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Smart Security or Dumb Dollar$?

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For land war? Where? Not Iran or Pakistan. We must stay away from others' ground wars. No welcome mat awaited us during the Arab Spring.

There is no threat of terrorist attacks or any other argument for maintaining a large military.

Is there a need to secure the Internet? Outer space? Our waters?

No, no, and no.

But the real problem is uncertainty. That is why we need a military, Adams was told. But, he told us, the traditional threats are no longer threatening us.

We can shrink the military. We are safer than we were during the cold war. There are no existential threats--no doffed shoes hitting desk tops, no threats that we will be buried by an enemy.

We must alter the narrative.

Adams ended his presentation with two poems: one by Kavafi, "Waiting for the Barbarians," which questions how civilization as we know it can exist without the immanent threat of invasion; and another that he wrote that ends with a child's plea to end wars and bring his daddy home.

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Judith LeBlanc (pictured above) was pleased to be addressing a live audience in this age of cyberspace and telephone communication, backgrounding what she called "the fierce urgency of now," quoting Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

In 1966, MLK also said that "nothing is more tragic than to sleep through a revolution."

How, then, can we bring the Occupation movement (I will refer to it as OWS) into the political mainstream?

Evoking Adams's linguistic dexterity, LeBlanc referred to it as our "magic movement moment."

Three-quarters of the American public share the main concerns of OWS: the economy, tax breaks for the rich, unemployment, homelessness, the huge number of uninsured Americans, and so on.

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We must parent major political shifts to bring about peace and justice--no small endeavor. We must be proactive at the level of international politics, that is, our interactions with the world. The AFL-CIO has called for demilitarization of our foreign policy, joining OWS in this demand.

We are in a revenue crisis, not a deficit crisis, said LeBlanc. The grassroots must assert this, the 99 percent. David is fighting Goliath. We must build a human needs budget, not a defense budget.

"If facts could win the day, no one would smoke cigarettes," she told us.

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Marta Steele is an author/editor/blogger who has been writing for since 2006. Her original website,, first entered the blogosphere in 2003. She recently became an editor for She has in the past taught (more...)

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