Fukushima

The news moves on, but the Fukushima plant keeps spewing radiation. It’s a terrible crime. It’s a hard time for fish eaters.Yet, Obama keeps pushing for the new Nuclear Renaissance. Now wild fires approach and sneak into Los Alamos. As the news unfolds, we find that there are barrels of waste stored above ground. We also find that Obama is also pushing a nuclear weapons renaissance. Horrible!
What a profound disappointment he is! Our drones are targeting more and more countries. (the latest is Somalia) The wars persist. The real problems that need to be addressed are ignored. It’s hard to avoid becoming cynical. But I believe that is exactly what these bastards hope for…that we will all become cynical and get wasted.

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nuclear disaster

The events surrounding the nuclear disaster in Japan seem to echo the BP disaster last year. In both cases we see business interests taking risks that threaten the entire world, risks that pose the possibility for irreparable damage to the world. The same holds true for genetic engineering. Life forms are being released into the world that could cause unexpected problems. Things are being done that can’t be “taken back”.
These guys keep moving forward at breakneck speed with their plans, despite the fact that they have no plans for the worst-case scenario. As events have shown us, worst-case scenarios do happen.
Meanwhile the people in the government don’t seem to have the will or the power to prevent these guys from going ahead with their dangerous plans. There is hardly any funding for alternative energy. There are no laws that demand realistic energy efficiency. (Why should anyone need a Humvee to go to the supermarket?)
The Republicans in our congress and in our state governments are busy cutting back on funding for the already inadequate programs that might set us on the right path. They are cutting back on the education funds that might foster and encourage some child who might help figure out ways to extricate us from this mess. Public transportation is in terrible shape. Funding for alternative energy is paltry.
And then there are all the rest of us. Let’s face it. We’re spoiled. We’ve come to expect and to try to attain lifestyles and comforts that are not sustainable. We will remove from power any politician who questions our right to way have too much. We are not willing to make the changes that are necessary to save the earth. We don’t even know how to make these changes. We’re stuck on our suicidal path.

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more than two sides

It seems as if American governing policy has been trapped by the illusion that there are only two sides to any issue. And what’s more, one side is good and the other is bad. For instance, the communists were bad. They didn’t like capitalism. Therefore capitalism was good. Thus everything we did was good and everything they did was bad. Everything about capitalism was good.

Those commies were all bad. We didn’t even have to check on the results of any of their actions or the merits of their proposals. We just had to see if the communists liked it. If they liked it, we didn’t. That left us open to being manipulated by forces which didn’t have our interests at heart, to put it mildly. In our quest to suppess communism and to defeat the USSR we supported the radical Muslim elements in the Afghanistan, who later became our gravest enemies. We also supported Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, Mubarek, Noriega, the Shah of Iran etc, not because they were in any way “good guys”, but because they were opposed to our current favorite “bad guys”.

So where does that place us now?  Here’s a current example. Big government is bad. Small government is good. Taxes are bad. Lowering them is good. Therefore, laying off gevernment workers is a good idea. Firing teachers is good. Cutting the budgets of gevernment agencies is good.  Don’t worry about whether or not all of this will compromise our infrastructure. Don’t worry about how it will affect our current unemployment situation. Don’t worry about the future of our children. Don’t worry about the wellbeing of our less fortunate citizens. Forget about the promises made to our senior citizens.

And most of all, never mention the possibility of raising taxes on the wealthiest among us to help pay for the services that we have come to expect. Don’t mention that the Bush tax cuts brought us to this point. And most of all, don’t mention the fact that we are engaged in two or more unfunded wars, and that we’re going deeper and deeper into debt to pay for them.

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more on egypt

Here’s the rub….or at least one rub out of many….the money we send to the egyptian military is used to buy military hardware from american firms…the money we send for food aid is used to buy american wheat.      It is, in other words, a glorified and covert economic stimulus plan. It would probably be disastrous to our already shaky economy if we cut off that aid in protest. it is, nevertheless, what we must do.

It is essential that any cutoff be coupled with some alternate stimulus plan…(ie infrastructure, Education or Alternative Energy ….even Art)  Given the mood of the present congress, and given President Obama’s constant caving to Republican demands, this seems highly unlikely. We may be in for a fall.

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egypt 2- letter to the editor

The events in Egypt represent a fork in the road for American foreign policy.       On one hand we can continue to support Mubarak. We have been supplying Egypt with armaments and military supply; over one billion dollars a year of military aid. In so doing, we reveal our ambivalence towards democracy. We continue to support for  undemocratic and unpopular regimes. We continue our policies toward that entire region: our uncritical support of Israel, our willingness to go to any length to maintain control over our oil supply and our willingness to go ever more deeply into debt to support our wars to  maintain that control. We can do this either though overt support for Mubarak or merely be doing nothing.     On the other hand we can support the people of Egypt, who have expressed their clear desire for regime change. We can do this by refusing to continue our support for the Egyptian military by cutting off our funding. We can end our wars for oil and thus reduce the ever-increasing debt that these wars are generating. We can begin to invest in alternative and green energy supply.      In either case, we may find that we will have to pay more for the oil that we consume and face a reduction in our standard of living. This will happen if we begin to pay a fair price for the natural resources we import from other countries. This will also happen if we continue to pour money into endless wars. Given these two choices I suggest that we live up to our principles snd do what is right. We should support   democracy and the Egyptian people.

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egypt

I  have so many questions and thoughts.

1. Wasn’t it to Egypt that those people were sent whom we had captured by extraordinary rendition? Didn’t we send them there to our proxy torturers? Haven’t we been in bed with the very regime against which the people are now rising? The tear gas canisters that are being lobbed at the people say “Made in the USA”. I heard on the TV that most of the aid that we have sent to Egypt was used to purchase military hardward from the USA. We have been supplying the Government there with the means to oppress their people. Do we really believe that, even if Obama and Secretary Clinton said all the right things, the people of Egypt would ever trust us?

2. What does all of this mean to our foreign policy in that whole region? Suppose the people of all of the oppressive governments with whom we have allied ourselves rise up and demand real democracy. Voting is a part of democracy, but rigged elections aren’t democratic. The real meaning of democracy is rule by the people.

3. This whole event reveals to degree to which our country and our way of life is a mansion built on sand and hypocrisy. What if real democracy came to the region? What if  their interests collided with ours? What if we had to pay a fair price for oil? What if we stopped supporting regimes which oppressed their people? What if we really cared about the rights of women?

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Democracy Indeed!

Our governor went and marched with the anti abortion crowd. He insulted the NAACP. He got elected with less than 40% of the votes in a three way race. He doesn’t represent the majority of the people of Maine.
In the last two years we watched as a minority of Senators in Washington killed bill after bill. Those that weren’t killed were watered down to almost nothing.
We watch as big corporate money chooses which candidates get nominated and pours huge amounts of money into the campaigns of those who protect their corporate interests.
We are fighting wars that the majority of the people would like to end, that is, we are fighting wars against the will and the better judgement of the people.
Democracy is hardly working here. Then we have the audacity to imagine that we will impose democracy on other peoples. What a sad demise!

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