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Madam Jane predicts the future: "No Country for Old Cows..."

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"And how will the milk get to the store? With gasoline and diesel prices averaging $20 a gallon?"

I don't like where this is going.

"And what about inflation? It's now rising at 1% a month. Pretty soon you will need a wheelbarrow to take all the dollars that you will need with you to the store to buy your one quart of milk."

Could I use a suitcase?

"And what about the milk itself? With our pastureland being all drained of soil nutrients and the cows being sickly from various diseases, you might as well pour water over your cereal. And as for sitting down at the kitchen table to eat it? Your home will be gone. Foreclosed upon. Did they mention that at the debate?"

Okay. So you are saying that in the course of just a few years, our world will be falling apart and even the simple reality of popping over to the grocery store to buy a quart of milk will no longer exist? "Pretty much."

Hmmm. No wonder nobody mentioned all this in the debate. They would never get elected if they had.

"So what should I do to prepare for all this?" I asked Madam Jane. "Buy my own cow?" M.J. did not find that amusing.
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"In order to change the future, you know what to do. Everyone knows what needs to be done. Stop over-consuming. Start recycling on a massive scale. Stop wasting insane amounts of money and fuel on 'war'. Appreciate what you have now, take a photograph of it, remember it fondly and then move on. Get ready to change toward a very different future -- one that is do-able but only if we start NOW. Decide what is more important -- democracy, good health, the ability to read and write and living in a society governed by the rule of law -- or a few more years of material bliss, followed by chaos. Gear down for the long run."

And stock up on powdered milk?

PS: Here's Woody Smith's excellent report on the debate between Hillary and Obama:

As I type this I am watching the Cleveland debate on MSNBC. Following are my running comments:

The first seventeen minutes were consumed by an unusually pointless and contentious exchange regarding health care. Hillary could not be pinned down on how she would enforce her mandates. Obama could not be pinned down on how those who opt out of his plan would be covered. All of this is inevitable because we seem to be compelled to avoid advocating the actual correct solution to our health care woes, which is to expand Medicare to the entire population and expand its coverage to cover all non-elective health procedures and products in their entirety. As long as private insurance remains part of the equation, all proposals will be nonsensical and partial and all debate will be the equivalent of arguing about the number of angels who can dance on the head of a pin, as we saw tonight.
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Then Tim Russert decided to play gotcha with Hillary on NAFTA. You must understand that Tim Russert is a loyal employee of General Electric, which not only has a HUGE stake in NAFTA and other international trade agreements but has an even greater stake in ensuring that the Republicans retain possession of the White House, and I think that the Republican intelligentsia (such as it is) views Obama as the easier opponent to beat. But it certainly would be best if Hillary could honestly own up to her former support for NAFTA if for no other reason that it is so well documented on the record. She should state the obvious, that it is a very complex issue and its effects were very difficult to foresee, but now she recognizes her support as a mistake. At least she was clear in her intent to alter trade agreements significantly. Obama was more straightforward but he's not married to one of NAFTA's prime movers, so he has a built-in advantage on that subject -- the advantage of having no record to defend.

When the discussion turns to trade agreements, we have a really good line that we ought to stick to. "These trade agreements have only succeeded in exporting American jobs and expertise while importing third-world wages, and the result has been protectionism for multinational corporate profits at the expense of the American worker."

On Iraq (and Afghanistan), I am very disappointed in the increasing equivocation that I perceive in both of our candidates' stand against this tragic and ruinous war. This is a winning issue and we need to be forthright and crystal clear in our opposition.

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Stillwater is a freelance writer who hates injustice and corruption in any form but especially injustice and corruption paid for by American taxpayers. She has recently published a book entitled, "Bring Your Own Flak Jacket: Helpful Tips For Touring (more...)

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