Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Book Review: Red Hot Lies - Counter Point

I stumbled into this article (linked above) of heavy breathing and patronizing rhetoric about how stupid and perverted the younger generation is to believe in melting ice caps and Global Warming and tossed off a letter to the newspaper that printed this shameful screed on our children. The phrase that jumped out at me is in quotes and in bold below - my response is as follows, the paper is the Hawaii Reporter. Whether they are printing this stuff to trigger response and readership isn't debatable, whether they lack journalistic integrity isn't debatable, whether they actually believe this stuff is worrisome.

"...the political menace of the global warming issue..." - --------- is that pollution is bad (genius).

Wherever you fall on the political spectrum we all agree pollution is bad. We are running around with traces of pesticides and pollutants in our blood stream. Dirty energy causes war - resource wars - there is one going on right now. If the US Government dumped half the money it spent on securing oil fields and subsidizing coal and oil - on natural gas, geothermal, wind, solar thermal and energy efficiency (40 miles per gallon) we could say good bye to the middle east and their problems.

Right now oil and nuclear energy are the cause and the threat of global terrorism.
We are in their countries taking their oil with our armies based on their land supporting un-elected kings and royalty who subjugate their people - damn right they are pissed off. It's a power struggle people and we wouldn't be there (Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and the surrounding countries) if it wasn't for the oil. Who doesn't get that?

What are we so worried about in Iran - nuclear power spinning off bombs - not to mention the half-life of the nuclear waste and still - decades later no safe way to get rid of it - oil and nuclear power - thanks but no thanks - coal - forget about it - eliminating jobs by blasting mountain tops clear off, and destroying Appalachia's communities, water, air, natural beauty and potential tourist dollars. Dirty energy has outlived it's usefulness. The powers that be need to recalibrate. The fight for their turf on Capital Hill is pulling down the economy at this most critical moment.

But their is a light, a hope and it's the ready now clean energy sector that will deliver us safely into the future with high paying jobs an upgraded and smart grid, and get our troops off foreign soil calming the locals down. You can't blame the Americans if we're not there.

Innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit is what drives the markets and this country. The status quo is being beyond greedy not to graciously help open up the playing field for the good of the country, the economy, the markets, international relations and our health. The Status Quo in a word is un-American. Boo hooing over the fact they are on the wrong side of stewardship, innovation and common sense is to be expected. Don't fall for their rhetoric and vote their representatives out of Congress. The future is knocking on the door - loudly. Only the blind can't see it, only the greedy deny it.

Paul Burke
Author-Journey Home
Clean Energy NOW

Friday, March 20, 2009

Why Do I Do It?

Why do I consistently pass on email alerts to my friends and family and those on facebook and myspace why? Everyday the lobbyist are up on capital hill looking out for their own self interest...country first...I laughed out loud at those RNC political banners at the conventions. Reason enough right?

Well here is the main reason and it underscores the industry first, profit first, mindset that has to change.

"...Recent studies have found over 200 industrial chemicals in umbilical cord blood in U.S. fetuses, and nearly 300 chemicals in most adults. Cancer rates have increased 48% in the last fifty years, excluding cancers of the lung and stomach and adjusted for an aging population, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Governmental environmental health policy is anemic, and the agencies that enforce it dysfunctional, though improving. Genetic distortion, birth defects, diabetes, early onset of puberty, ADHD, cancer, asthma, obesity, and myriad other health problems are associated with toxic industrial chemicals in everyday products.

Women, children, people of color, industrial workers, and the poor are most vulnerable to these conditions. God's Creation has no voice to protest its contamination except ours." From the NCC Eco-Justice Web Site

Speak up - what we dump into the oceans, air and food chain enter our body - we are all inter-connected with each other and everything - a healthy environment = healthy people = a healthy economy.

Here's wishing you a sustainable and equitable weekend!

Colin Linden - Easin' Back to Tennessee

Colin Linden's album (I love saying album instead of cd) Easin' Back to Tennesse is a tour de-force of pickin', slidin', rockin' and testifyin'. Largely acoustic blues it still has some electric edge to it and the song selections are well laid out. I can not espouse on this man or his extensive career, and I have only heard this one album. But I have to tell you if you love the acoustic guitar, if you love some great, tasteful pickin' and if you don't mind kicking on the electric from time to time and the blues well this album is for you. It has a little bit of everything including some wild lyrics. Go sample out at Colin's site.

You'll become a fan fast! I highly recommend this disc to everyone!

Voting Against The Budget - and What it Means

The powers that be are all heavily invested in dirty energy sources oil, coal and nuclear. They know their day of reckoning is coming and are fighting as hard as ever to hang onto their subsidies.

Business doesn't care about the health of the country or its citizens. It cares about it's individual business plan. That's why corporations make lousy global or national managers and leaders. They shouldn't be running things because their self interest runs counter to whats good for America or the Globe.

We have to go back to public financing of elections, we have to dissolve the "corporation as person" laws and hold the board of directors responsible for their business decisions, pollution and market manipulation, and we have to heavily invest in the emerging green economy.

It's ironic that our way out of this mess is simply to do the right thing and live sustainably and equitably. However the corrupt who have spent decades/centuries building and hanging onto power are not just going to roll over.

We could be at the tipping point. We must continue to elect people without ties to the industries that are blocking the future innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that is the life blood of the markets, the country and the world.

We still have a few old school relics in Congress and the Senate and we need to sweep them out. They are the ones voting against the new budget. They took money from dirty energy sources nuclear, coal and oil and those guys want to keep their Federal subsidies. In 2006 for oil alone that number was 39 billion - damn right they are fighting tooth an nail against the new green technologies.

Obamas Budget Action Page

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Tyranny of Oil and Vice President of Bullshit



The Tyranny of Oil is a new book out you can read a review here and here.

It’s all so true and so sad. I hope this country never puts anyone from Texas back in charge of the White House and Executive branch. Although Dick Cheney had his own as yet unnamed branch of government "Vice President of Bullshit" I think is what it was called. Did you know Exxon/Mobil MADE money on the Valdez oil spill? "Country First" - that's how morally bankrupt they are. Less than 5% of their profits go to new clean energy sources and most of that is in advertising.

If we just stopped subsidizing big oil and big agriculture we could pump money back into education (lack of education=lack of opportunity=frustration and acts of violence) and bring down the cost of health care.

Ronald Regan their god even declared - "small business is the back bone of the country" - not big, monolithic, monopolies, incestuous and ultimately uncompetitive, and noncompeting.

The big companies are an impediment to the entrepreneurial life blood that moves the country forward because innovation not controlled by them or outside of their business model is a threat to their already bulging pocket books.

Greed is killing this country and humans (some humans) are incapable of controlling themselves. Look at Madoff. He was already rich why did he jeopardize his freedom and liberty - to get the biggest yacht in the marina? It's ridiculous, compulsive, obsessive behavior and we need laws to prevent it from bring down the markets and a system of checks and balances to prevent it's discovery before it's too late.

Big corporate america is the roadblock to inventiveness and genius without which we suffer stagnation and decline. Big corporate america conglomerates are in a word "bad" for the economy and un-American. What fascinates me the most are the kool-aid drinkers who worship at the feet of corporate america as if the so called free markets will just magically take care of us all. Don't worry just sit back and relax, magically and unseen. Well the results are in and the so called unregulated free markets have fallen flat on their greedy, hoarding faces. Meanwhile the kool-aid drinkers scream at liberals accusing them of doing what they do only substituting big corporate america for big government.

Newsflash only kool-aid drinkers believe in some unseen power that takes care of everything. Liberals want nothing of the sort. Liberals want ethical behavior, a fair, equitable and sustainable playing field for our markets and our civil liberties. So far our elected politicians have been unable to deliver that. Maybe now that will change. Liberals do not declare victory like politics is a game, but strive to effectively manage the politicians we elect and the country we live in to live up to our vision of an equitable and sustainable existence. Anything less than that is suicide with the kool-aid drinkers leading the way.

Paul Burke
Author-Journey Home
Activist - Oil Change International

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sicko - Movie Review

I'm sorry but the backlash over this movie was ridiculous and uncalled for CNN's Gupta is an ass. But man can the Status Quo whip up public opinion in a hurry. I finally watched the DVD last week. It's readily available at NetFlix.

Sicko is a compelling documentary that posses the question "why not" and offers a look - for many Americans a first time look - be honest - into alternative approaches to health care and our system in the USA.

I love this country but special interest all clamoring after our tax dollars and to preserve their business models and their special interest and their bottom lines makes one helluva mess for a health care system.

What's wrong with embracing the French and European and Canadian models? Don't take it so personally the USA is not number one, and get over your petty fascination with being number one. I'd settle for fair and honest, clean and equitable. Number one what - classless war mongering, polluters? Why not honestly learn what works best world wide and learn from their and everyone elses including and especially our own mistakes. The rules that apply to being a better person apply to being a better country.

Why do we need to be held captive by a broken system because a few people are making huge bucks? Doctors go into health care to help people not get country club memberships right...? How much money do they need? Lower the high end on malpractice awards and bring down their insurance premiums. I don't know how but apparently the same drugs we pay enormous prices for are free or cheaper overseas. Seems wrong to be screwing the tax payer when we are all just working stiffs propping up the economy and the guys at the top their gas bills for their yachts. Go out and shop - how many times have we heard that?

Take a look at this movie - it is not a pinko, socialist, threatening off the wall documentary but a matter of fact look at what is going on in the world. You might learn that one; you don't have all the information, and two; you don't have all the answers.

Sicko is required viewing for all tax payers.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sarah, Sarah, Sarah - The Palin Blues



I know Sarah that up in the "great state of Alaska" you don't have many options and industry. But is the wholesale slaughter of wildlife really all you can muster to prop up your economy? Can't you improve education and draw tech companies up to or help get citizens out of Alaska? You would think that such a beautiful state would be on the cutting edge of green technology, sustainability and promoting eco-tourisim. No such luck all Sarah has been able to come up with to generate income is slaughter animals in the name of money.

Take a look at what she has done...

Expanded Alaska's aerial hunting program, whereby wolves are shot from the air or chased to exhaustion by airplanes before the pilot lands the plane and the gunner shoots the animals point-blank.

Tried to offer a $150.00 bounty to hunters that could present the chopped off left foreleg of a wolf and introduced legislation to make it easier to kill wolves.

Opposed the listing of both Polar Bears and Cook Inlet Beluga Whales as threatened.

Appointed an anti-wolf Board of Game, filled with old friends and like minded trophy hunters, who authorized state officials to kill wolf pups in their dens.

Encouraged drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and a destructive mining operation in beautiful Bristol Bay.

Questioned whether man-made fossil fuel emissions are responsible for global warming, defying worldwide scientific consensus.

Sarah, Sarah, Sarah - they might look like the winning team but having a lot of money doesn't make them moral or right - how disappointing another sell out.

Defenders of Wildlife

Friday, March 06, 2009

Sea Sick

As a passionate activist the health of the oceans has been an issue I have been writing on and speaking about for a long time. I recently read a review of the book Sea Sick (here) let me just point out one thing from the review...

The review states "...it's impossible to think that humans will escape unscathed from the damage we've helped inflict."
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I would add emphatically it is impossible to escape and in real time we feel the affects. Every human body RIGHT NOW has a tremendous amount of pollutants and toxins in it. "The Environmental Working Group has spearheaded six studies of body burden in Americans as part of the Human Toxome Project, finding 456 industrial pollutants, pesticides and other chemicals in the blood, urine, and breast milk of 115 people, from newborns to teens and adults."1 Mother's milk transferred naturally to babies carries those toxins.

Every single thing we dump into the environment comes home to roost in our body through the air we breath, the water we drink, and the food we eat, not to mention the household chemicals sprayed and those spread about through the manufacturing process.

The paradigm shift in thinking that has to occur to become front and center of our very consciousness is that we are 100% a part of nature. We are as plugged into the system as a weed, as a tree, as a bird, as plankton. We are the molecules that surround us. There is no separation of our bodies from the environment. Our consciousness gives us the false impression that we are a part FROM nature when in fact we are as linked to it as a pollinating bee.

All that being said if it was truly understood by everyone we wouldn't introduce one synthetic chemical into the atmosphere, food supply or water because in essence what we release into the ground water not only kills the coral reefs but it kills us as well.

We couldn't be more unenlightened when it comes to our total integration into the system. As we keep introducing more phosphorus, nitrogen and mercury into the air it eventually settles in our bodies. Disease and spiraling health care costs are the eventual outcome.

There is no escaping the way the Earth and the environment and humans coexist and commingle bringing all of our problems right to each and everyone's door step. Think you are immune because you live in the country think again? It is all one Earth and we are all apart of it what we do to the Earth we do to ourselves.


Reef Relief

Source
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1 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_burden

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Guantanamo Detainees Go To Dallas, Texas and Casper, Wyoming

The Republican party paints themselves as fiscal conservatives of high moral fiber, who take personal responsibility for their actions. The gnashing of teeth over where the Guantanamo Bay detainees should go is pointless. The men who's actions created Guantanamo should harbor the possibly resentful detainees in their own town's maximum security prisons. What's the big deal Texas and Wyoming not tough enough to handle these guys? I doubt it!

That Fox news is pushing for Brazil to take them is ridiculous. Where is your patriotism Fox news followers, broadcasters and CEO's? Where is your sense of duty and patriotism? Bush and Cheney certainly the standard bearers for Republicans will stand up and step up and be accounted for by declaring that the great state of Texas and the great state of Wyoming will take them - right?

This is a non issue for men of moral fiber, integrity and responsibility. I'm sure the citizens of these two great states agree!

Obamas Budget

This is a repost from MoveOn.Org (no corporate sponsers)
__________________________________________________________
The plan:

1. Makes a $634 billion down payment on fixing health care that will go a long way toward paying for a more efficient, more affordable health care system that covers every single American.3

2. Reduces taxes for 95% of working Americans. And if your family makes less than $250,000, your taxes won't go up one dime.4

3. Invests more than $100 billion in clean energy technology, creating millions of green jobs that can never be outsourced.5

4. Brings our troops home from Iraq on a firm timetable, finally bringing the war to a close—and freeing up almost ten billion dollars a month for domestic priorities.6

5. Reverses growing income inequality. The plan lets the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire and focuses on strengthening the middle class.7

6. Closes multi-billion-dollar tax loopholes for big oil companies. 8

7. Increases grants to help families pay for college—the largest increase ever.9

8. Halves the deficit by 2013. President Obama inherited a legacy of huge deficits and an economy in shambles, but his plan brings the deficit under control as soon as the economy begins to recover.10

9. Dramatically increases funding for the SEC and the CFTC—the agencies that police Wall Street.11

10. Tells it straight. For years, budgets have used accounting tricks to hide the real costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush tax cuts, and too many other programs. Obama's budget gets rid of the smokescreens and lays out what America's priorities are, what they cost, and how we're going to pay for them.12

______________________________________________________


Turns out there are way more than 10 amazing things in Obama's budget and we couldn't resist sharing just a few more.

1. Stops unnecessary government subsidies to big banks, health insurance companies and big agribusinesses.13,14,15

2. Expands access to early childhood education and improves schools by investing in programs that make sure every child has a qualified, strong teacher.16

3. Negotiates for better prescription drug prices using Medicaid's tremendous bargaining power.17

4. Expands access to family planning for low-income women.18

5. Caps the pollution that causes global warming, and makes polluters pay to support clean energy innovation.19

____________________________________________

Sources:

1. "Climate of Change," The New York Times, February 27, 2009
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/27/opinion/27krugman.html?em

2. "Obama Calls His Budget Sweeping, Needed Change," The New York Times, February 28, 2009
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51201&id=15687-5844990-bvrNNgx&t=2

3. "Obama Offers Broad Plan to Revamp Health Care," The New York Times, February 26, 2009
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51202&id=15687-5844990-bvrNNgx&t=3

4. "Obama Expects Fight Over $3.55 Trillion Budget Plan," Bloomberg News, February 28, 2009
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51203&id=15687-5844990-bvrNNgx&t=4

5. "Energy Budget Is Sunlight After Eight Years of Darkness," Center for American Progress, February 26, 2009
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51204&id=15687-5844990-bvrNNgx&t=5

6. "The Economic Cost of War in Iraq and Afghanistan," The New York Times, March 1, 2009
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/01/weekinreview/01glanz.html

7. "Tax Cuts," The New York Times, February 26, 2009
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/27/washington/27web-tax.html

8. "Energy Budget Is Sunlight After Eight Years of Darkness," Center for American Progress, February 26, 2009
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51204&id=15687-5844990-bvrNNgx&t=6

9. "Student Loans," The New York Times, February 26, 2009
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/27/washington/27web-edu.html

10. "Obama unveils budget blueprint," CNN, February 26, 2009
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/26/budget/

11. "Obama budget would boost SEC, CFTC, FBI," Reuters, February 26, 2009
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51205&id=15687-5844990-bvrNNgx&t=7

12. "Obama's budget," Los Angeles Times, February 27, 2009
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51206&id=15687-5844990-bvrNNgx&t=8

13. "Student Loans," The New York Times, February 26, 2009
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/27/washington/27web-edu.html

14. "Health Insurance Stocks Dive on Medicare Advantage Cuts," The Wall Street Journal, February 26, 2009
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51207&id=15687-5844990-bvrNNgx&t=9

15. "Agriculture," The New York Times, February 26, 2009
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/27/washington/27web-agri.html

16. "Investing Wisely in Our Children," Center for American Progress, February 26, 2009
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51208&id=15687-5844990-bvrNNgx&t=10

17. "Obama Offers Broad Plan to Revamp Health Care," The New York Times, February 26, 2009
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51202&id=15687-5844990-bvrNNgx&t=11

18. "Obama Offers Broad Plan to Revamp Health Care," The New York Times, February 26, 2009
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51202&id=15687-5844990-bvrNNgx&t=12

19. "Setting 'Green' Goals," The New York Times, February 26, 2009
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51209&id=15687-5844990-bvrNNgx&t=13

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