Archive for July 21, 2012
Once more we have a guest post from Larry Hodgden
Larry is a retired Viet Nam era veteran of the USAF. He and his wife of 40 years, Sharon, have three children and seven grandchildren who keep him very busy. Family, education, church and politics have been a lifelong passion.
It began in earnest in 1988, the last really hot year prior to this one. It was called the Global Warming Theory and now in spite of a rise in our earth’s temperature, melting ice caps, rising sea levels, disappearing marine and mammal life, droughts, floods and all the rest, it’s still called a “theory”. No matter the evidence some things are always going to be called “theories”, like gravity for example.
Scientists had found that we were producing greenhouse gases by burning fossil fuels and that was making the earth warmer. There was little dispute over this fact but there was a lot of dispute over what to do or even the need to do anything. Intelligent humans, which we claim to be, were soon divided into two camps.
One camp found merit in the scientific findings and felt a responsibility to the future of earth to change our habits. There were plenty of solutions available like increasing mileage standards in automobiles, solar and wind generation of electricity instead of coal, public transportation and renewable fuels. Today there are even more alternatives such as natural gas for vehicles and generation of electricity, compact fluorescent bulbs and high efficiency appliances and windows. This group proposes investment in these solutions and is represented by Democrats in Congress.
The other camp found it in their interest to dismiss the science and stand in the way of every effort to reduce our use of fossil fuels. Even today they oppose investment in wind generation at the expense of jobs in Iowa. They have fought against every effort to increase mileage standards and to decrease fossil fuel use. This group opposes investment in solutions and is represented by Republicans in Congress.
All this is in spite of the fact that we have been held hostage for 40 years by the Middle East for our supply of oil. We are sending billions of our dollars every day to some sheik in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and elsewhere so they can hold their citizens hostage to their extreme ideology. We are contributing to their abusive treatment of women and their intolerant religious schools teaching hatred for our life and freedoms. This did not have to be.
You don’t have to be very astute to recognize that even if the scientists were all wrong and global warming was a myth, it would have been in our best interests to cut our “umbilical cord” to the Middle East. Kind of makes you wonder about the motives of these Republicans. Surely it had nothing to do with their wealthy friends in the energy business. Those who blindly follow the “Party” line should ask themselves: “What If We Are Wrong?”
A woman at a Romney event calls the President a “monster” and Mitt Romney chuckles and does not condemn the remark. Matt Schultz, Iowa’s Secretary of State gets access to some Homeland Security database and vows to clean up the voting rolls.
Rush Limbaugh spends another week ginning up hate for all things that he considers “left wing.” At the same time, Iowa’s crops burn up in unprecedented heat and drought with little relief in sight.
Michelle Bachmann tries to stir up hate and suspicion of a member of Hillary Clinton’s staff. On a good note, John McCain finally finds his reasonable voice once more and call Bachmann out for this. But Iowa’s own Steve King once more pushes his hate and bigotry against humans he disagrees with by sponsoring a ban on gay marriage in the military.
While the world burns, the Koch brothers and their corporate henchmen get ready to give their state legislative underlings their marching orders next week in Salt Lake City, Utah for the next legislative session. Republican state legislators, at least in Iowa, all belong to ALEC. Any pretense that they are working for Iowa was gone long ago. Yet the media does not report on it, so most Iowans have no idea of ALEC. Considering that radio and TV is owned almost solely by the right wing in Iowa you can bet Iowans may never hear of ALEC.
It seems like we are literally on a precipice. We have been driven to this precipice by decades of hate radio and one party which trades only on hate and fear and refuses to govern. Rather than ever look for workable solutions, they exacerbate the problems by creating crises out of nothing. Remember last year’s so called ‘debt crisis?’ How about an unemployment problem that could be solved with cooperation and a national resolve. But Republicans refuse to cooperate on anything, thus playing god with the life of millions of Americans.
As the world burns, Republicans refuse to accept science on this issue, thus blocking any actions that could alleviate the problem. They are more than willing to leave a world of starvation and thirst to our children and grandchildren to win a political victory today.
It often feels like America’s two and a half century experiment with self-government is coming to a head. When half the population refuses to join in it is hard to have governance. And at the top we have those who have accumulated untold wealth refusing to pay the taxes that fund the governing of this country. The wealth that the Walton heirs alone have accumulated is equal to that of the lowest 40% of Americans. This is the kind of wealth distribution that banana republics have. Like many banana republics, we have one of the wealthy class running to secure that either nothing will change or it will get worse for the poor.
Lot of things going through my mind today. We will be at the Democrats fair booth today. Fairs are no longer the places they used to be. The heat keeps many people away. With most households barely making it on 2 incomes, many find fairs to be a luxury they can’t afford.
Well I will end on a high note – scientists feel they have at least proven that the Higgs Boson exists. This may usher in a new era of scientific inquiry in the vein of the space age. What this discovery will mean is hard to guess, but it is at least a major step forward. And we need to fund more, much more pure research.