What have you done today to lower your impact?

We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.

Blog Archive

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Vote for completion, and against racism and the war on the poor

I believe we face a grave threat, not from terrorism either foreign or homegrown, not from some fear of the flu trumped up to boost pharmaceutical profits, not even from the watered down progress of  Obamacare. I believe we face a grave threat from within as exemplified by the coal lobby, the Koch brothers, and the extremist right wing corporate owned media.
Let's just focus on the Koch brothers for now. It is clear they believe that rich tycoons should be able to do as they please in this world, in this country, and in your neighborhood. While their support of the climate denying, antiregulation, extreme right wing, racist tea party movement is bad enough, it is their record of victimizing the poor with their filth spewing factories I'd like to bring to your attention. They have been found guilty repeatedly of poisoning the environment mostly in poor black neighborhoods. According to the new book "Sacrifice Zones"

"The Kochs' enterprises, not surprisingly, appear in Sacrifice Zones, Steve Lerner's exhaustive chronicle of toxic chemical exposure in our country. (To buy the book from Amazon, click here.) For those unfamiliar with the concept, "sacrifice zones" is a Russian term -- it refers to populated areas polluted forever by nuclear fallout. In the United States, we have fewer reactors and build them better; here the term refers to neighborhoods where industrial pollution poses a health risk.

Bet you won't be shocked to read that African Americans are 79 percent more likely than whites to live in these neighborhoods."

This threat is pervasive, here are a few examples as quoted in an article in the Huffington Post,

"Sacrifice Zones brings stories like that back home -- to a dozen communities that were knowingly polluted by American businesses. It's a repetitive book: suffering, more suffering, government indifference, then the residents fight back. It's hardly an even fight. The companies have squads of lawyers on staff. Because they often provide the only jobs for miles, they have local governments in their pockets. It's oh-so-hard to prove that the filth on the once-white sheets hanging from the clotheslines of the poor came from a polluter's smokestack. And the victories are bittersweet -- activists don't always see the fruits of their work, having used precious days from their surely shortened lives to organize their communities.

Ocala, Florida: "black snow" from a charcoal factory. A city run by five white people. Activists who presented filthy bed sheets to the city council. A plant without afterburners in its smockstacks. The company closed the plant and tore down the smokestacks before they could be tested for pollutants.

Port Arthur, Texas: 15.5 million pounds of pollutants released in a single year by a refinery owned by Shell Oil and Saudi Aramco. (Once the plant released nine tons while children were waiting for school buses.)

On and on the dishonor roll goes -- Addyston, Ohio and Daly City, California and San Antonio and Greenpoint, New York. You get the idea fast."

So how do we counter this threat? Get out and vote. Set aside your anger that the democrats have not been able or some cases willing to follow through on their promise of change, that is mostly due to the GOP, the party of NO. We must keep control of government if we are to prevent the kind of policies that brought about  the recent financial crisis and the BP oil spill, the foolishness of deregulation. It is high time that we realize that corporate power has no ethic other than profit, profit at the cost of us all. While there are areas in which I vehemently disagree with President Obama, for the most part I know he has accomplished more than was accomplished in the previous 12 years. And if we give him a congress and senate that will work with him he can get even more done. If we allow government to be hamstrung yet again, we will see increased deregulation of dirty coal, oil and gas drilling, and the worst of all on the banksters who fund the destruction. Our air and water will continue to degrade, the gulf of Mexico will continue to die, along with every other ocean on earth, catastrophic climate change will become a certainty, and our deficit will soar ever higher as the rich continue to plunder the commons, impoverishing the rest of us along the way.
So please get your brothers and sisters to the polls and vote for completion, vote for candidates that will work to build a responsible government, one that works to solve the problem, rather exacerbates it with obstructionism.

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