Saturday, July 31, 2010

Where's the Oil?

The attention span of the American voter has always been troubling to me. Corporations have always factored it into their decision making.

From the beginning BP was fighting the Obama administration about their use of chemical dispersants on the oil pouring into the gulf.

The exact makeup of the dispersants is kept secret under competitive trade laws, but a worker safety sheet for one product, called Corexit, says it includes 2-butoxyethanol, a compound associated with headaches, vomiting and reproductive problems at high doses.

“There is a chemical toxicity to the dispersant compound that in many ways is worse than oil,” said Richard Charter, chairman of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council.

“Right now there is a headlong rush to get this oil out of sight out of mind,” Charter said.

The use of dispersants is a trade-off between decreasing the risk to organisms that thrive on the water's surface and coastline, and possibly increasing the risk to fish populations, sea grasses and coral reefs, and creatures that live on the seafloor.

It has been clear from the beginning BP realized if we didn’t see oil washing up on our shores, we’d assume all was well.

Sure enough headlines from news outlets yell, “Where’s the oil?”

Microbes do consume quite a bit and there is evaporation but most of the oil is dispersed and down in the water column and sea floor.

I’m afraid the fact that people don’t actually see the oil will make everyone complacent. There will be augments from idiots on the right that want to believe people can’t possibly have a negative affect on our environment and that our economy can’t survive if we regulate the oil companies.

These people are spoon fed “facts” from big money. I think their level of outrage against us socialists is carefully controlled. That’s why they are an Astroturf movement. Their grass roots reach as deep as the petrochemicals they’re made of.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Naked and Alone part 2

The Tea Party has been making a lot of noise about the constitution. I, for one, have never understood the idea of strict constructionism. In spite of the grilling Supreme Court candidates get from the right about the constitution not being a “living document”, there can’t be a literal interpretation.

For one thing, without the bill of rights and subsequent amendments black people would only represent 60% of a person in a vote. Women wouldn’t be able to vote at all.

If you take the constitution literally the President would only be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy. There’s no mention of the Air Force.

The authors of the constitution deliberately used vague expressions that were open to interpretation. What do "speedy and public trial," "cruel and unusual punishment," "unreasonable search and seizure," or "due process of law" mean?

"Time and changes in the condition and constitution of society may require occasional and corresponding modifications." --Thomas Jefferson March 25, 1825

Naked and Alone

My friend Jamie commented that he sees no difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. He believes both parties “simply work to get re-elected and bring pork back to their home states”.

Jamie has a cooler head than I do. I would say that I hate both parties!

Unfortunately bringing pork back to their home state is part of the job description. Members of congress are elected to represent their home states and that automatically puts them at odds with a lot of federal policies.

I do see a very basic philosophical difference between the parties. The Republicans are the party of property and the Democrats are the party of people. These different points of view seem impossible to reconcile. All we can do is try to find common ground.

As for the Libertarians------ Limited government is impossible with a society as large as ours. We have common needs. We need infrastructure, public education, cops, firemen and other first responders, rational defense and, as far as I’m concerned, public health.

What is fiscal responsibility? Most economists would argue this is absolutely the wrong time to worry about the deficit. We need jobs first. Look what happened in 1937. And don’t believe the spin Rush and others are trying to put on that.

Our mania about free market has the banks worried more about investing than banking. We’ll never get jobs if the banks won’t lend to small businesses. I hear people defending this practice. Small business loans didn’t get us into this mess. I believe the banks want the economy to fail as long as Obama is in office so he can’t impose regulations.

Violence in Arizona has been going down for the last 30 years yet people there keep saying “we have to do something about the violence at our border!” The violence they’re talking about are the cartels bringing up drugs that we want and us taking down guns that they want. Isn’t that free market?

Fascism should be as scary as socialism in our vocabulary but it simply isn’t. We have to accept the fact that we’re social animals. Like I keep saying, we’re like dogs in that respect. We’re a weak species and we need to work together to survive. We never would have made it this far naked and alone.

I originally had a photo of a naked man in a forest. Blogger must have deemed it pornographic. All you saw were his butt cheeks. Oh well!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

How Can You Call Us Racists?

Republicans like to point out Abraham Lincoln was our first Republican president. The fact is the Republican Party was the progressive party then. They would be until Teddy Roosevelt took the progressives with him when he split into the Bull Moose Party in 1912. The Republicans would go the way of Hoover and it’s easy to see how we got where we are.

In 1956 the Republican Party platform called for "broadened coverage in unemployment insurance" and "better health protection for all our people." It vowed to "continue vigorously to support the United Nations."

It pledged support for "progressive programs" to expand workers' rights. It vowed an immigration policy that ensured that America would remain a "haven for oppressed peoples."

In 1960 the Republican Party platform hailed the GOP's success in extending unemployment insurance. The GOP counted as an achievement its efforts to raise the Federal minimum wage.

The platform hailed expanded Social Security coverage and pledged an aggressive Federal effort to help those struggling with health care costs. It pledged to continue robust Federal intervention to preserve the environment.

Glenn Beck and others are now calling Eisenhower a socialist.

Today Republicans are represented by the Tea Party. They must be proud with spokespeople like Sarah Palin.

Responding to the NAACP’s claims that the Tea Party should renounce racist elements in their group she said, "The charge that Tea Party Americans judge people by the color of their skin is false, appalling, and is a regressive and diversionary tactic to change the subject at hand.,"

Mrs. Palin added that the tea party movement was "beautiful" and full of "equality loving patriots.

Hmm, I wonder how the NAACP got that idea!.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Real Issues

From 2004 to 2008, data from Arizona's DPS shows a 23 percent drop in the overall crime rate. The FBI's statistics on Arizona show a 19 percent drop. Although the FBI has not released all of the data on 2009, Arizona's statistics show the crime rate in 2009 dropped an additional 12 percent.

Tony LaRose, an associate professor of criminology at the University of Tampa states,"Crime has been going down, overall, in Arizona." He noted it has been a national trend for the past almost three decades."

Even if you only measure violent crime, which James Alan Fox, a professor of criminology at Northeastern University, said is the type of crime people think of when discussing crime and illegal immigrants. The violent crime rate fell 11 percent from 2004 to 2008 in Arizona.

Illegals pay taxes that in most cases they won’t be able to collect on. They stimulate our economy and bring down the price of food. Check my earlier post for details.

When I hear, “What don’t you understand about illegal?” I want to pull my hair out. First of all crossing the border is a civil offense, not a criminal one. There is no easy path to work here.

Why is this the subject of national outrage right now? It is racism no matter how you look at it! We have genuine problems right now and if you think illegal immigration is more important, you’ve been manipulated by fear mongers who are trying to distract you from the real issues.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


It’s disheartening for me to read the responses to most political blogs. There’s a disturbing trend in American thought. It’s the idea that the Nazis were socialist. These ideas are being fostered by the likes of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

The National “Socialist” German Workers’ Party was originally called the German Workers’ Party. They were opposed to non-nationalist political movements, especially lefties like the Social Democratic Party of Germany and the Communist Party of Germany. They were fighting Bolshevism and “international Jewry”.

The Socialist in their name was an attempt at populism.

I’ve been reading a lot of right wing revisionism and it’s getting scary. There’s a myth that the expression “concentration camp” was coined by Lenin. It goes back at least as far as the Boer War in South Africa at the turn of the 20th century.

The plain truth is that Hitler was right wing, accept it! The left got Stalin so it’s a draw.

Clair McCaskill recently suspended staff member Bob Burns for a week without pay. He drew an analogy between Tea Party meeting disrupters and Nazi Brown Shirts. The Tea party people were outraged. “It’s good old American free speech!”

I drew the same analogy. These people were denying others their right to free speech. Their bullying was leading to violence. They carried their guns to events to intimidate. These were Brown Shirt tactics.

We have a wave of ignorance rising in our country that’s being reinforced by historical revisionists. Do we even teach history in school anymore?

We’re living in an age that wants to teach Creationism as science. Why are the ignorant so outraged?