Saturday, June 5, 2010

Remember When?

Do you remember several years ago, when Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks said that the group was ashamed that the President of the United States was from Texas? Do you remember what happened? The Dixie Chicks were basically blacklisted by the Republicans and their followers. Their concerts were cancelled, DJ's wouldn't play their music on the radio. You would have thought they had committed murder on stage.

Then along came President Obama. The GOP has routinely referred to him as a terrorist, a Communist, a Socialist and a Nazi. It has repeatedly used racial slurs to refer to the President and his wife. It has associated him with Islamic fundamentalism, questioned his birth certificate, and most recently referred to him as a "raghead." A bit worse than being ashamed to be from Texas, wouldn't you say?

Now the man with the painted on tan, John Boener, has the gall to demand an apology from Paul McCartney for joking about George Bush's intelligence? Who is he kidding?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Offshore Drilling A Disaster

Those of us, who have opposed offshore drilling, have held our breaths for years awaiting the big spill disaster somewhere on the U.S. coast. We were disappointed when President Obama extended this accident waiting to happen. Although he had nothing to do with the current mess in the Gulf and the government is not equipped to take over the capping of an undersea oil well, he will have to pay a price, because he has endorsed drilling. The President's opponents are the "drill, baby, drill" crowd who are defending BP to the last man...and woman, yet they will find a way to reverse the charges and blame him, forgetting how they stood shoulder with BP.

The environmental damage this spill will ultimately do in the Gulf and elsewhere is enormous. Coastal fisheries and wildlife in that area will be damaged for years to come. Some scientists believe that some of the damage may be irreparable. Such are the shortcomings of our insatiable thirst for oil and our politicians' insatiable thirst for the wealth and power that the support of big oil brings.

It appears that little research, preparation, and enforcement have gone into precautions that would prevent or contain such a spill. Like the big banks, big oil has a power base in Washington that controls a "look the other way" mentality on the part of government watchdogs. Eight years of big oil men running the government did not help the situation. BP and the rest of the oil industry have been allowed to reap obscene profits over the past several years. Obviously, few of those dollars have been spent to ensure the safety of offshore drilling.

BP will be very lucky to survive this disaster, but there will be another company waiting in the wings to absorb it and continue the rape of the coastline, Alaska, and other pristine lands in this country and around the world. We will continue to use fossil fuels at an alarming rate, as the world slowly burns from the damages wrought by climate change. The sad part is that, ultimately, it will have all been for nothing. The oil supply will finally run out, and the world will be left a crumbling shadow of its former self. Meanwhile, the deniers of climate change will continue to bury their heads in the sand, stuff their pockets with big oil money, and say it must be "God's will," because there is no way that man could do this by himself.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Israel Does it Again

How many more times will the Israelis get away with attacking ships in international waters and killing their occupants? They did it in 1967 with a US Navy ship, killing 34 crew members. Their excuse was that it was a terrible error, but they attacked with airplanes and torpedo boats without first identifying the ship.

Once again the Israelis have attacked in international waters, killing at least 10 people. They say their boarders were attacked and that they retaliated. One would naturally expect anyone in international waters to defend themselves, when they are attacked. These people, who were on a relief mission to Palestinian Gaza, apparently attempted to repel the boarders with sticks and, possibly, pistols taken from the Israeli commandos. At any rate the Israelis have taken the boats and their occupants into custody and one can bet their side of the story will not be heard for some time.

In the case of the attack on the US ship, Liberty, both countries said it was a terrible mistake, and the Israelis paid millions to the US and the families of those killed and wounded. The case was closed, without even a Congressional investigation, so strong was the Israeli lobby in this country. In the current case, given the atrocities that Israeli soldiers have said happened in the latest Israeli attack on the Palestinians, I do not think that Israel is going to get off quite so easily in the court of world opinion.

Already, Netanyahu has canceled his U.S. visit this week and returned to Israel. Turkey, Israel's strong Arab ally, has condemned the attack and recalled its ambassador. I do not expect a strong show of support from the U.S. This country cannot continue to condone these acts of piracy in international waters by the Israeli government. It is high time that this country took a stand against the haughty actions by Israel that continue to take the Middle East farther and farther away from any chance of peace. As long as the U.S. continues to support Israel's rogue actions, the chance of our freedom from Arab terrorist attacks wanes even more.