibly."

But there are some special interests, that oppose groups trying to stem the issue of drunk driving. And it just so happens, that one of those special interests happens to be run by Cindy McCain.

The company [Hensley, chaired by Cindy McCain] has opposed such groups as Mothers Against Drunk Driving in fighting proposed federal rules requiring alcohol content information on every package of beer, wine and liquor.

Hensley has run afoul of health advocacy groups that have tried to rein in appeals to young drinkers. For example, the company distributes caffeinated alcoholic drinks that public health groups say put young and underage consumers at risk by disguising the effects of intoxication.

It's a problem when the special interests take over the white house, let alone the lincoln bedroom, especially when those special interests are advocating against organizations like MADD, who valiantly fight against a the terrible problem of drunk driving.

Unlike Cindy McCain's company, Drinking Liberally wholeheartedly supports efforts to prevent drunk driving. But then again, the McCains haven't really been our side in the past, have they?

Country Club Karl

Drinking Liberally Shot of Truth
by Seth Pearce, Karl Rove has some grand ideas about how most Americans spend their time.

Even if you never met him [Barack Obama], you know this guy, he's the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by.

Well, Mr. Rove, having never been to a country club, I have no idea what you're talking about, and I'm guessing neither do most Americans.

But while you're hanging out at your resort, admiring Michele Obama, and making paranoid judgements about those you are cavorting with, Americans in all 50 states are getting together to talk progressive politics and share a pitcher or two at one of our over 250 Drinking Liberally chapters.

It's really easy to find or start a chapter in your neighborhood. And we promise that the folks at the local DL won't be as spiteful as ol' Turd Blossom here.

Republicans Prove Their Commitment to White People

Republicans are shocked and appalled that a racist pin which reads "If Obama is President...Will we still call it the White House?" was sold at the Texas Republican Party convention. To show their commitment to combating racism, the GOP is donating the money raised by the vendor to help flood victims in the Midwest. They also stipulated that under no circumstances could any of the money go to Katrina victims who are still without homes, neighbors, trailers or security. The difference, of course, as Rush Limbaugh explains, is that the people of Iowa and Illinois are "the heartland...and the backbone of America," while people of the gulf coast, are the infected appendix of the U.S., and "a bunch of people running around waving guns at helicopters...shooting cops....raping people on the street...whining and moaning--where's FEMA, where's BUSH."

The Routine That Got George Carlin Arrested

Laughing Liberally To Keep From Crying

We'll have more on the passing of George Carlin later in the week, but we didn't want the day to pass without a small tribute to one of the most important anti-authoritarian comedians of the last 50 years. We present the routine that got Carlin arrested, and which found itself at the Supreme Court:

Why Do You Need a "Progressive" Book Club?

Reading Liberally Page Turner
by Justin Krebs, Living Liberally

Hooray! The Progressive Book Club is here! And in the next few days, I will receive three books -- including Cliff Schecter's "The Real McCain" -- for $1 each!

What might sound like a scheme on par with the treasure of deposed African dictators or a "Buy Now!" infomercial is actually a welcome and much-anticipated new cog in the growing progressive infrastructure: an organization that supports liberal authors and publishers, serves left-leaning literates, and rivals one of the right-wing's important tools.

And no, Cliff Schecter's not upset his book is being sent to me for a buck. Because if PBC takes off, there will be thousands of members exerting buying power together, giving authors dedicated audiences, and turning back the corrupting influence of right-wing groups that have helped push wingnuts into national notoriety.

But, when the reporter for this New York Times piece on PBC spoke to me (Living Liberally is a partner helping launch face-to-face Reading Liberally book clubs), she was skeptical.

"Why do you need a 'progressive' book club?" she asked. "Isn't it fair to say that like Hollywood, publishing already has a liberal bias?"

And that all-too-prevalent assumption is exactly why we need PBC. I suggested that the success of folks like Ann Coulter shows the power of collective book-buying to create successes, and thus give someone of thin resume and thinner morals a stepping stone to punditry prominence.

"So Coulter sells books -- when Al Gore writes a book that sells too. Are liberals really having a hard time being heard?"

Yes...she equated Ann Coulter and Al Gore.

For every Gore -- you know, your run-of-the-mill author with VP experience and a Nobel price -- there are dozens of talented progressive voices that never get heard. Some notable bloggers like Jeffrey Feldman and Michael Connery can thank independent publishers like Ig for having faith in them; but then those companies need help expanding their audience.

And that's where PBC fits in.

My father doesn't read blogs. He probably won't read this post. But he reads books -- and he reads the Times. The Times told him about PBC, and he just ordered books written by netroots notables for the first time.

I always remember as we started Drinking Liberally how people asked, "You live in New York...why do you need a liberal drinking club? Isn't everyone liberal?" The fact was those liberals needed an organizing structure which gathered and empowered them. And that's the same answer I'd give to PBC skeptics: yes, there are liberal voices, books, authors, publishers,, let's actually introduce them to one another.

And get 3 books for a dollar each in the process.

The GOP's 3 Deadly G's: Gays, Gas & Gore

As Americans feel pain at the pump,
they're open to new energy solutions,
but conservatives give the old answer: "Drill More!"

As couples in California express their love,
Americans increasingly recognize marriage equality,
but the right-wing still shouts: "Gays are Scary!"

And as the Republicans' old punching bag Al Gore,
endorses Obama, helping boost him in the polls,
the GOP just sputters: "But Gore's a loser!" McCain tries to dodge the President himself.

It's been said in the past that the Dems
have problems with Gays, Guns & God...

But as Americans views have evolved with the times,
the Right has its own 3-g problem: Gays, Gas & Gore.

And 1 more "G" -- the "GOP" --
may be McCain's biggest problem of all

Raise a glass to same-sex marriage and Al Gore
as you raise your voice, ideas & questions
with like-minded left-leaning libation-lifters
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Stopping War In A Sleepy Little Town in Idaho

Drinking Liberally Shot of Truth
by Dan Henry, Drinking Liberally Idaho Falls

We've gotten a bit of national press recently here in the sleepy little town of Idaho Falls.

First, a little background: four boys were arrested last October for vandalizing stop signs. The photo above shows some of their handiwork. Two were minors, and the details of their cases are not public. Alex and Craig, the 18-year-olds, pled guilty and were sentenced harshly – two days in jail, thousands of dollars in fines, and restitution based on the number of stop signs each admitted to stenciling.

This story has been covered a couple of times in the Post Register, our local paper (all its articles are behind a firewall, but some have been posted here.)

After paying restitution, the boys were able to take possession of the stop signs. I know that Alex got 20 signs, but I don't know about Craig. At least one of the minors got a lesser number of signs.

Last week, a local reporter picked up the story of the boys selling their stop signs. Two were sold to the Bonneville County Democrats to auction at their annual Truman Banquet fundraising dinner in May. (I bought one of the signs – we're going to use it on our Drinking Liberally Fourth of July float.)

A local discussion board posted about it. The original poster was outraged that the boys were allowed to sell their signs. I've been posting there as 'idahogie.'

But the big news is that AP picked up the local story, and Fox News ran it! So now I can say that I've been quoted by Fox News. But I still won't go on The Factor.

From the start, the case has spurred some real anti-war activism in our town. Many of us felt ashamed and embarrassed that we weren't doing enough to bring about an end to Bush's War. And it took the civil disobedience of these four boys to wake us up. My friend Debbie Troester-Solbrig said it best in our local editorial page:

"I wish I had painted 'war' on the stop signs. I wish I could say I moved people to think the way those stop signs moved me. How can these young people be criminals when they caused anyone who saw a 'stop war' sign to think about our brave soldiers, our dead, their dead and the world's loss? Every time I came upon a stop sign marked with the word 'war' in my everyday life, that one word brought the war closer to home – where it should be. Those three letters (w-a-r) caused me to stop, realize, think and contemplate: Our country is at war. Yet we go on living our normal daily lives, not thinking of the sacrifices being made each minute, each second, thousands of miles away."

The boys' action caused us to form a new group, the Snake River Freedom Coalition. We've held several peace rallies in downtown Idaho Falls. The first one drew about 140 people for two hours on a balmy 5-degree day in January. We spent Mother's Day on our local greenbelt, chalking names of casualties in Bush's War (this is a great activity to do any time, with no publicity or explanation – just start writing and be open to interaction with pedestrians). We've had lectures and movie events. We've also helped some local students to form a peace group in the local high school. And with the sale of t-shirts, we've raised over $2000 to help the boys pay their legal bills.

Our DL chapter recently sponsored the First Annual Loving Day Celebration and Progressive Awards Banquet here in Idaho Falls. It was my great honor to award Alex, Craig, and the other two boys with framed certificates that commemorate the gift they gave to us.