Friday, March 02, 2012

Senseless in the Halls of Power

Everyone is supposed to be entitled to their opinion. In my opinion those individuals we have elected to represent us in recent years are basically senseless when it comes to issues that presumably have to do with the lives and well-being of both our citizens and our nation.

Take the pipeline, for example. Canada wants to build a 2000 mile pipeline right across the center of the United States to transport oil from there to the refineries in Texas. This pipeline is already admitted to being vulnerable to accidents that would harm the environment, possibly foul our water, and be subject to periodic accidents and who knows what. Those in favor of this monstrous project want us to believe it will help with our energy problem, making us less dependent on foreign oil. This is entirely false as the refined product is not intended for use in the United States, but, rather, to be sold and shipped to foreign nations. Why should we allow a 2000 mile potentially dangerous pipeline across our country so oil companies can make a profit? Well, we should not, this is an absolutely senseless idea being promoted by our Congresspersons in return for the monies they are collecting from the oil companies.

Nuclear energy is another completely senseless idea that should be dropped completely as soon as immediately. It seems the lessons from Three Mile, Chernobyl, and Fukushima are not enough to convince those in favor of nuclear energy, including apparently President Obama, that nuclear energy is an absolutely crazy method of producing energy. Even the fact that Japan, Germany, Switzerland, and others have already announced they will abandon nuclear energy, and even though we know that our own nuclear plants are aging, potentially dangerous, and ought to be closed down, and even though we know these plants are financially so disastrous and risky no bank or corporation is willing to finance them, we recently approved plans to build two new ones financed by taxpayers. This is an absolutely senseless idea, but, again, being pushed by those collecting big donations from the nuclear energy promoters.

Related to this is the fact that we are providing extremely generous subsidies to oil companies that are making record profits, profits so huge there is no way they can possibly be justified. But this doesn’t keep many of our elected officials determined to block any efforts to do away with them. This makes no sense at all, but, again, our Congresspersons do not hesitate to sell their souls for the payoffs they receive to do the corporations dirty business, senseless in the halls of power.

Moving on, how about the idea that any employer should be able to refuse to provide medical benefits for anything they do not religiously or morally approve. What a terrific idea! Why should any employee not be eager to have their boss decide what health care they should have, especially when the employer can make decisions about it simply by claiming they do not approve of it? This is an idea, put forward in the Blunt amendment, so fantastically senseless as to make one wonder if the promoters of this have any brains at all. This ridiculous idea was just voted down, but only by three votes! Senselessness run rampant to extremes heretofore thought characteristic only of morons, our elected officials at work in the fields of the Lord.

Let’s see, what else? How about our multi-billion dollar “war on drugs” that has now waged year after year in spite of being a monumental and disastrous failure? Having wasted all these billions on an obviously failed attempt to suppress the illegal drug trade, there are still those who refuse to give it up. Thousands have been murdered in Mexico and South America because of this lucrative criminal activity, a situation that could be easily remedied by simply acknowledging that drugs are a medical problem rather than a political problem, making drugs legal by prescriptions, and thus, like prohibition, stop making criminals out of otherwise ordinary citizens. This is so obviously true in the case of marijuana that even much of law enforcement wants to see it legalized. But, again, those who benefit from keeping drugs illegal manage to keep it from changing. Senseless, you bet.

Let us not forget health care. We have a system of privatized health care that is enormously expensive, allows insurance companies to decide who can and cannot have health care, profits through the misery and deaths of those supposedly insured, and denies any health care at all to millions and millions of our citizens. A single payer system, similar to those enjoyed by all other industrialized nations, would be far less expensive, more efficient, would include everyone, and makes sense. But not to those senseless monsters that apparently don’t care if everyone has adequate health care, preferring those who cannot afford it to just pass away quietly, and resist the obvious solution.

One more example, although I’m sure many more could be found, the non-case for “war” against Iran. Apparently not satisfied with our war crimes against Iraq there are those who are now determined to mire us in another criminal “war” in the Middle East. Iran is not a threat to anyone, and most certainly not a threat to the United States. Our own intelligence agencies agree Iran is not about to build a nuclear bomb, and even if they eventually did there is no reason to believe they would set out to use one offensively against anyone. But Israel insists Iran is an “existential” threat to them, a claim so fantastic, given the differences in the two countries relative military capabilities, as to be dismissed as mere paranoia. But this does not keep them from attempting to get the U.S. to attack Iran on their behalf, a demand that receives support from various elements within the U.S. Congress and seems to never subside no matter what Iran does to demonstrate their commitment to a diplomatic solution. It is difficult to imagine a more senseless act than to attack Iran for even developing the capacity to make a nuclear bomb. The only way you could keep them from developing the capacity to do so would be to kill all their scientists. The Israelis have apparently attempted to accomplish just that, but cannot succeed without further help from the U.S. President Obama has to resist their attempt to seduce us into their paranoia.

There are other completely senseless ideas that one might mention, trying to do away with contraception, for example, or abortion, or environmental protections, or labor unions, and so on. But in fact, senselessness is so prevalent in the halls of our Congress, it has now become the norm. It is not absolutely unique to Republicans, but it certainly thrives there much more readily.

In politics, an absurdity is not a handicap.
Napoleon Bonaparte

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