Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Back to the Stone Age
From the Union of Concerned Scientists: "Well, it's August 9. The people who are supposed to be representing our interests in the nation's capitol have gone home for the summer, and they've left us, once again, with no plan to rein in our country's global warming emissions. It's unlikely, given the November elections, that the Senate will take on this issue again come fall."
To which Dada would only add: "And don't expect them to do anything after the November elections either, owing as they will be to those who got 'em (re)elected, i.e., the monied special interests they will again go to Washington to serve.
(Note: August has become Dada's favorite month. That's because it's the month I feel safest from terrorists who do me grave harm, i.e., my "elected" representatives who are on a month long recess.)
But lest I appear too harsh the critic of our government, let us stand in august admiration of defense secretary Robert Gates' proposal to slash $100 billion from the Pentagon's budget bloat over the next five years that he has come under increasing criticism of from someone -- I don't know who -- Americans out of work, out of homes, out of hope? (I don't think so.)
Gates plans to cut civilian personnel and contractors saying "he also will terminate other Pentagon agencies, impose a 10 percent cut in intelligence contracts and slim down what he called a 'top-heavy hierarchy' by thinning the ranks of admirals and generals."
Not to get too excited, however, trying to decide where to spend those defense cuts dividends, like for schools maybe, affordable health care, desperately needed infrastructure repairs and upgrades, etc., etc. No? Why? Well, as we learn, much of Gates' freed up savings will go instead toward the purchase of more troops and weapons!
I think it important that we look at our government as a mega corporation, its most profitable product being the production of misery and devastation, not just overseas, but domestically as well. That seems to be the last best thing we manufacture here anymore.
As Rachel Madow opened her Monday night's show saying something like, imagine commuting to work at 120 mph on your Chinese bullet train while reading of American communities tearing up the pavement of drastically deteriorated roads they can no longer afford to repair and reverting them to gravel or, as "Purdue University's John Habermann, who organized a seminar about the resurgence of gravel roads titled it 'Back to the Stone Age' " in a recent Wall Street Journal piece.
Dada enjoys our government's inability to move forward and address the future, a dire and darkening one, that so desperately demands action but which instead goes largely ignored by our impotent representatives in favor of endless partisan squabbling for political advantage instead of confronting it with hard decisions and difficult actions so desperately demanding to be made as our event horizon called extinction bears down upon us faster than a Chinese bullet train.
Meanwhile, this past week we got advice from Stephen Hawking that if we are to survive, humanity must leave the Earth within the next hundred years! That's pretty damn arrogant, coming from the species endangering or massacring all life on Earth, including its own.
Considering the outside possibility we came here from Mars -- or maybe not -- we should leave Earth as it becomes what Mars already is -- a burnt out hulk that may have been a former life giving garden. For what, the next planet that might support our survival until we trash and destroy it too?
Well, I have news for Hawking and others with such high-minded advice: Don't look to this nation to lead us where you think we should go. It's a tad too late for that. If we were ever even capable of such a grandiose scheme, it's now off the table. As Russia burns, smolders and smothers and China, India, and Pakistan drown, while we slowly and surely poison our wellspring of life on Earth, the seas, and world hunger grows, we're too distracted fighting one another and jockeying for political position to care.
Oh, yeh, and reverting paved roads to gravel ones.