Sunday, September 25, 2005

Gutting the Endangered Species Act

House Committee Strips Away Endangered Species Protections

House Committee Strips Away Endangered Species Protections

"Representative Greg Walden, an Oregon Republican, said the public should be willing to compensate private property owners in order to further conservation efforts.

'Saving species is a noble cause,' Walden said. 'But if it is so important, then the public needs to open its wallet and help pay for it.'"

While the illegal and immoral power grab continues in the Middle East, while millions still struggle to find a home among the circling corporate sharks on the Gulf Coast, the Congress (opposite of progress) in Washington, DC, that great national asylum for the criminally incompetent, go about their self-appointed task of making the world safe for hypocrisy.

California's own boot-licker to the Neocons, temporarily in control of the national corporate feeding frenzy, is attempting to gut the Endangered Species Act through a process of legislative prestidigitation, sleight-of-mouth, distraction and outright lies, fully in keeping with the sorry state of what passes for legislation in this country these days.

Walden (has irony disappeared completely?) is dead wrong on two counts: saving species is not a noble cause, it is impossible. We cannot save species, we can only stop destroying species to feather our own nests at their expense. This is not a noble cause, something to brighten the feathers of politicians and corporate CEOs, it is essential for the continuation of all life on Earth, even including, alas, unworthy human life.

Furthermore, the public already opens its wallet, yearly, every April 15th, to fund the work of the hacks, grifters, poseurs, sycophants, corporate toadies, ninnies and feebs who take up space in the Capital building, defiling the noble desks once occupied by true patriots and statesmen. The public is now forced to fund the gutting of the very laws that protect the diversity of life in our country, and by military extension, most of the rest of the world.

Walden represents the death of Democracy in the United States and its replacement by a combination of corporate and government rule, an economic government, a corporate oligarchy. Though the term has been distorted by popular misuse, corporate oligarchy is also know more accurately as fascism: totalitarian rule by a corporate oligarchy the defends industrial corporate capitalism internationally through military imperialism.

There is no distinction between government and business in the United States. Government neglect of public works results in massive damage to a major city, providing reconstruction opportunities for the corporations whose lobbyists lobby Congress for political favor. The government invades other countries to allow corporations to control their resources, and make billions in reconstruction of war ravaged cities.

Fascism, clear and unambiguous.

Progressive people around the world have defended against fascism since the early 20th Century. Fascism comes in many guises, from goose-stepping, jack-booted thugs to the oily government toady "here to help you." The militarized constabulary in our fascist country guards against dissent, restricting travel to keep the people from attending anti-government rallies, denying permission for unfavored authors and speakers to enter our country, brow-beating client states into arresting those critical of our government policies who dare to speak against the fascist regime.

Fascism, clear and unambiguous.

For evil to prevail, good people need only keep silent.

Leona Gulch
Pacific Plate

Monday, September 05, 2005

The Lessons of New Orleans

One cannot be a proper blogger without making some comment on the on-going boondoggle in the southern states.

Of course, it's facile to point the blame at "the government" for not being prepared, or at the people who did not evacuate in the face of the oncoming hurricane. All are "to blame" for the ensuing human, and animal, tragedy when city levees gave way and flooded the homes and businesses of thousands of people. Now the social infrastructure is destroyed and it will take several months before the people can return even to rebuild, if that's what they decide to do.

The problem that New Orleans highlights with terrible clarity, is the initial failure of the centralized United States government to manage energy in its far-flung and growing empire. This is just what happened to Rome when energy and resources were committed to expanding the Roman Empire into the British Isles, leaving insufficient resources, and subsequent political support, at home. As the demands of subjecting a distant and highly foreign people increased, fewer resources were available on the home front, the Homeland, if you well, and when additional challenges presented themselves, the government came up lacking.

And the Roman Empire fell.

It was a long fall, marked by increasing defeats on the imperial front, as well as crises and challenges at home. Eventually, the troops were recalled from Wales and England, but by then it was too late. The Visigoths and Vandals were at the gates. The End was written, the "Dark" descended.

Except in Great Britain. There, the people thrived, the yoke of imperialism lifted from their shoulders, they returned to their own ways. The Celts held off the English for some time, finally overwhelmed by sheer numbers and economic oppression. Still, in Wales, Gaelic is still spoken, still written, the sign-posts are in Welsh, the Celts live on. Something to ponder on during the commercials.

In New Orleans, despite the overweening, racist pabulum served to the masses, many people live on, taking care of themselves, their families, their animals, their friends, their neighbors. Some of them actually prepared ahead, stockpiling food and water high up in their attics, knowing that they could survive and do well in the coming trying times. You won't find this in US media; you have go to the BBC.

Meanwhile, in the US, everyone's agenda gets exercised: the Repubs, the Dems, the Greens, the Left, the Right. There's something in all this human and animal misery for everyone. Much political hay will be grown from the waters of the Mississippi now draining from the streets of New Orleans.

We can hope at least that those who took care of themselves and their loved ones will be rewarded with long and satisfying lives. We can hope that faith in central government has been weakened, and faith in this particular central government has been destroyed forever. We can hope that enough people will learn the lessons from this tragedy, the results of greed, industrial mayhem, ignorance and apathy, that the mistakes of New Orleans past will not be revisited in the future.