Public Interest News Network
"The most important political office is that of the private citizen.” - Justice Louis Brandeis
Stardate: Spring-Summer, 2019
Weather, climate, 'global warming. Whatever. Observations:
Been rainy, windy cold and just plain odd, hasn't it? On May 20th, snow again in Colorado, West of Denver on I-70 and in Aspen. And above-average rain/precip in New England and elsewhere. Typical tornado weather in Oklahoma, Texas and nearby and flooding there and elsewhere. Could be due to simple weather changes. Or after-effects of volcanic activity on Earth, in Hawaii and elsewhere in 2018. Or from growing impacts of more humans and their activities on Earth. Or from unchecked and damaging wildfires in California and America's West and elsewhere on Earth in recent years. Or from changes in our Solar System and the universe. Or all of these. Observe. Learn. Prepare. Pray.
Politics and related:
Democrats think they took "control" of the US House in November 2018, if one wishes to call it that, and have accomplished virtually nothing in the 6 months since then except to fail in their concerted, confused efforts to castrate our President and try to frustrate his every effort just because Democants lost the 2016 elections. Talk and plans of impeachment still persist even after the lackluster and expected 'Mueller' report but Democants are beginning to learn that impeachment of this President and insisting on continued polarizion and gridlock of our national government may NOT be in their best interests. Nor ours.
Republicans, amazed they lost the House, still think they 'control' the Senate. They generally tend to support President Trump because they have no one else to by loyal to except the wealthy on the planet - and to themselves, and certainly not the vast majority of Americans when it comes to creating fairness, opportunity and good medicine, infrastructure and education systems. They will complain about this and when they do, ask this: you, like Democrats under Obama, had 2 years. What'd you do with them? Republicans will answer to voters too in 2020.
So now let's look back to some goals Americans and those we elected once identified, most of which have not been achieve by those we've elected over the past 40 years:
Like America's War on Cancer: We have not won the War on Cancer. Made SOME progress but skin (Melanoma), liver, kidney and other cancer rates have grown significantly while many others grow modestly even as some have leveled out.
The War on Drugs: Americans are losing this one because no one is enforcing laws to halt the scourge and inhumane darnage, mayhem and death visited on Americans and their families, young and old, rich and poor, people of all colors, due to the legal and illegal distribution and use of heroin, fentanyl and other drugs. This may change only a bit as Big Phama and their owners are finally being held accountable by attorneys general but the influx of illicit drugs from overseas and from central and South America continues unabated. Not good.
The War on Poverty: We lost it and continue losing it as the disparities in incomes between the very rich and the rest of us Americans continue to grow. While most Democants and some Replutocrats can and do point to having passed a $15/hr minimum wage - to take effect fully 2 years from now - $15/hr is about 15 years too late to help people meet and pay for ongoing and growing health care and other living and education costs, which have far surpassed personal incomes needed to pay for them. This as salaries and executive pay for unionized college professors, health insurance CEOs and others has climbed way out of proportion from what 98% of most Americans earn or can afford. And, of course, real opportunities to increase one's income via work or starting one's own business have wilted as more opportunities remain and grow overseas. Offshore. And the continued monopolization of all things corporate - with almost not challenge from the lawyer class - continues unabated in a nation that pretends to celebrate and anachronistuc 'free market economy' which, given recent 'fake' tax cuts which only went to the wealthy, we all know is anything but competitive, nor fair to working people, poor people and small business men and women.
Our Failing National Government: and We need to re-Learn all over again what we should know that Ralph Nader taught us about making Government BETTER: vigilance counts. As does being ACTIVE in it. 2 Boeing jets crash out of the sky killing over 300 innocent souls. Safety and engineering 'self-certified by jet makers themselves - no FAA nor NTSB nor any government agencies or employees on duty. You gotta be kidding me! This because 'government got too big.' Or because those do-gooders of the 60s over-regulated and had to be taught a lesson: unfettered marketplaces and market actors, ie market monopolies are good for all of us. Until Rx prices skyrocket. Until metal is found (again) in processed foods from Agribusinesses. Until banks get all the federal financial breaks and our tax money bailouts and Main Street and families are left to rot. Until too many more people die from train and plane and bus crashes, SUV crashes and fires, increased home and wildfires. We have to learn all over again as we watch our families, friends and neighbors die. iPhones, 'social media', and uninterested and untrained news media fail to help us avert these dangers and disasters. Go ahead. Learn the hard way, America. Be fooled. Get ripped off. Place yourself in more danger with people and corporations who say simply: 'Trust us,' when you should not. Or elect people who can finally get their act together and lead us back to the future we once enjoyed: level playing field for the rich and poor. Fair taxation. Good laws to protect us and to prevent needless harm and deaths. Justice. Common sense.
(Illegal) Immigration: Or call it what you will: The person we elected our President and those we elected to our Congress, Democrats and Republicans, really do not wish to 'solve' our immigration 'problem.' That's because, first and foremost, so-called 'business' people want cheap labor (Republicans know and want this too), and Democrats mistakenly believe that all immigrant voters will soon vote for them. They all, and all Americans will regret this nonsense and will regret not having updated and passed common sense laws to address and to solve our 'immigration problems.'
A good, affordable higher college education for ALL Americans and especially for America's youth: Let's just say observe that continued epidemics of murder and other crimes by and against our youth on America's streets is not what anyone wants. Or that the $1.5 trillion in student loan debt our children and their families face, and have faced for the last 20 years, is not what we have in mind for our children and grandchildren - nor for many of us older Americans who also cosigned college loans. Reallocation of our national priorities and funds needs to take place to help the youth of America begin to live their lives, pursue their dreams and, if they choose, start and raise their families and create their own households on a safe, clean planet Earth. As older Americans and many others in other nations are and were able to do.
Foreign Policy: North Korea, Russian and Chinese spying, Venezuela, Yemen, and now Iran and again the 'Middle East' are and have been in the OLDS (ie, the 'News.) We need not call this 'news' anymore. Trump thinks he is Teddy Roosevelt, and pursues Gunboat Diplomacy failing to take into account we have lived in a nuclear age for some time. Yet Pentagon brass and some CIA leaders seem to enjoy and love this and as they seem to insist (behind the scenes of course) that what is needed are strong military responses. Gunboat diplomacy now with Iran. Saudi jets and ammo/bombs - Made in the USA - until very recently used against rebels in Yemen. And a coalition of nations led by the USA trying to starve the poor in Venezuela into submitting to our will - all this abetted by knuckleheads on the other sides who obviously have the same myopic, intolerant, deadly attitudes.
At least Obama, for a bit, found ways to try to build SOME bridges, and to succeed at diplomacy instead of out of the barrel of a gun, regardless of the Mayhem Industrial Complex. Which of course did not work with the North Korean dictator and his allies until President Trump started playing THEIR game too. Not sure where all of this got us, nor where we are going with it. HINTs:
-What Mom (and others) used to say: 'Those who live by the sword, die by the sword.'
-Or the 5th Commandment, also recited too in other faiths: 'Thou shalt not kill.'
Or this: 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'
Rules of sanity. Of humility. Respect. Which can go a long way to better serve humanity and all living things in an insane and rabid world.