Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Apologies, Oil Consumption And Greed

Just when you think that the Republicans can stoop no lower, they put their greedy little selves in high gear and surprise you! If you know me, you probably know I don't hold either political party in high regard, but Joe Barton brought Republican esteem down to about the belly of a skinny snake with his comment about the "shakedown" aspect of President Barack Obama's getting BP to put up a twenty billion dollar fund to pay claims by residents harmed by their massive and ongoing oil spill. Way to go, President Obama! I also hear that BP is going to donate net proceeds of the sale of the reclaimed oil being captured in the Gulf of Mexico to benefit fish and wildlife. That may just be their way of trying to clear their name and make their public relations better, but it's still a step in the right direction. Of course, Barton made a half-assed apology, but it was too little too late. He cooked his own sorry goose!
Tonight I read the results of a poll, that said a majority of the public is STILL in favor of deepwater drilling. Goes to show just how selfish people can be. Hundreds of thousands of their fellow citizens are losing their livelihoods, millions of gallons of oil has fouled the Gulf of Mexico, marine life has been devastated and the oil is still gushing out of the ocean bed daily, but they still think it's okay to drill in deepwater! God forbid they should have to cut down on their fuel consumption, or conserve fuel, or find alternate transportation like an economy car instead of a Humvee! We are some of the most selfish people on the face of the planet, us exceptional Americans! Nothing will deter us from our own self destruction or that of the planet we live on. Thankfully, I am a retired older person and I probably won't live long enough to see the end of our consumer economy or the world, whichever comes first. But then again, at the speed which we are approaching doomsday, I may still be around to see it. Like the old saying goes, not with a bang, but with a whimper!
How did we get to the place where are, the rampant greed, selfishness, uncaring about other lives beside our own? We are throwing billions of dollars down a rabbit hole every day killing people in wars of choice, wars which are also killing and maiming our own young men and women. Think how much good could come from that money if it was spent on renewing and rebuilding our own infrastructure. I often wonder which one of those young men and women killed in war would have been the one to help lead us to peace, had they not been killed. We'll never know, will we?
Finally, I want to applaud President Obama on holding BP accountable for all damage done to the environment, the people, the marine life and the ecological system we all need to stay alive. I haven't always agreed with his actions, but he deserves praise for his handling of this massive mess. Give me a leader who thinks before he speaks any day of the week! I've heard about all the bluster and bull pucky I can stand from the apoplectic Republicans a long time ago. It's reassuring to know that we have a President who cares about accountability and responsibility. Way to go, Mr. President, job well done! Little by little you are regaining my trust, keep up the good work. Maybe we can escape doomsday after all!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Where's Freedom Of Speech For Helen Thomas?

On the top of the opinions page of our local newspaper here in Rock Springs, Wyoming, Rocket-Miner, there has always been (and still is!) a quote attributed to Voltaire in defense of free speech. And I quote, "I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it". We may not be too citified in our part of the country, but we do honor that quote. We have some lively discussions in letters to the editor, and op-ed columns from many partisan and non-partisan contributors, and that quote is always upheld. The citizens of our town truly believe in the right to state our opinions, but not to the exclusion of others to state theirs! We never tell others to shut up. We listen, then disagree or agree.
Not so in the nation's capitol, Washington, D.C.! The well respected, veteran reporter Helen Thomas, who joined UPI in the year I was born, 1943, and has spoken truth to power ever since. Then along came Rabbi David Nesenoff, who has a website, rabbilive.com. He asked Miss Thomas if she had any comments on Israel. Please keep in mind the close proximity in time frame to Israeli soldiers killing 9 people who were trying to deliver aid to the Gaza Strip by sea. She said, Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine. Remember these people are occupied, and it's their land. It's not Germany, it's not Poland." Rabbi Nesenoff asked where they should go, and she said, "They should go home." He then asked, "Where's home? Miss Thomas said, "Poland, Germany and America and everwhere else". As a result of these seemingly (to me anyway) mild comments, she has been practically ridden out of Washington, D.C. on a rail. She essentially had to retire from her life-long career as a columnist and journalist and face criticism from all quarters of the holier-than-thou D.C. crowd. White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, called her remarks "offensive and reprehensible". The White House Correspondents Association, her colleagues, admonished her remarks, calling them "indefensible."
Now, I'll tell you what I think is indefensible, offensive and reprehensible! Helen Thomas has been vilified by the very same people who wouldn't know the truth from fiction! Not one peep from them about the killing of activists trying to help the residents of Gaza Strip for fear of upsetting Israel. But when Helen Thomas spoke truth, she was sacrificed on the alter of political correctness! They are shameful and would be ashamed if they had a collective conscience.
Now, I know nothing about Rabbi Nesenoff, but I did check out his website, where there is a stylishly posed picture of the rabbi, wearing a black leather coat and an arrogant Rush Limbaugh kind of smiling sneer. It reminded me of someone I'd rather forget, our last president. Go look, see if your blood pressure increases, like mine did!
One Helen Thomas is worth more than a thousand of these politically correct hypocrites. Thank you, Miss Thomas, for all your years of seeking the truth, there are many people out here who respect you and admire you for that quest. If anyone asks if there is freedom of speech in the United States, tell them it died the day you retired by force. Shame on those who did this to you! Peace out and don't forget that a lot of us will miss your splendid questioning style. You are a true American icon!