Archive for January 2010

My thoughts for the EPA’s Administrator Jackson

2010/01/30

There isn’t much else I can do (except breath the toxic waste the corporations dump into the atmosphere!) so I decided to take my daughter’s suggestion: “If you are uncomfortable about something, do something about it!” I thought, that’s my girl!

With background I gleaned from various environmental groups I support and a petition the Wilderness Society is circulating for signature, I prepared this letter to the Administrator of the EPA…

If you’re so inclined, you might consider doing the same.

Progressive liberal civic action is alive and well! We’ve always lead the way on this. Let’s not allow the retroactive, conservative right-wingers think that they have discovered something new!

(Don’t worry, I’m still working on gathering the background info on Big Pharma and their relationship to doctors! …and Aspergers/Autism. Then the Privatization of Government functions-like National Security, and Defense (Offense?)… One issue at a time! All good fodder for this blog!)

Re: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2007-0352: Protect Communities from SO2

Dear Administrator Jackson,

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) and other sulfur gases, which coal power plants spew out in huge quantities, can cause serious breathing problems — especially in kids. And while these gases are always dangerous, careful scientific studies show that it’s especially important to control short-term spikes in SO2 that can do lasting damage to people’s lungs – and that EPA’s current air quality standards don’t do a good enough job at protecting the public from these spikes. That’s why I fully support EPA’s proposal to protect our health and our kids by significantly improving its national protective standard for these pollutants. EPA should set the new national one-hour SO2 standard at the most protective level it has proposed: an average of no more than 50 parts per billion of the gas in the air over a 1 hour period.

I also support EPA’s proposal to toughen monitoring and reporting requirements for SO2. Monitors would be placed in areas with high SO2 emission levels as well as in urban areas. And I support a change in the Air Quality Index to reflect the revised SO2 standards. This change would improve the states’ ability to alert the public when short-term SO2 levels may affect their health.

Because of all the sulfur dioxide — and other dangerous pollutants — they emit, coal plants are not a good way to meet our energy needs. It’s time to stop letting Big Coal pollute our air and make people sick. We need to move beyond coal towards a clean energy economy. This rule is a strong step in that direction.

There is no such thing as “Clean Coal”, despite President Obama using this tired, oxymoronic phrase in his State of the Union address last week. I have similar concerns with restarting our nuclear power plans industry. What does the proponents of this technology plan to do with the waste produced by these plants? And I need not mention that I do not support any further off shore drilling, anywhere!

Let’s work together now to ensure clean, healthy air for our future. President Obama said it best when he said that the nation that leads on green energy production and use will lead the future. Let’s make sure it is the USA.

Keep up the good work, don’t back down now!

Independents (read: Libertarians)

2010/01/27

My dad was a libertarían; a Goldwater conservative. Mom was an FDR Progressive… Me? I understand where both are coming from, but I tend to favor the Progressives… I believe gov’t has an important role… Like in regulating the economy.

Today, of course, we celebrate Martin Luther King: his life and all the he contributed to our nation…

2010/01/18

I reread his words, as I often do, particularly on this day each year. I’m always inspired by them and the intensity with which he expressed himself. Man, we sure don’t have any orators like him anymore! Unfortunately, we have been reduced to Rush Limbaugh eloquence!

I also enjoyed listening to the Democracy Now program today which had several segments from three of his most important speeches. You can catch it online at Democracy Now.Org for January 18. As I listened to his “Beyond Vietnam” speech, it struck me how relevant it is even today!

Go Martha!

2010/01/16

This is the year for all Progressives to unite, and do what President Obama asked us to do: make him make the changes we elected him to make! Until now, Progressives have been too timid about making our collective voice heard… Tuesday will be an important opportunity for everyone to participate and ensure that Ted Kennedy’s seat is filled by Martha Coakley.
Not only will she be a support to seeing that the Health Care bill gets passed, but she will be a voice for the people instead of the corporations. While there will be a lot to work on in Health Care legislation after the current law is signed into law by President Obama, the current bill is the best reform we’ve had in a generation. Martha Coakley has been listening to and working for the people of Massachusetts throughout her career, and most recently as the state’s Attorney General.
In the end, l will not be happy until we have Single–Payer in this country, like that offered by all modern democracies in the world. If US corporations continue on the path they’re on, we’ll have to formally change the name of the country from the United States of America to America, Inc.! No thanks to that!
Encourage everyone you know to vote for Martha Coakley on Tuesday!

Climate Change…

2010/01/16

Floods San Antonio, TX after days of rain in the severely drought stricken South Texas region. Anyone familiar with the region knows that it doesn’t rain in January in San Antonio! Happy for the rain replenishing Edwards Aquifer, but still unusual for January… Most severe earthquake in Haiti in a century… Unsettling tornados, tsunamis and storms where they’re not typical… And the naysayers claim that there is no Climate Change. I say they’re crazy!
Others argue that there is Climate Change, but that it’s not man-made. While I m convinced it is, it doesn’t really matter. Regardless of whether it is or not, taking on the major pollutants, the most significant seems to be carbon dioxide (C02), is only good for the economy, innovation, the environment and the globe; now and through this century.
o For those who are inclined to learn more about the science behind Climate Change, I urge you to check-out the site: 350.org. If you want to know more about alterative energy, you can start here (and go from there!): en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_energy

Our Planet – Mother Earth – is a Living Being and all life forms are her offspring… We are all in this together!

The other side of PEPFAR…

2010/01/14

This is the information I’ve been looking for… I had heard much of this awhile ago, but couldn’t find it again with all the upside news about PEPFAR. I finally found it again, with links to a new report published on January 13, 2010 by the Center for American Progress (http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/01/pepfar.html)
Time for science to regain its rightful place in our nation and its policies, foreign and domestic.

Something else for President Obama to think about…

How Ideology Trumped Science

Why PEPFAR Has Failed to Meet its Potential

SOURCE: Avert/Rob Noble

The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief has saved many lives, but the program has proved deficient in many respects. The Obama administration has a historic opportunity to reframe PEPFAR as a program that champions the rights of all people, helps effectively stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, and humanely and competently treats those who already have it.

By Scott H. Evertz | January 13, 2010

When President George W. Bush signed into law the United States Leadership against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003, also known as the Global AIDS Act, he created “the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease in human history.” This legislation authorized PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, and the U.S. government has committed more than $25 billion to the fight against global AIDS through this program since 2003. (more…)

Haiti earthquake: How to help

2010/01/14

Devastation in Haiti. . . Rachel Maddow had a very good segment on the history of Haiti and it’s relationship to the US on her show last night…   Helped me recall that we are indirectly indebted to Haiti for France’s decision to sell the US  what we know know as the Louisiana Purchase, which effectively doubled the national territory.  Here’s how you can help relief efforts after the earthquake ! I took this
list from msnbc.com. It was updated by them last night, Wed., Jan. 13, 2010 (more…)