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An Open Letter(and invitation) to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz

So, this isn’t about boycotts or putting Starbucks out of business, Mr. Schultz. This is about a small business owner, Dave McLaughlin, fighting for the life of his coffee shop, Safari Cup, in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. He’s fighting for his life and livelihood, and those of his employees because the Starbucks across the street, at least by appearances, is trying to put him out of business. This, this is about community, good neighbors and harmony. This is about the free market, as it benefits customers, not the free-market that allows for predatory capitalism. This is about everybody playing nice in their corner of the sandbox.

Previously the relationship between Safari Cup and that Starbucks location was one of harmony. There was no animosity. There was plenty enough business for both businesses to survive and do well on. Safari Cup tolerated its competition amiably enough. That the relationship has now changed to acrimony and mistrust, soon to affect the neighborhood and which is already drawing battle lines, is due entirely to the threat by Starbucks to bully Safari Cup out of business. 

 Recently you wrote in an open letter to the nation, stating, that millions “of Americans are out of work. Many more are working tirelessly yet still unable to adequately care for their families. Our veterans are not being welcomed home with the level of support they deserve. Meanwhile, in our nation’s capital, our elected leaders are continuing to put ideology over real solutions. I love America, but we all know there is something wrong…Let’s ask our business leaders to create more job opportunities for the American economy”

I do not know you, but trust you at your word that those sentiments  are sincere and heartfelt. At least I would prefer to believe that, and might if the actual practice and strategy of the company didn’t seem to contradict those words. There is a culture emerging that perceives Starbucks as a belligerent neighbor, overtly and aggressively targeting small and independent competition for destruction and ruin. There is a culture emerging that refers to Starbucks as “the Green Cancer.” 

I am inviting you onto my radio show this Sunday to champion your own words, and to respond directly to the concern that your company is so blinded by greed and the unquenchable thirst for higher and higher profits that Starbucks simply ignores the good words you offered to the nation; words that many Americans, including myself, find common cause with. In that conversation I would hope that we can find some common understanding between Starbucks and Safari Cup. Does, afterall, Starbucks the corporation need to drive Safari Cup from business? How much profit is enough? When does the pursuit of profit become perverse and cruel?

Already this issue by those coming to the defense of a beleaguered friend and neighbor has taken hold on Twitter, on Facebook, on the radio and in blogs. The more the public becomes aware and sympathizes with Safari Cup, the more damage will be done to the Starbucks brand and reputation, driven by the apparent bully-tactics of your company, or at least by  some within your company. Understandable, but certainly avoidable, the term “the Green Cancer” will become more and more synonymous with Starbucks.

I will make whatever time is necessary for you this Sunday, December 9th between 8-9 am on WCPT, Chicago’s Progressive Talk. You are welcome to  to join us in the studio or on the phone at 773-763-9278 for a respectful but earnest conversation. What I can promise is that  while the blatant threat by Starbucks to drive Safari Cup out of business the resolve of a growing community of supporters and friends will continue and grow.

Catch 900poundgorilla’s WC Turck, with cohost Brian Murray every Sunday 8-9am only on Chicago’s Progressive Talk, WCPT am820 and streaming live for the Revolution and Beer segment, as Brian and I sample the Craft Beer of the week with the Our Town gang, and run down the grassroots calendar for the week. If you’re tired of talk, talk, talk radio, this is do something radio. Get involved.


Starbucks Vs Reality: Do they mean what they say, or are they just another big corporation?

See there  are these two Starbucks, or maybe three. The first is the one we all see, or think we see; the eclectic baristas(as a one time real bartender, I take a bit of an exception to that).  This Starbucks plays cool music. Everybody sort has an ultra-hip vibe going. They get really pissy if you call a venti-sized coffee a large. Been to Italy. Never saw the “venti” in any cafe. They just have one item on the menu: Coffee. Una cafe, per favore. Gratzie!

The second Starbucks is the corporation. It is, to be fair, logistics, marketing, inventory and supply. They are huge, growing in just a shade over 40 years to more than 20,000 locations in better than 60 countries. Italy is not one of those countries. You’d be safer insulting the Pope in St Peter’s Square than trying to open a Starbucks in Milan.

You’d think with that sort of success that they could construct a business strategy that wouldn’t entail bullying small independent coffee shops. With that edgy hipster marketing facade, and impassioned words from CE Howard Schultz about the worrisome problems “sapping our national spirit,” one my hope for a conscience rare among the tend of predatory corporations gobbling up main street independents.

Recently Schultz wrote in an open letter “Millions of Americans are out of work. Many more are working tirelessly yet still unable to adequately care for their families. Our veterans are not being welcomed home with the level of support they deserve. Meanwhile, in our nation’s capital, our elected leaders are continuing to put ideology over real solutions. I love America, but we all know there is something wrong…Let’s ask our business leaders to create more job opportunities for the American economy”

Schultz is famous for recalling his humble beginning, claiming to come from a working class family. Which brings me to the third Starbucks. Chronic in this nation nowadays is lawyerism, corporate spin and politicians so beholden to their own hypocrisy that they lie regardless that they know we  are aware they are lying. Remember the weapons of mass destruction, smoking gun analogies that dragged us into the Iraq War? Chronic in this nation  are corporations that recreate, or  attempt to recreate an alternate reality to mask their truest intentions. They tell the big lie to us and to themselves.

Despite the wonderfully poetic words of Mister Schultz’ Starbucks has acted like a caffeine-charged Walmart, driving the mom and pop shops on mainstreet that we all wax-poetic over in nostalgic moments. Walmart crushed out of existence the corner RX and the mainstreet Five and Dime. Starbucks has their own prey. I personally experienced an artsy independent in Chicago some years ago driven out of business by Starbucks, who undercut and out-competed with their mammoth  and huge reserves not to win market-share in the neighborhood, but to take the entire market for themselves.

And now they are at it yet again. The “great green cancer” is poised to drive another independent out of business in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. And what makes even more galling is that there is ample business in the neighborhood for both survive. For Starbucks, apparently, sharing isn’t enough.

The “Green Cancer” isn’t mine. It’s a great line. I wish it was. It belongs to Dave McLaughlin of The Safari Cup cafe, an independent coffeehouse. he  fears they’ve used their money and power to influence the local Alderman and Chamber of Commerce to directly attack Safari Cup.  McLaughlin remains defiant. We’re not going anywhere,” he says, digging in for a battle in which his business hangs firmly in the balance.

McLaughlin’s Irish accented obstinacy isn’t easily put off from a natural whimsy, but it is very obviously strained By  Starbuck’s actions, saying “they spread themselves to destroy any competition…Starbucks is  running this ad campaign. It’s all bullshit.”

This fight is just beginning. In fairness I have reached out to Starbucks. The Lakeview Chamber of Commerce, and the Alderman for Chicago’s 44th Ward will be the subject of future pieces as 900poundgorilla and WCPT follow the story closely. Still waiting to hear from Starbucks. The sooner the better, would be my wish, because silence speaks volumes, and often tells the lies some would wish to keep hidden.   

 

Catch 900poundgorilla’s WC Turck every Sunday 8-9am only on Chicago’s Progressive Talk, WCPT am820 and streaming live for the Revolution and Beer segment, as Brian and I sample the Craft Beer of the week with the Our Town gang, and run down the grassroots calendar for the week. If you’re tired of talk, talk, talk radio, this is do something radio. Get involved.


Black Friday Death Count Bingo: By this time tomorrow we will have the preliminary back Friday Death Count, whether it be by trampling at the door, violence in parking lots or butchery over the latest videogame, DVD player or 25 cent widescreen TV giveaway.

Call in to Our Town this Sunday 8-9am CST at 773-763-9278 and tell us your brush with Black Friday death and violence. Shop local, buy independent. Boycott Walmart.


In Fear of the State

Monday evening I was standing with Palestinian Americans, and others, at a rally in Chicago’s Loop. There were Jews, ACLU monitors, Occupy Chicago friends, and many others derived from the amazing diversity of this city. They were people of conscience and peace. A small minority of bigots and idiots were marginalized and largely ignored. It was an unseasonally warm evening, so perfect that one might have, borrowing a page from the right, offered that God was on the side of these good people. They were demanding that the United States stop its biblically based militaristic support for the genocidal policies of the Israeli ultra-rightwing nationalists.

There are long roots to this conflict, and all of them have to do with a bigotry manufactured and defended in arms deals and militarism. For most Israelis and Palestinians peace is the ultimate goal, and coexistence the ultimate dream. The Ultra nationalists and arms dealers in this country and abroad, including Iran, Russia and China and other dealers who profit from supply to the various sides, have no interest in peace. Their hate and violence is a profit center.

I wanted to have someone from the Palestinian community in Chicago on our Sunday radio show on Chicago’s Progressive Talk, WCPT. Suddenly, in the middle of a conversation with three young Palestinians at the protest, I found myself anxious that I might draw suspicion, disdain or worse from the government. After all, the Hamas militia in the West Bank and Gaza are considered a terrorist organization. It is an arguable point. What is not is despite the inherent potential for corruption and even terror by any pseudo-military militia, too often crafted by fear, hate and paranoia, and stained by criminality, Hamas remains all the defense, or reactionary defense of the Palestinian people. Certainly, amid the emotional intensity of the Israeli bombardment of one of the most densely populated places on earth, there will be sympathy and solidarity with anyone willing to fight back. War pushes us all into moral and ethical corners.

I didn’t think a great deal about the emotion, swept along as thousand marched down Jackson in the heart of the Loop, and flanked by dozens of well-restrained Chicago Police on bike. They did nothing to interfere with the spirited but respectful marchers. Now and again, Chicago’s police superintendent, McCarthy, leading the march, would consult with the lead protesters. It was already dark, and at Michigan Avenue  I parted ways with the protesters and headed home.

It was two days later when I met with an activist attorney in the Loop with my cohost., Brian We were looking for  a strong legal perspective on  a hearing regarding the so-called Hacktivist, Jeremy Hammond, who revealed a shadow corporate CIA called STRATFOR, in largely what was a prank to expose this dangerous rightwing organization, STRATFOR’s government friends pressed for Hammond’s arrest. The government is threatening him with life in prison for exposing STRATFOR-who some believe is a government crony operation. Life in prison for  a prank to expose a potentially criminal enterprise in which no one was harmed?

What emerged was the vindictive nature of the government, particularly with regards to their corporate minders. Paranoid? The judge in the case is married to a client of STRATFOR. She likened Jeremy to a pedophile during the public hearing, obviously attempting to vilify him in statements likely to be carried by a media that either parrots information from the government without question or helps drive a right facing narrative.

Talking on that street corner about government vengefulness, I again suffered that acute anxiety that simply by discussing these topics, or being opposed to the wrong people politically and ideologically in this country, that I was placing myself, my family and their future at risk.

FOX and the right would trick you into believing that Obamacare, or the “imposition” of gay marriage, or any regulation on big business is a loss of freedom. They craft and market and flood their message throughout the culture with perverse and anti-democratic proliferation. But when a person fears their own government for standing on principle and justice, or even sympathizing for those who stand and sacrifice to real principles and justice, like Jeremy Hammond, that is the truest measure of the freedoms lost to this country.

Their playing field is silence. Through threats and action, the security apparatus of the nation successfully compels some to silence. The media takes care of the masses. But a few remain defiant and prepared to sacrifice, if for nothing more than to stand for what is right and what is just.

I recall a survivor from the mass executions in the Bosnian killing fields, interviewed on Sarajevo TV. He described being lined up with hundreds of men and boys for imminent executions by Serb forces. Most were silent, already given to death, which arguably they already had been their whole lives. A smaller number begged and pleaded for life. But a very few were defiant to the end. They stood tall and straight, with  supreme disdain for their executioners, which I might imagine a man like Jeremy Hammond doing before a court with little interest in true justice, but rather the advocacy and defense of  a dangerously co-opted and corrupted system.

We’ll talk more about this Sunday on WCPT Chicago’s Progressive Talk, 8-9am. Hope you can join the conversation. We need you to spread the word.


SECDEE: The Voice of a New Texas Generation

Oh the majesty, as the word arises across the climate changed parched Texas plain.  The word championed by Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, teased and giggled over by the rest on the right. It is the standard that exemplifies the patriotic assertions of  a dumb-as-nails state that thumbs its nose  at science, and now…spelling. Bush and Perry have successfully steered the state into one of the wortest, pardon my grammar, more worstest, states for education in the nation.

So be proud Texans, as the political leaders you tolerate make absurd and anti-American statements about leaving the union, when sore losers who can’t spell the word, believe dinosaurs and cowboys lived side by side on this 6ooo year old planet, and ignore global warming slapping Texas in its fat type-II diabetes formed ass. The rest of the country might just say “go” to your giant ashtray of a state, take back Fort Hood and other military installations and all the Federal Tax Dollars that come with that-laundered by local politicians to balance state coffers not fulfilled by the burgeoning fast-food service jobs boom in Texas-and move the border fence up to Arkansas.

So say it loud and proud, Teas:

SECDEE! WE WON’T LIV UNDER THE COLOR-RED PREZIDENT! RENEMBER THE ALAMOO! SECDEE, SECDEE  OR GIVE ME DETH. SECDEE!

As a gift to your new-found nation, we’ll send a dictionary, and maybe a clue.


The Big Benghazi Lie

I have avoided writing this article for some time. Not that it hasn’t been tempting. The oblique assault against the President is blatantly and completely partisan, and betrays either the outright complicit nature of the Press or their fundamental ignorance. Not that I’m an apologist for Obama. Though I was happy that he was re-elected, I also feel he is significantly beholden to corporate and money interests. The bottom line here is, I just can’t stand by any longer while the Right parades absolute untruths while the media wallows in blissful banality

Anyone who has been to a US diplomatic facility in an active conflict zones knows they are hardly consulates, let alone embassies. They are not there to spread the message of democracy and freedom. They are not sanctuaries. To the contrary. And how would I know this? I have been there. Well, not to Libya, but in Sarajevo during the siege in 1994.

This story is something of a third rail for the Progressive side; that tiny minority who at least attempts the truth.  but even the professed liberal side of the so-called liberal press has deftly side-stepped the Benghazi attack against a US “consulate.” Not surprising, and admittedly, not a lot of people have been to a consulate in a war zone. and now, two months after the incident, the whole affair is a dark and tangled affair.

First the facts. It was a terrorist attack. 4 Americans were killed. It did happen amid a sudden surge of unrest following the release on YouTube of an anti-Muslim film that saw simultaneous unrest in Egypt, and violence in Pakistan that left a number of Pakistanis dead. Libya was and is still in turmoil, and deeply divided following the civil war. The nation was still dangerous.

In October 1994 I found myself trapped in Sarajevo, with the fighting in the city growing and winter approaching. In the Holiday Inn along Sarajevo’s infamous sniper alley the United States maintained a “consulate.” It seemed logical an American out of reasonable options would look for help at a US Consulate, right?

The Sarajevo consulate was a spy ring, tasked either with collecting or getting intelligence, either on one or more of the warring parties or for the dozen or so other foreign intelligence services active in Bosnia, including the Russians and Iranians. Running a gauntlet of sniper fire to the consulate was a constant. in the hall outside the consulate suite sat a laconic Bosnian kid with an AK-47. He was tasked with keep interlopers out. Truth of it was, he  was just happy to be off the bloody frontlines, and could be cowed with the wave of a US passport and a bit of bravado bordering on arrogance. Once in passing, when he attempted to stop me I literally threw up a hand and said, “Have a seat, son,” with this stern sort of militaristic tone. the heavily armed types inside could hardly scatter from sight, startled by my sudden appearance.

When I pressed the issue of not being able to escape the city, at that point arrested by two different armies attempting to escape, the “officials” did not act as diplomats, but reverted to this sort of black market mentality. Now, I am not accusing who would then become the first American ambassador to Bosnia of corruption, but I will say this. The going rate to the actual Bosnian blackmarket at the time was $5000USD. This future ambassador coincidentally offered his help, and that I would need to pay him…wait for it…$5 grand USD “to rent” a seat on one of the airlift flights.

In 1992 an arms embargo, said to stop the flow of arms into the break up Yugoslavia, was championed by the United States and  later defended by the US. The stated intention was to stop the violence. The reality, and this was no secret to any government, and certainly not a secret on the ground in the war zone, but was a secret nearly everywhere else, was that it was a windfall for international arms dealers. The cost of weaponry skyrocketed to more than 20 times original value. those deals, worth billions in hard  and untraceable cash were rarely if ever handled by arms companies, but by agents of their national governments. and during the wars of the 1990s, everyone wanted to get in on that action.

The point of that story? The consulate in Benghazi, I am certain, was not tasked with diplomacy as its primary mission. And if that is the case, as all reports seem to indicate, whether from holding al qaeda suspects, or that all of these men had significant intelligence and military backgrounds, as well as none of the survivors have been heard from or identified, this was an intelligence outpost in a very unstable place.

Few will ever see that world, but it exists. the mythology is that they are the good guys behind the scenes keeping us all safe. The reality is that a world of international espionage absolutely exists, but they feed the unrest and tragedy of the world, rather than stem or assuage it. They are the problem not the solution. Theirs is a game of arrogant perspective parading as broad visionary strategy. They play that game among one another, but trample upon the rest of us in the process. They are an industry. They work for industry, but in the most cynical and insidious ways. The President and State Department will never cop to any of this. They can’t. No one is going to give up their own spies. They won’t, but that’s the reality, no matter what FOX News and the Right want to pretend


Revolution and Beer’s own:Smokey Brunch Frittata(Makes 18 single servings)

Ingredients:

One small onion, lemon juice, salt, pepper, red bell pepper, smoked gouda, thin-sliced Russian Balik Davnitsky, or prosciutto, Thyme, half and half, eggs, jalapeño pepper,  cilantro, vinegar, mayonnaise, olive oil, butter

Prepare:

Lightly butter  a medium muffin pan.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Finely chop one small onion

In a small skillet heat a tablespoon-ish of butter, and melt over a medium heat. Add onion a dash of salt and a bit of pepper. Stir occasionally until onion is translucent, with a hint of sweetness. Remove from heat and pour into small dish. Set aside and allow to cool.

Finely chop ½ red bell pepper

Finely chop ¼ pound smoked Gouda

Chop 1/2 tablespoon fresh Thyme.

Chop Balik Davnitsky.

Add all four in a small bowl and mix lightly for flavors to marry.

In a large bowl crack 12 medium to large eggs, ¼ cup of half and half, salt and pepper to taste. Whisk until smooth and fully blended. All onion, bell pepper/gouda/Thyme and Davnitsky  mix to eggs and stir for even distribution. Using a small soup ladle, fill the muffin pans to ¾ full. Place in center of oven rack to bake 15-18 minutes, until the top is golden brown and firm. Remove from oven and let stand 3 minutes

Drizzle:

In a food processor, mix  fresh cilantro, fresh jalapeño(Outside only, discard rind and seeds), 2 table spoons olive oil, 2 table spoons mayonnaise, tablespoon white vinegar, teaspoon lemon juice, mix until liquid.

Serve:

Place a bit of drizzle at center of the plate. Set 2 Frittatas side by side on top and drizzle a bit more around. Garnish with a bit of chopped cilantro. Enjoy!  

 Catch more recipes each week with our featured craft brew every Sunday on WCPT 8am in Chicago, for the Revolution and Beer spot on the Our Town program. This week’s feature, courtesy of Louis Glunz Beer, Inc.: Revolution Brewing’s Eugene Porter, a crisp, bold malty brew, perfect for cold days and hearty foods.   

The Our Town crew and Revolution and Beer in the studio


Of Men and Beer in Good Character: Revolution Brewing’s Eugene Porter

If you’re going to drink a beer named after an early Twentieth Century Union leader, probably best to know a few things about the guy. I mean, what if I said big and bold flavor, just like Ole Gene Debs, and it turns out he was on the quiet and mousy side, well that would be a bit silly. Or if I said, subtle and gentle in taste, but then the guy turns out to a firebrand, that wouldn’t stand either. If you are drinking good beer in Chicago, you can’t rightly just get by slapping down a brew and walking away. No, you have a responsibility, because this is a beer town, and beer in Chicago comes with more than simple history, it comes with legacy.

This is also a labor town, built by men and women for whom back breaking, honest labor is a way of life. I know, having been among those labor ranks, all but crawling home from a day’s work that cracking a favored beer was a regular ritual for most. There’s a moment, a sudden epiphany as that first taste hits the back of a throat. And when the weather turns cold my taste in beer changes as well. Beer, like the world, has seasons.

I’ll get to Debs in a second. But it’s important that we establish whether or not Revolution Brewing’s Eugene Porter lives up to the reputation of the man. We’ll  start with the taste. Eugene Porter is a rich, full-bodied beer, with an interesting, but none too overpowering bite of  toasted grains tempered by  the taste caramel that closes the door nicely behind that toasted grain flavor. Bold? Arresting? Revolutionary?

Debs himself was persistent and driven, and one of the founders of the Industrial Workers of the World, otherwise known as the IWW, or ubiquitously as the Wobblies. You might say he helped set the stage for the 99%, drawing the lines for working folks to champion and defend for generations. He’s been described in many ways, but by all accounts he was  a humanist, hardly beholden to any cookie-cutter ideology. Deb’s primary ideology was in being dedicated to his fellow man. Anything more might have come across as offensive or assaulting. Debs knew the value of stalwart determination, and the greater value of his fellow man:

“I do not want you to follow me or anyone else. If you are looking for a Moses to lead you out of this capitalist wilderness, you will stay right where you are. I would not lead you into the Promised Land if I could, because if I led you in, someone else would lead you out. You must use your heads as well as your hands, and get yourself out of your present condition.”

Revolution Brewing’s Eugene Porter does the man justice. I think he would have been proud of it. This is a working man’s beer, which is where the beer gets its name, as it was popular among the porters in Old London.This beer is abundantly rich in flavor, but hardly offensive, like the man, but still just a little bit dangerous and unpredictable. I’ve had Porters that were either too sweet to one end, or seem to be watered down to balance the bitterness. Neither is a good option. Revolution Brewing found that perfect balance. The ideal beer forRoasted or smoked food: barbecue sausages, roasted meat and blackened fish. Cow Milk cheeses such as Tilsit or Gruyere, or to soothe a sweettooth with Chocolate peanut butter cookies and toasted coconut cookie bars.

Tune in tomorrow and every Sunday 9-0am only on Chicago’s Progressive Talk, WCPT for the Revolution and Beer segment as Brian and I sample the beer of the week with the Our Town gang, and run down the grassroots calendar for the week. If you’re tired of talk, talk, talk radio, this is do something radio. Get involved.

With thanks to the good people at Louis Glunz Beer Inc, a family owned business for 125 years in Chicago. Happy birthday, guys!


Hardliner’s post-Republican Party strategy: Bring back the Tea Party

They’re gonna lose. First, there is no republican party anymore. It fractured and devoured itself after the election. The breaking and eating goes on(Please no fat white guy jokes). The moderates in the post-Republican party rely on the bludgeoning bully tactics of the Glenn Becks and Rush Limbaughs. Those over-inflated egos, stroked and nurtured by the so-called moderate republicans, are rampaging in their orgy of belligerence. That gate was thrown open long ago. There is no calling them back to civil discourse and responsibility.

These are the perverts who use the suffering of hurricane Sandy and the horrible incident in Benghazi as a political bludgeon. They were the ones who excused George Zimmerman fully, crafting mafia-lawyer excuses for the murder of Trayvon Martin, only to drop the story once the real George Zimmerman was revealed fully by his own actions and dishonesty. They are the ones that twist and edit words fully out of context, even in the face of the truth of those words, and then continue the lie as a matter of course. They are the ones who would call a college student before congress talking about birth control and issues pertaining to a woman’s health as a slut. These men have no shame. They ran the now dead Republican party. They are highly paid…by their moderate sheep. 

So the punks and bullies will dominate in this post-Republican era. They have nothing of substance for an agenda. All they have is all they had; obstruction and chaos. And now all that is left to them is that very tiny group called the Tea Party, a FOX and Karl Rove created vehicle to promote far-right wing and corporate interests under the guise of populism.

So this is my prediction, based on the words of the belligerent punditry on the Right. They will resurrect the Tea Party to create as much chaos as possible, and as a means of redefining the party, or what is left of it. For the rest of us, we will have to endure a media that will give them undeserved agency and voice in the culture, while ignoring the real issues affecting this nation and planet. But then that was always the strategy on the Right.


Texas petitioned to leave the Union because Barack Obama was re-elected president. If forced to choose between one man, albiet a democratically elected official and a soveriegn state as part of this great nation…bye, bye, Texas. We’ll just move the border fence up to Oklahoma. Enjoy being the white Mexico. Keep in touch for the next drought/hurricane combo and we’ll send sympathetic cards and letters

From ABC News…

A petition for Texas to secede from the union, submitted to the White House, reached the number of signatures needed to draw comment from the Obama administration today.

The petition appeared on a section of the White House website called “We the People” that invites users with a U.S. zip code to submit or sign petitions about policy changes they would like to see. A petition must reach 25,000 signatures within 30 days for the administration to comment on it.

The petition to “Peacefully grant the State of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government,” was submitted on Friday of last week. Just three days later, it zoomed past the 25,000 mark at 3:22 p.m. today and kept going.


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