What is the World Coming To?

A Litany of Rants

Rant #1
The world is going nuts. I can’t believe some of the stuff that I am seeing out there that makes me shake my head and cringe. First and foremost has to be the Terri Schiavo case. I can’t believe the way that this woman’s life has become a chess piece for political action related to religious morality. Do I think she should be let to die? I’m not sure – if she said she didn’t want to be in this state, then she should be allowed to have her wishes honored. Unfortunately, nothing in writing makes that hard to prove. Is she in a vegetative state or does she have limited reaction? I would lean toward the former, since people in that state CAN respond to stimuly – but not consciously. I think her smiles and such are mere reactions to voices without any sentient/cognitive thought behind them. I know that I wouldn’t want to be left in that state. At the same time, it would be hard for me to actually starve someone that I love to death. If it was life-support, it’s easy – they wouldn’t be alive without it. But a feeding tube seems more like assistance than support. To watch someone starve over a period of weeks would be tough to watch, no matter how much I knew that my wife/mother/sister/friend wanted it that way.

But the biggest asshat move is having Congress legislate over this. Congress’ job is to pass laws for THE PEOPLE, not THE PERSON. They aren’t supposed to create an end-around to get past judicial process, but that is just what they are doing. If they think it’s wrong, they should write a law to handle cases like these in the future – like they did for Megan’s Law – but to step in – and on normal Judicial process – tramples over the separation of the 3 government branches for what becomes a moral judgement over – and this was said several times by Reverend DeLay – “a right to life issue”. To subpoena her for a congressional hearing was nothing more than a back-handed way to ignore the judges decree – and is something that no one save for the Supreme Court should have been allowed to do.

More and more I see this administration warp or ignore elements of the constitution and common sense to achieve their quasi-religious agenda (or their pro-crony agenda, in some cases). It sickens me that so many people in our legislative branch thought themselves as having the right to overrule the courts and a woman’s own desires to support their own moral objectives. Listen, Delay, if it’s YOUR mom, go right ahead. But keep your hands off of my family and our wishes. Keep them off when we make a decision about our bodies when we are living and when we are dying.

Rant #2
Another photographer that I follow recently took a picture of a park in Erie County, NY that has been closed to the public. According to him,

“After getting the sales tax increase shot down (we are at 8 ¼% and they wanted to raise it to 9 ¼%) Erie County Closed all the parks to strong arm the public! Let me just point out that the park workers are still employed and working in the parks…there is just no public access…”


What? What the heck is going on where we are paying a percentage of our hard-earned money to our government, and they do this to the spaces that we are supposed to have. Now, I don’t know about Erie County, but I know where I live, a percentage of our taxes are earmarked for “Open Space”, so if that happened here, you know that I would be going ape shit on these people. Hopefully Dave will do the same – I know that he’s angry but I don’t know how close he is to really make a stink.

Where do our politicians get off in penalizing us for not allowing us to raise taxes?

Rant #3
ANWR. It’s a term that is sure to evoke strong feelings in a lot of people. I’m a strident environmentalist, and I’ll admit that I tend to lean toward the environment over business in most cases. I’d love to say that I’m 100% justified because corporations have a long-standing history of saying that they’ll do the right thing until the right thing affects the money thing – then promises get left behind. So, when the oil industry throws around promises of ‘small footprints’ and ‘leaving no trace’, I cringe. So did many others – which is why every piece of legislation devoted to opening up ANWR to drilling has been defeated.

So, what do those crafty politicians do? They merely do an end around, attaching a small rider for ANWR drilling onto the 2005 budget. What? Don’t want that rider – well, then you need to vote against the budget, vote against giving Americans more tax cuts and letting our government do its job, right? In essense, the Republicans and other ‘bought-vote’ senators have realized that they can never get the vote through the more legal methods, so they are sticking it up our asses in other ways instead. The vote on 3/16 basically rejected the attempt to remove that piece of legislation from the budget, and if the budget gets approved, the oil interests will be able to start drilling.

Once again, the debate will start, but this is what it comes down to – with oil prices sky-rocketing, instead of looking to jump-start renewable or sustainable energy sources, Bush and Clowns, LLC will cater to oil interests for what will amount to a short-term solution AT BEST. First of all, by the time they find the oil, it will be years before we can get to it. Second, we don’t know (and environmentalists and industry reps are very far apart on) how much oil there really is. Last, the oil industry has a horrid history of leaving ‘small footprints’ where they’ve been.

They say that they will only need small drilling sites that won’t disrupt the caribou and other wildlife – that they only need 2,000 of the 1.5M acres of ANWR (total space 19M acres) that would be opened up. But as TIME pointed out, the oil industry is only counting the actual square footage that the equipment is physically sitting on – not the space under pipes going between sites, the roads going back and forth, or even the housing for the workers. As the article states:

“It may be. Turns out the 2,000 acres don’t have to be contiguous and only the space of the equipment touching the ground is counted. Each drilling platform can take up as little as 10 acres. The pipelines are above ground. For space purposes, the amendment counts only the ground touched by the stanchions holding up the pipe. Road widths also are conveniently left out of the space limit. “It’s a complete sham,” complains Allen Mattison, a spokesman for the Sierra Club which opposes drilling. “It’s like a fishing net. If you count just the space of the string’s width, that’s small. But if you open up a fishing net and count the area it covers, that’s much larger.” Environmentalists complain that the House limit ends up allowing oil companies to spread out over practically the entire 1.5 million acres.”

Worse, they’ve said that they will be able to clean it up once they are done, leaving the land in the same condition they found it. And we’re supposed to believe that based on coal industry and natural gas industry claims to the same effect (not to mention the oil industry). In their history, this industry has been notorious for coming in, doing the damage and then walking away scot-free while the environment and those who live nearby suffer the repercussions for decades. Why would it be any different here?

It’s a sham, and it’s going on because Bush and the rest of the corrupt administration are more concerned with keeping oil and energy cronies happy than protecting our environment. So they get rich, America’s cars continue to suck up gas, and in 20 years, we’ll be no better than we are now – well, maybe we will. When the gas runs out, we’ll HAVE TO walk.


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