Wednesday, August 31, 2011

They're Trying to Kill Us?

If you think about it it’s hard to believe Republicans are not actually out to kill us all. Their latest obsession seems to be the EPA which they would like to eliminate. Now, really, does this make any sense? There are reasons we had to create the EPA, truly good reasons having to do with clean air, clean water, and the protection of our somewhat fragile ecosystem (and planet). Why would they want to do away with these protections? It seems to me there are only 3 possibilities (1) they are so stupid they don’t realize it will harm them as well as everyone else, (2) they are basically just evil, or (3) they are so greedy they just don’t care what happens as long as they get their short term payoffs. It’s as if they believe the EPA was created for no other purpose than to stifle business. Apparently they believe it just doesn’t matter if you remove whole mountain tops, pour filth into the rivers, oil in the oceans, pollution into the skies, and dump toxic waste and plastic wherever is convenient. It takes really stupid people to be so short-sighted and/or greedy, evil, and unthinking.

But it is not just eliminating the EPA that would seem to be an attack on the lives of people. They don’t want people to have unemployment insurance after so many months, people who have no other safety net. Presumably these people should just wither away die? Similarly, they don’t want everyone to have health insurance unless they are wealthy enough to afford it. This, it seems to me, is a sentence of death for many. They are opposed to a minimum wage, opposed to welfare, opposed to food stamps, and opposed to Social Security. Just what is it they think will happen to people without any of these safety nets? Virtually everything they stand for is the opposite of what would be good for the general public and human life in general. Maybe they believe if they get their way they can survive in expensive enclaves where they will have their own air and water and safe environments while everyone else slowly perishes.

Even more importantly on the stupid dimension is their denial of global warming. When the vast majority of scientists all over the world believe the earth is warming and that human behavior is contributing to it, and this is perhaps the most serious threat ever for life on the planet, human, plant, and all other animal life, they are willing to flatly deny it is happening. This is a potential death threat to all those who do believe in global warming. Are we just supposed to let them potentially kill us all to protect corporate welfare? Their apparent love of nuclear energy is another matter of grave human concern. In spite of Chernobyl and now Fukushima they are still touting this unbelievable potential threat to life on the planet. It seems there is nothing they will not risk for short term profits even if it carries absolutely deadly risks. In the U.S. we seem to have an attitude towards “shooting first and asking questions later,” that is the same as “go ahead and do it and worry about the consequences later.” This is why we have so many drugs recalled after they have already done their damage, the same with pesticides and other chemicals. You might think that if there is a serious question about health risks or environmental damage the prudent response would be to not risk it until you know for sure, but it’s just not “The American Way.”

And so it is, too, with the Endangered Species Act. There are very good reasons to believe the oceans have been, and continue to be seriously overfished so that important part of the food chain may be about to vanish. But they do not want anyone to interfere with this destructive practice because, again, it may interfere with profits. This presents a genuine threat to our future. Similarly, they insist on promoting Genetically Modified crops even though the long-term effects of this may be dangerous to the food supply. Most European countries have already banned these crops but we still promote them around the world. The pharmaceutical industry continues to create new drugs by the thousands and many of them reach the market without proper testing and with no regard for the consequences. But these industries are so powerful, and so protected mainly by Republican interests it is as if they are untouchable. You might say “it’s just politics as usual,” but when it comes to genuine threats to lives of everyone I don’t see why it should be tolerated. Why should we all be made vulnerable to disease and death and misery because of the ignorance and greed of a few? Waiting from one to six years to vote someone out of office is not very helpful when it comes to more urgent life or death matters. We seem to have no other recourse.

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