Vern Cope

The worst possible same-old-same-old

Barack Obama is asking us to accept even wider and more costly wars than those that preceded them, wars that did not work. It’s not too late to stop the rush to another war in the Middle East.

After Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, the late Juanita Nelson - a Black resident of Greenfield and a long-time tax resister, civil rights and anti-war activist who passed away on March 9 - told a reporter that she had not voted for Obama because he would be “presiding over something that's the same old, same old.”

As a civil rights worker in the early 1960s, I had tears in my eyes when the Obama family walked on the stage after his first victory to the applause of the huge crowd in Chicago.

But my tears were from the happiness that we had at last broken down another racial barrier. I also did not vote for Obama; like Juanita Nelson, I also saw him as more of the “same old.”

The worst possible “same old” was presented on Feb. 11 by the president as a request to Congress for a declaration of war.

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Expand the conversation, don’t shut it down

Democracy is a dynamic, messy, and sometimes contentious thing, but it certainly beats all the alternatives. Democratic activity can take the form of the spoken word, of song, and of the printed word. The discussion that is happening with the proposed bylaws of the Putney Food Co-op is, of...

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