18 July 2013
What if No One Cares What You Think?
- President Bush broke at least one federal law [FISA 1978] several times.
- Vice President Cheney and other heads of federal departments ignore Congressional subpoenas.
- Senator Barak Obama votes amnesty for telecom companies who broke the 1978 FISA law.
- Nancy Pelosi takes impeachment "off the table."
- Congress gives Bush another $162 billion for continuing the Iraqi occupation.
- Four of the nine Associate Justices of the Supreme Court are against restoring Habeus corpus to Constitutional rights accorded to non-citizens within U. S. jurisdictional authority.
- Members of the Republican Party, in control of Congress from 1984 to 2006, chide every proposal to change spending priorities within the Federal Budget as deficit spending, as basis for new taxes.
- President Obama continues operating Guantanamo.
- President Obama continues and expands the super-secret NSA data gathering on all electronic activity without oversight.
- President Obama assumed the authority to kill two American citizens without due process, legislative permission or judicial oversight.
- President Obama has expanded the use of unmanned drones in warfare and for surveillance by intelligence agencies without sufficient Congressional or Judicial oversight and control.
I am feeling so alienated from the sources of power in this country that I wonder if part of my wanting to emigrate is a desire to remain ignorant of the actions of government, hypocritical politicians, speculations by public media due to unfamiliarity with the language and to having no personal role in its formation and perpetuation.
When I think about these things, my brain speaks like Noam Chomsky's disheartened ramblings about 'truth' and 'ignorance' of the American populace about our social and political environment. Here is an interesting example: http://http://www.fixmacs.net/appleblog/2008/07/do-people-matter.html
If popular opinion thinks that illegal aliens are a major problem or, as Chomsky notes, voting procedures are paramount Constitutional disorders, then Big Commerce has won. 'Big Commerce' is the avatar for Western civilization. Big Commerce controls the economy, the social norms, the politics and the ethics of the United States and of those nations who aspire to imitate it. Anyone who differs with Big Commerce is an alien legal or not, so the public opinion poles that differ from Big Commerce's motivations and actions, by result, form an alien-ation. Which cartoon character is Big Commerce? Which one is Lex Luther and who is Spiderman? Perspective matters when making your choice. Insurgent/terrorist/patriot/freedom fighter/force for Good/force for Evil/criminal/morally innocent. I could go on demonstrating how one's perspective and willingness to consider alternative descriptions of the linguistic dichotomy of opposites, one sanctioned by Authority and the other representing anarchy or instability.
Have we become today's Roman Empire, after the Roman Republic succumbed to tyranny of the Emperor? Are we the American Empire, having offered up Constitutional powers to the President? The emperors who tried to restore the Republic were assassinated by their equivalent of Big Commerce. Public opinion and support was bought then; today shows the same methods at work.
How many cities think new sports stadiums (coliseums) will keep popular support for Big Commerce? How long are the compliance deadlines written into law by Congress so not to offend Big Commerce? How many military operations protect existing and anticipated resources of Big Commerce?
Raise your hand if you have a plan to regenerate the republic.
The Approaching Perfect Storm in Agriculture and Energy
The Keystone pipeline from Canada to the Caribbean Sea would transport oil and natural gas from Canadian shale deposits. Ironically, the Canadian oil producers cannot build their pipeline from Alberta to the coast of British Columbia due to political opposition from First Nation groups and others reluctant to grant the easements needed for this pipeline. The pressure being applied in Washington and in the transit States is enormous; billions of US and Canadian dollars are at stake for the oil industry. What has not been demonstrated, however, is the refining capacity in Texas and Louisiana for this influx of product. Nevertheless, unrefined product could be shipped overseas to other refineries--adding cost and foreign governmental control risks for shipping the refined products back to the US--or risking our economic well-being should we become dependent on the income from selling natural gas and petroleum to foreign buyers.
To date, opposition to fracking in various communities focuses on the potential for polluting the underground water supplies from which we obtain potable water for drinking and cooking in addition to our rivers and lake supplies of fresh water. In the current newsletter ProPublica, Abraham Lustgarten reports that Mexico City is planning to access drinking water from an aquifer that is being polluted by US drilling companies. See http://www.propublica.org/series/injection-wells for extensive reporting on this subject. Lustgarten points out that the dumping of toxic liquids into very deep wells is intended to go deeper than any water resources we would ever use. Our state and federal regulators have not been inspecting these wells for several years, which I attribute to industry and Congressional resistance to funding sufficient inspectors and auditors within the environmental protection agencies.
Many persons believe that natural gas is a "clean" substitute for gasoline, diesel and other refined petroleum products. Therefore, they reason, we should maximize our use of this abundant resource because we can become entirely reliant on domestic energy resources and no longer held hostage to the international petroleum market. Furthermore, they reason, allowing producing companies to use fracking for extracting natural gas from shale, is an acceptable method based on the extensive information and data provided by the petroleum industry over the years.
I do not support fracking or the energy strategy of considering Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) or natural gas in its gaseous state as an acceptable means of solving our dependence on oil and its products. It was no coincidence that T. Boon Pickens was seen on numerous television talk shows and testified to Congressional committees over the past three years. He owns or controls most of the natural gas reserves in the United States and probably in much of Canada. That fact alone does not disqualify natural gas as a substitute for petroleum energy products and use. His efforts have influenced public opinion and the attitudes of many in Congress. I cite Pickens merely as a source of favorable public opinion on using natural gas.
There are other reasons for opposing facking in particular. The method breaks up shale deposits several thousand feet below the Earth's surface allowing natural gas to go where nature had not intended it to be. The Earth's populations should be conserving and improving resources of potable water and fighting technology that threatens the future of water resources.
One underground resource vital to the survival of the human being is water in the aquifer. It is easy to forget how delicate human beings environmental boundaries are. For example, our body temperature limits survival within only seven (7) degrees Fahrenheit. We consider a normal, healthy temperature at approximately 98.6°F and we consider ourselves to be ill whenever our body temperature varies by more than a degree or two from that norm. Fevers in infants can rise to 104°F as a function of establishing its own immune system, yet a fever of that measure in an adult can cause serious injury or be a predictor of imminent death. Likewise, the human body cannot tolerate lowered body temperatures without risk of permanent damage to vital functions. Quite often, variations in body temperature are indicative of serious deficiencies of electrolytes, minerals and salts caused by dehydration, or serious imbalances in same that can manifest as extreme personality changes, inability to orient oneself where one is, and other effects on the functioning of vital organs.
As I have written in another post, there is a danger for human life and the food and water we consume should energy policy dictates cause contention among agriculture, human water consumption, and extraction methods such as fracking for our energy needs.
While this year's (2013) extreme heat waves over much of North America do not establish a trend, over time scientists see this year's weather patterns as part of a long-range warming trend, aka global warming. Winters are shorter and extreme weather patterns seem to be greater in winter; in the other seasons, the patterns of water replenishment of arable soil by melting ice and snow plus rain seem to be more localized with flooding and drought trending over several years. Severe storms seem more destructive and more frequent.
The complexity of variables entailed in setting local, state and federal policies for agriculture, energy and natural resources management should cause our centers of government to be less tied to a single lobby's or industry's interests and more open to the idea of the interdependent nature of our exploitation of and planning for using our water, petroleum and natural gas resources. At the moment, the public needs to ensure the policy makers and regulators understand this complexity.