The rise in “social media”, especially Facebook, has wrought an amazing change in the ways we interact with our fellow travelers on Spaceship Earth. No longer are we bound by distance nor, oft-times, the bounds of social niceties that have served as a muzzle to vigorous debates in times past. Beyond that, I’m just getting to the point in my life that I have seen wrongs perpetuated for too long by the powers that be to keep silent. For silence and acquiescence to power is the greatest danger to those we hold dear. When I form my opinions on the state of the world, I have found it useful to always “follow the money.” For example, who are the strongest advocates for reducing restrictions on gun ownership? People who make and sell guns (and here is where you need to follow the money to find who funds lobbying groups like the NRA—a vast portion of their funding comes from the gun industry: 74% of over $50 million raised annually comes from gun industry “corporate partners”). Who are the strongest advocates for reasonable restrictions and licensing requirements on gun ownership? Places like the Brady Center, founded by Jim and Sarah Brady. Jim was shot and paralyzed for life because of an attempt on Ronald Regan while Jim was his Press Secretary. Gabrielle Giffords—who was shot in the head while a member of the House of Representatives—and her husband Mark Kelly, have just started a PAC to help curb gun violence. Big business has shown time and time again that it’s only interest is in making as much profit as it can. Corporations are paper constructions, unable to feel remorse or shame. They cannot care who gets sick or dead because of their actions, and yet this is the basic fabric that holds the fragile human society together. All religions are based, at least in part, on a set of rules laid down for the express purpose of fostering a society in which human beings can grow and thrive within a group. This is how humans have survived for millennia without claws, fur, or any of the other protections afforded other creatures. They have worked together as a group for the common good. This is the importance that I see in Facebook and similar social media. Being able to organize and educate ourselves in our planetary society for the common good against the monsters of the current age. Monsters who turn out to be those who wish all power for themselves—and the worst of these hydra-headed monsters always seem to be corporations. What vehicles do we have to get the messages of peace and cooperation out in the face of their overwhelming advantage of media control? Social media. Which is why I refuse to turn it off, and why I take the time to respond with well-reasoned arguments every time someone posts a thoughtless argument for something that I know in my heart will lead to more death. It is my moral imperative as a member of the human race.
OH EM GEE I GOT A GLUTAMINE CD ASDJFAKL;SDJFDSJFLKASJDFLKASJDFLKJ
wtf it’s not a CD it’s paper…
As chronicled by Steve Benen: http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/09/07/13731433-chronicling-mitts-mendacity-vol-xxxiii
The nuclear industry is shocked, shocked to find that humans made errors that lead to the disaster at Fukushima (http://www.sfgate.com/world/article/Nuclear-power-returns-to-Japan-amid-scathing-3687357.php) (I remember the same being said about Chernobyl). The natural gas industry also contends that the science behind fracking is sound and full of safety measures that will keep any contamination from happening. What is documented, however, shows that when energy companies actually dig for resources (coal, gas, oil, etc.) time and time again it leads to widespread poisoning and contamination (http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/02/more-views-on-the-gas-rush-and-fracking-debate/).
There is no fool-proof system that we humans cannot break. The question that remains is: what are the costs of these failures to the earth and all the living things on it? Solar power has been said to be “too expensive” to produce in comparison to nuclear and fossil fuel power generation, but those equations never take into account the costs of widespread contamination mediation. When the costs of contamination of large areas by human-caused “accidents” is taken into account, solar power benefits—and long-term cost savings—become clear.
It is simple. Do not allow hydro-fracturing in New York State. There is no proven way to safeguard the lands, waters, air, or people of New York State from the greed of the gas companies. Corporations exist only to enlarge their own wealth, and have ALWAYS proven to do it at the expense of the public. There will never be enough DEC enforcement available to keep the corporations in line, and there is no way to mitigate the problems of contamination once they have happened. Vast areas—vital to the economy of New York State—will become inhabitable once the scarring of the land, the contamination of the water supplies, and the movement of the very earth itself is unleashed by these for-profit-only entities. Gone will be the farms, the farm land, and the clean water necessary to keep their animals and crops alive. Gone will be the beautiful landscapes, the cities teeming with life, the institutions of higher learning, the honest labor that has kept the people of New York State ahead of those in so many other states. Wiped out by a plague of greed. And when the gas is gone, the corporations who killed the state will disappear just as rapidly as a puff of methane. They will not tarry to clean up the destruction they have wrought. No corporation ever has bothered to clean up after themselves unless forced to—and even then they are more likely to utilize lawyers to sweep the mess under the rug than actually clean the mess itself. No corporation will return the lands, air, water, and the creatures who dwell thereon to the way they were before. The poor who are left behind know the lasting legacy of the corporations’ greed for generations. They are the ones who die young of cancer, who will be sickened by the poison of heavy metals and toxic chemicals which those corporations WILL leave behind. That burden on our health care system, on our government agencies, and on the State’s very vitality, is something that no review document can ever put a high enough price tag on. There is plenty of wealth in New York State without tapping the rocks which lie deep underground. If we wish to harvest that resource, it is not going anywhere, we can wait for 10, 20, 50 years. It will still be there. And if we wait for at least 20 years, then we will be able to gain from the wisdom of Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Kansas, and many other states which have let the monster eat away at their table, before realizing what destruction that monster leaves behind.