Perusing the paper the last few days gives one pause to think about whether we actually can learn from our past counterproductive actions. Here is this weeks sampling:
➢ Slim majority in state (California) backs oil drilling off the coast – Our problem has been our dependence on burning fossils fuels so let’s get us some more. Actually I think what is really going on is that with the price of oil where it is, most people can’t see beyond their wallet. This rapid rise in the price of gasoline has had a direct impact on most people’s standard of living so they want a quick fix. The Republicans and some Democrats have reacted to their oil industry lobbyists whose profits are at record highs, to demand more drilling to fix this problem. Problem is it will have no impact. But people want action and this is all they see as an alternative. It is the result of the deficit of big ideas about our future.
➢ Federal Media Protection Law stalls in Senate – This is the federal shield law badly needed by our press to ensure that they can report on government malfeasance without fear of reprisal. It is basically protecting your right to know what your government has been up to. And who blocked it? Those forward-looking Republicans who don’t want you to know what they have been up to. Republicans are good for one thing and I hope the voter’s are taking note. It is for the status quo. Do you like where we are today?
➢ Passenger found dead in airplane restroom – If you read my blog yesterday on the state of air travel, this cannot come as a surprise. Some people, especially on long flights, go into the rest room and stay forever. For this person forever meant forever.
➢ The Turkey Watch – The Constitutional Court in Turkey ruled that the ruling party would not be banned for their assault on secularism by trying to remove the head scarves ban in public universities. The Court did issue a stern warning to the Justice and Development Party against turning back the clock and trying to institute Muslim laws against their purely sectarian state. Turkey is a place to watch to see if Muslims who believe in instituting Sharia (body of Islamic religious law) can really live in a democracy and recognize minority rights. The point of the ban was so that more fundamentalist Muslims could not identify themselves and others and also identify those that don’t follow their belief. In a country that is basically monotheistic, democracy and minority rights are always in play.
➢ Karadzic arraignment today for war crimes – The world court is attempting to provide justice for the millions of Muslims that were slaughtered in former Yugoslavia and is a reflection of a civilized world that has common standards of law and decency. Ever ask yourself why the United States shuns the world court?
➢ Fight erupts over opt-out proposal for health staff – George little brain Bush has proposed some rules that would allow health staff to opt out of procedures that they morally object to. Here is the problem: As a pharmacist I can choose not to dispense the day after pill because I object to it on moral grounds and if you have no other choice, I can decide if you have that baby. If it is legal, then you can choose not to take the pill, but you should not be deciding for others. For abortions, in federally funded clinics, this is similar to the head scarf issue in Turkey. If you allow some to opt-out for moral beliefs, then you have set up a system that stigmatizes others. If you don’t want to allow legal procedures, don’t work there and don’t take federal money. This rule also defines abortion as anything that interferes with a fertilized egg, it could have a major impact on future research. It is just another attempt to reduce your options to what the conservatives think you should have. They really don’t like democracy and free choice very much.
➢ McMean campaign takes negative tack – You just noticed? The Republicans are trying to frame the debate around question of Obama’s youth and inexperience. They don’t do this by raising any substantive issues, but try to create an emotional frame using Paris Hilton and Brittany Spears. It is a classic the issues don’t count, be afraid and pick us cause you know us. It reminds me of the classic Eddie Edwards (Ex-Governor of Louisiana and state penitentiary resident) campaign slogan, “Vote for Me and Elect the Crook You Know”. But the Republicans are experts at framing and the press falls for it every time. In reporting on this new ad, the press uses the frame that Republican’s have crafted to describe the ad, but they don’t rebutt it. So they repeat it over and over and it might lend it credence. Our press are morons.
So another fun week in la-la land where we do nothing and go nowhere, and nothing ever changes.