Third Party & Independents Archives

Divided We Stand

Was watching C-span this morning where two seniors were being interviewed. One, I believe was a Dan Thomasson harking back to the days of Lyndon Johnson and, Steve from the Heritage Foundation who perhaps served in the Eisenhower administration. I immediately noticed their proclivity in viewing the world in historical perspective as opposed to a strategic or tactical view.

I realize a lot of people think that way but I can never find the words or the need to express my feelings on such until something like the C-span interview jogs my pea-brain. Then I must rush to the computer and dash down my thoughts or they will dissipate with the setting sun. In part, the way they view the world explains the ‘great political divide’ we are experiencing today.
I can understand seniors taking the long view as things moved much more slowly in their heyday. Communications were such that a war might be fought and done with before the general public was aware of a conflict. (Some exaggeration is necessary to make my point)). It might be fair to say that the general public of days gone by saw only the tip of the iceberg in politics and government such as an occasional speech by a President or the effect of a long standing policy.
Even with the up to the minute reporting, Internet blogging, etc, many people still take the long view relative to politics and government. I frequently get comments that ‘government is a slow process as it should be’ or ‘don’t rush to judgment’ on this issue or that. For instance, in response to a caller lambasting Bush and the Iraq war one senior suggested that he wasn’t rushing to judgment, that overtime we may well find that people come to view Bush’s legacy war as positive. Said with a totally relaxed composure one might take on reflecting that yes, it might be true that in a few billion years the earth might have a problem with the sun.
Now, my reaction to the Iraq war is a more short sighted approach. I want to see each bullet as it is fired. I want to ascertain if the target was hit, measure the wound and blood loss and make an assessment on the war effort right then and there. One senior summed up President Obama by alluding to his Nobel Prize speech as ‘a defining point’ and that it would take years to assess whether he lived up to his ‘defining moment’. That’s it?? I can’t sleep some nights for wondering if there is some SEIU guy out there beating people away from the poles, or if some Jeffersonite is stuffing his freezer with ill-gotten gains. Can you phantom such audacity? One senior suggest that in a year or so there needs to be some financial regulation. What about six months ago? Today? Big bonuses using tax payer dollars, etc. Next year shore as hell don’t cut it for me. This is 2010 (more exaggeration)! Banks and oil companies sure aren’t operating on the long view. They are slicing and dicing, using them computers to make femto second stock trades, etc.
Seems many people accept the ‘sausage making’ as normal, just the daily grind in making law. Like they are totally outside the process, that it will have no adverse affect on them or theirs. Therein, lies part of the great divide. Some are willing to ‘give them the benefit of the doubt’, give them their support and wait about 20 years to see how effective this one or that one was. Nah, I like to measure the bullet holes.
And, I can early on tell you this. The debt is real. It ain’t no exaggeration. Wait and see, if you want.
Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by Roy Ellis at December 27, 2009 1:06 PM
Comment #293087

Roy, take a breath. The song Father and Son comes to mind. I don’t know your age, but reading this post sounds like an over caffinated version of some child that can’t wait on Santa.

Take your time. Think a lot. Think of everything you’ve got.

Posted by: gergle at December 27, 2009 2:06 PM
Comment #293091

Wrong approach gergle. Think of everything other folks don’t have. Measure the wounds and the blood flow. How many with no jobs, pensions shot, home equity shot, homes foreclosed, on the street, no healthcare, drowning in debt, hungry?
“” Take your time. Think a lot”“. Wasn’t so long ago one bread winner took care of a family. Few to none needed loans for cheap education. Two wage earners holding multiple low wage jobs and still can’t make it. Competing with illegals for low silled jobs. etc ad nauseum.
But, I do agree somewhat. We can wait 50 years and see how things look.
Pushing 70 and can’t hardly wait for real reform.
My cause is for the future of my grand kids and beyond. Right now each will be born into approx $200k of debt.
Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 27, 2009 3:54 PM
Comment #293099

Well, maybe when I am 72 I will take a more mature and enlightened repose on the world’s problems.
IMO Bush and Obama are failed Presidents but I certainly have no hate for either of them. I would have hate for a Saddam , Khmer Rouge dudes, etc.
Pure tautology but, IMO Iraq’s fate was sealed when Bush/Cheny and the oil patch gang had their secret meeting in the White House. By the way, where are those missing emails? I don’t see gaining access to the oil fields and liberating a benighted region worth the lives of four thousand plus U.S. soldiers. And then, there’s the upteen trillions of dollars wasted.
IMO no person could become a ‘successful’ President in this Corpocracy. Obama said so many things during the campaign that he has had to reneg on. Someone other than Beck and me has painted the administration as being full of radicals, socialists, communists and the like. Today a Wash Post editorial alluded to the radical side. Seems the administration is adding development of nations to their human rights agenda. Alongside oppression, tyranny and torture human rights will now include oppression of want, want of food, want of health, and want of equality in law. Same thing to old Soviet Union pushed for years, often berating the U.S for failure to implement government run healthcare. In a speech Hillary spelled out their human rights position in a broad context. The post editor states that human rights and liberty, free expression and religion are unique in that both are natural and universal, existing so long as governments do not suppress them. Health care, shelter and education are desirable social services and depend on resources government may or may not have. In a speech Ms. Clinton gave in Morocco she said the U.S. would focus on education, science and technology and entrepreneurship, all foundations of development. No mention of democracy.
As Beck suggest Obama is aiming to transform the world using your tax dollars. Working middle class, hold on to your nigh empty wallets. More busting up the middle class coming.
Christine posted “I suspect that some of those most caught up in the passions of the day are actually apprehensive that future historians will indeed find positive aspects of the Bush years. It will undermine their certainty”.
Well, I don’t expect to live long enough to have my certainty undermined. My goal is to restore our ‘Mayberry’ and ‘Leave it to Beaver’ way of life. From today’s Post I see that Prince George’s and Montgomery county are complaining that they received only $2m of the requested $4.6M for anti-gang funds between their borders. N. Va. is receiving $3m per year for their operations. Then we have the federally administered Regional Area Gang Enforcement program and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Gang Investigators Network, ad infinitum.
On a broader scale we find that Mexico is doing a rethink on their drug gang project propped up by some $1.4B in U.S. taxpayer dollars. They seem to be losing the fight and are considering touting education rather than shooting it out with them. Still, they recently purchased German made (with U.S. taxpayer dollars of course) assault rifles that fire 750 rounds per minute. 6000 killed this year creating 7000 orphans and displacing 100k people, most of whom have fled across the river to Texas. The politicians, business folks, including the mayor of Juarez now sleep or keep a residence in El Paso. The chief human rights advocate now lives on the U.S. side.
Open borders, rampant killings, drug gangs throughout the land. Seems to be business as usual. Let’s hang back and look at this thing again in another 50 years or so.
I know a failed government when I see one. I’m sourcing the bullets and measuring the wounds.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 27, 2009 7:39 PM
Comment #293100


I like the idea of Mayberry or Leave it to Beaver etc too. But consider how we get those sorts of places. To get that kind of stability, you have to have very little diversity and not much mobility. Remember, the Mayberry folks pretty much stayed around forever, even for generations.

And, BTW, you look back on the “good old days” from the vantage point of 50 years. It probably didn’t look so good at the time, you know, with the threat of nuclear war, all sorts of violence in the third world, Vietnam war on the horizon and a world war only a short time ago (it would be around 1990 if we translate to our times).

Posted by: Christine at December 27, 2009 8:07 PM
Comment #293101

Roy, when the fat cats screw the economy up, the common people suffer. One can argue that the common people deserve to be treated this way because they are the ones who enable the system and they refuse to take responsibility for changing it.

Those who benefit most from the system want nothing to do with changing the system. Everyone else is afraid of change and they are constantly bombarded with the two party propaganda that is designed to enhance those fears. Example, both political parties constantly propagandize the lie that the liberals represent the left.

Socialism failed because the countries that tried it were constantly economically wared upon by the capitalist countries, and because they tried to socialize the entire economy. More importantly, because the people refused to take responsibility, refused to dictate and instead, accepted decree after decree.

Our people are the same. They refuse to take responsibility for what our government does. Rather than dictate to our government we let it dictate to us and all we do is bitch about the outcome. Those who hold power know this about us and they take full advantage of it. Divide and Conquer.

Posted by: jlw at December 27, 2009 8:18 PM
Comment #293103

Agree jlw. Joel refers to delusional people in a delusional democracy. Simply put, government reflects its people. Appalling what people will accept for governmentin 2010. And the excuses to do nothing more than bitch! Oh, the duopoly has such a stranglehold that a third party is impossible, there is no other way, etc. d.a.n has it right. When there is enough pain and misery people will take some action. Even today, if the TEA partiers were to form a movement under some fair haired dude they could take the Presidency in 2012, no doubt. But, IMO it would come to naught. Reform has to come through a grassroots 3rd party and replace the sitting congress. Also, has to come with some rules to prevent the Party from being co-opted by corrupting influences.
Christine, if you like the Mayberry scene then you would support less diversity, smaller population, less government in your life, secure borders with inspection of every transport to restrict the drug flow. Is there something you prefer more than Mayberry?

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 27, 2009 10:21 PM
Comment #293104


Yes. I prefer the diversity and freedom of the United States of today. I like Mayberry on television. I like the idea of Mayberry, but I don’t think I would really want to live there and we Americans cannot go back.

Posted by: Christine at December 27, 2009 10:56 PM
Comment #293106

The BHO admininstration came to power facing at least as many problems as the first FDR administration. Calling it a failed administration after only one year in office is the very definition of a rush to judgement and appears reflexive.
So far, we will see important health care reform,the economy has been steered away from the brink, we will again be discussing arms control with Russia instead of gearing up for another Cold War, our Iraq involvement is winding down, global respect for the US is rising. His administration is making encouraging progress dealing with difficult problems. Are you looking for a president or a magician?

No doubt in time the Bush administration will be viewed in a more positive light by those same individuals that percieve St. Reagan as a great president,a practice requiring a good deal of Orwellian fantasy.

Posted by: bills at December 28, 2009 12:00 AM
Comment #293114

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely
Can there be a more appropriate quote for the current US condition? Is Mayberry USA really such a bad idea? Does it mean a regression or progression from our current economic times? As with anything it is a matter of personal opinion, yet there are some factors that most never consider. Those small towns were pretty much self sufficient and people didn’t have to commute half the day just to go to a job that made them miserable. Providing they even have a job these days. It did not mean people did not travel. The park system was being expanded and they had more visitors than they do now. It may not have been perfect but who in their right or left mind would want a utopian world. I keep hearing how we should just wait and let things work themselves out. That has got to be the craziest set of ideas I’ve ever come across. Who is going to make the changes, who will make the sacrifices, are you the one who walks past the couple fighting without offering help to the victim, the child being kidnapped? Just who is this person “WHO”? How many have forgotten that the Supreme Court interprets law; not makes the laws? Here is an analogy that can be easily visualized: take a tree; cut all the branches from one side; as this tree grows it will lean in the direction of the branches. After awhile either a storm will come along blowing the tree over or it will begin to lean so far even it’s roots will get pulled from the ground. Is this where this country now stands - with a storm beginning to force it to sway back and forth? We all talk about how history repeats itself. Funny but the USA doesn’t have much of a history…yet. With all the traveling I have done, I have yet to see any town using a 3 digit date for incorporation. There are no Aquaducts or Colluseums crumbling with age, no Stone Henge to marvel at. Some of our biggest veterans cemetaries are in Europe not here. So whose history are we going to learn from? I believe we should make our own history, not one that has been tried before. We are supposed to have a Constitutional Republic along with a set of rights to give us the freedom to choose that path. Why did we let that go? Because someone came here and blew up some buildings, killed some people - oh hypocracy - at least it wasn’t a Mongol Horde riding down on us. Get real people - this country is a child in the age of history. We will stumble, fall, get up but in the end it is up to each of us to decide how we will survive it. We are divided because we choose to be. Choose what it is you really want and be part of history not a bystander.

Posted by: Kathryn at December 28, 2009 9:53 AM
Comment #293119

Pretty much ‘Mayberry’ here. County has 6k population, one caution light and two or three burgs. I do get a little annoyed living on a dirt road with a 20 incher on the ground. True, Mayberry ain’t coming back but can’t we do without the gangs and drugwars?
Kathyrn, well stated. You seem to agree with many of us that we have been beyond complacent, didn’t pay attention to Tommy Jefferson homilies and handed our Republic over to the Corpocracy. Only natural that business international would push for globalization, one currency, ‘harmonizing’ of trade, admin and security laws, one language, EU’s and regional trade zones, and everything else that would facilitate their bottom line. All about business, their business, like it or leave it. They would very much like all people of the world to wear little service uniforms of the same color with a company logo stamped front and back. And, don’t you know folks would rush out to buy them by the carload!! About time for reposting an old post, ‘a globalized world’.
But, I have made up my mind what I want. I’ll list a few to cut down on tautology. Fair trade vs. free trade, a VAT trade tax that would immediately balance our trade deficit by leveling the playing field, a flat 17% income tax, abolishment of Corporate Personhood and Money is Free Speech, clean elections sans the money influence, election day a national holiday, secure borders, restrict drug and people trafficing, stop the use of illegal workers as an economic policy. That’s enough for a starter, all spelled out on the Vision for USA page

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 28, 2009 4:26 PM
Comment #293120


If you take ‘globalization’ to its logical conclusion somewhere down stream, what might our world be like? Let’s take a well needed vacation to, say, Kenya in 2050. You get in your car and head for the airport. Except for the color, your car looks like all the other cars on the road because it has been determined that one model of car can be manufactured for less. You get on your plane and you know exactly where you want to sit, as you know the layout well. That’s because all the planes are the same, except the color. The wings are made in Europe, the engines in Asia, and the rest in America. You know, the northsouthmiddleamerica. It was determined that it’s more efficient to manage aviation if all the planes operate the same. Cuts down on training for all involved. When you get up in the air you fly at the same speed as all the other planes. See, a computer in Tibet, the only remaining cheap labor market in 2050, controls the speed and route for all the flights that are in the air at any one time. On arriving in Nairobi you head for the Stanley Long Bar for a cool one, only to find that it’s been replaced by a 43 story hotel. So, you try the Lemon Tree restaurant and can’t believe what you find. A McDonald’s has replaced the restaurant and a tall statue of Ronald McDonald stands where the lemon tree once grew. So, you have a #6 chicken and retire for the evening. Next day you rent a car and head for the bush. It’s comfortable to drive as it’s just like the one you have at home, except for the color. Wonder of wonders, the roads to the bush are not dusty or muddy. They are just like your roads back home. Fifty foot, well groomed right-of-ways, with concrete drainage infrastructure. Even the signage is the same, except for the color. Makes it easy to drive and it’s cheaper to manufacture that way. You head for the Rift Valley and your mind wanders to a thatched roof motel alongside a river or lake. You arrive, with big expectations and find your hotel is 43 stories of steel and glass. Looks like the hotel back in your hometown and the one in Nairobi, except for the color. Puzzled by this you check in and try to find someone who speaks English. Well, its not called English anymore. It’s called ‘one world’. So you ask the attendant if he speaks ‘one world’ and, wonder of wonders, everyone there speaks the same language. In fact, you notice they have your mannerisms, even seem to have the same knowledge level as you. That’s because education, culture, etc. is taught from the same textbooks. Also, it’s way cheaper to manufacture them in one language. First question you ask is, what happened to the thatched roof venue and why does a hotel in the bush need to be 43 stories tall. They remind you that some years ago it was determined that some countries had to many people and some to few. So people were spread out across the world to balance things out. It was determined that for a balanced population a 43-story hotel building was needed for each locality. And, they are cheaper to build that way. After dinner you watch CNN WorldWide for a couple of hours and hit the sack. Next day you find a guide and head for the bush. On the way you try to find some commonality with your guide and start a discussion in ‘one world’. You find he makes $4.73 an hour as a guide, which is the same as a fishing guide charges on Lake Anna back in Virginia. He tells you his brother is a welder and makes $5.10 and hour, same as your welder neighbor back in Virginia. You tell him you work as an engineer and make $8.23 an hour. He relates that his neighbor is an engineer working for Microsoft and he makes $8.23 too. Seems to be pretty well accepted around the world that wages are fixed for each skill or trade, except in Tibet. You ask him what an executive or CEO makes. He doesn’t know and you don’t either so you just go quite for a few miles. As you enter the valley you expect to see native hut villages but all you’ve seen is small Jim Walters style homes, all different colors, along the highway. People seem to be wearing Nike tennis shoes and those slinky nylon sports shirts and shorts with the holes punched in them for airflow. All different colors. You see nobody standing around on one foot much less drinking cows blood through a straw. With some chagrin you ask, where are the lakes with the pink flamingos? Dried up he says, because of over population. He related that the balanced population delivered to his area was just too much for the natural environment to handle. As you turn to head back to the hotel you note that you’ve seen no wild life. No, he said, our balanced population included a lot of Asians and before their culture could be changed they ate all the wild life. Disgusted with your vacation you cut it short and start thinking about going back to work. After boarding your plane for the return trip you sit back and think about the highlights of your vacation. You wonder if the textbooks they use are different colors. Seeking solace, sanity and friendship you pop on the video screen and click on A relaxing smile comes to your face … . .

((you might want to return to your old high school and thumb through some text books. Won’t be much there you will recognize, all been ‘harmonized’ to achieve that warm fuzzy feeling. Good for business, you know.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 28, 2009 4:32 PM
Comment #293125

Mayberry has grown into a suburban town of just under 60,000 people since it’s original conception. It has a large number of Hispanic residents and a larger number of Asian residents. Many churches have a Korean, Taiwanese, or Japanese congregation.

There is a large condominium district around the downtown area. Where seven homes once stood, 144 unfinished condominiums now stand at a suspended construction site. 100 year old businesses, churches, and residences that stood in the way of development, all had to yield to build things that generate more tax revenue.

Floyd(actually Ralph) the barber moved out when the bank raised his rent. The former barber shop remained vacant for a decade, and is now a branch post office.

Otis(actually Gunther) died a few years ago and was replaced by someone more annoying whose family moved into town.

The movie theater shows only Bollywood productions now.

A centrally located family restaurant has been closed repeatedly. The older generation gave it up after a younger member of their family was arrested and then imprisoned for attempting to arrange for their deaths in order to inherit their money more quickly.

The police department is much larger, the female officers are probably the only ones not on steroids.

That’s Mayberry today.

Posted by: ohrealy at December 28, 2009 7:50 PM
Comment #293127

So long as they are making money and paying their taxes - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 28, 2009 9:29 PM
Comment #293129

Roy you speak of a monotony that will end up in entropy. There are so many catch words and fancy phrases these days that the gist of the story gets lost it seems. If it is a spade call it a spade not a manually operated dirt remover. Change, innovation, creativity, necessity - the mother(father) of invention or just good old yankee stubbornness helped to pull this State into being. I believe that when things get bad enough these traits will come through again. It may take a hard fall to get the attention of the masses, not just those who are paying attention now to what is transpiring. What I fear are the hidden agendas that aren’t in the news. The carefully contrived attention getters that keep people from noticing what is happening right out in the open if they would only open their eyes: to see; their ears: to listen. It is part of the tactics when one wants to ‘Divide and Conquer’ another. The shift of the eyes, the hand pointing up as it to say ‘hey look up here, don’t notice what I am really doing’ only on a much larger media scale. There is no longer freedom of press or speech. Censorship is alive and well in these United States(?).

Posted by: Kathryn at December 29, 2009 7:24 AM
Comment #293137

Kathryn, enlighten me re your first sentence. I’m always interested in improving my pitch which is open for vast improvement. ‘Call a spade a spade’. I try to do that, IMO. Fer instance, I’m a populist, not an Independent like Lou Dobbs. I want Jacksonian reform, not ping-pong between the two majors. I want fair trade vs. free trade. For instance, I want to buy my drugs overseas. I don’t want to buy foreign products from sweat shops, unabated pollution, etc. I want a VAT trade tax that would immediately rectify our 50 some year trade deficit. I want patents and patent law protected. I want anti-trust law enforced to foment competition. Today, a new product can only come to market through a conglomerate taking their cut.
Well, I could rant on for hours. I hope you don’t see me as a politically correct person. For a country of 300M and cognizant that the population is expected to double by 2050, I am against open borders, citizenship at birth, temp work visas etc that have become the major population growth factor in this country. Might have been alright 100 years ago. In my ‘Mayberry’ they are finishing up a sewerage treatment plant so they can ‘grow’ the little burgs. The last of the 3 major streams will now smell of treated sewerage, or treated until the next flood pushes the raw suff over the top. Want cream with your coffee? In Columbia there are three major rivers flowing in an one s..t creek flowing out. Maybe NYC should have to plant a 1000 trees for each barge of trash they dump into the sea. I would be in favor of forcing major growth areas to divest themselves of people to a point where the environment can support their population. Been major fish kills in both legs of the Shenandoah over the last ten years. Biologists can’t seem to figure whats causing it. IMO, run off from overstuffed hog, chicken and cattle farming is the cause. Oh, you want sugar in your coffee?? I suspect that Va. will ‘score some more business’ this year, bringing more jobs and lots of plastic playgrounds for the kids. Like you say Kathryn, we need to watch both the left hand and the right hand at all times.
Well, I try not to take any prisoners but am getting little traction with a populist 3rd party with a different political attitude. I agree, a hard fall is required to change some attitudes. nails it down properly. Going to take a lot more pain and misery before reform can be achieved.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 29, 2009 12:12 PM
Comment #293139

Referring to Bogota, Columbia in the above post. Well, I recently learned a big word from Christine, tautology, and I admit I have way overused it lately. but it seems to fit a populist theme. A little more tautology mistro - - - recall how the Corpocracy promised us in the mid 80’s that after amnesty they would control immigration? After about 30 years and 20-40M more illegals the people decided to take another look at our immigration policy. Now we are being told they will secure the border and get immigration under control. Maybe by 2040-50 we will want to critique their immigration policy again.
I recall that globalization began in the mid 80’s with absolutely no debate or input from Joe Q. Public. Then later, they tried to slide the NAU thing in, in secret no less, and certainly no public disclosure or debate. Must be super important to the Corpocracy as they feel the need to flaunt U.S. law in working toward the goal of an unimpeded flow of people in the tri-partite region of the NAU. And, more important still, to violate the Constitution in the process. But, let’s not rush to judgement on this thing. Who knows, in 50 years or so this globalization thing may work out well for us. Maybe my lot will be improved and we will have more diversity and freedom. And, remember the Constitution was wrote by a bunch of ole puritanical prudes who would not have done well in this digital age. Let’s give hope a chance.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 29, 2009 1:01 PM
Comment #293142

Roy, there is such a thing as too much regulation. When the laws become so complicated that it takes +2000pages to write them, it has gone to far. Patents are not a bad thing unless they are used to destroy the economy and livelyhood of the people. Research why the Argentina economy collapsed, what happened to the sustainable farming culture they had, it will enlighten you to what I mean. Chile, Mexico and our own farm culture has also been destroyed in the same manner. Its effects will be felt for generations to come. It is not all that sewage you have to worry about but all the pesticides, herbecides and other chemicals being poured into the land. Yes and when there were major floods in NC, it also flooded the factory animal farms and the open sewage ponds. Then look at what is being put underground in abandoned mines. The terrorist don’t need to come here, we are doing a fine job at poisoning ourselves very slowly. How many people ever stop and think about the chemicals they purchase at various stores and where they were located? By chance any where near the food sections or where those displays will be placed?
We are so complacent about what the government does that few question whether or not an item is truly safe. I grow and preserve as much of our food as I possibly can.

Posted by: Kathryn at December 29, 2009 1:19 PM
Comment #293144

Roy, you were asking about my comment on monotony and entrophy. Have you by any chance read ‘Utopia’ by Thomas More. It should be on everyones must read list these days since it seems to be the direction some want this country to turn to. The comment you wrote about World Government +40yrs brought that to mind. The droll sameness of places and people - no color to life at all. How long would such a system last before it collapsed on itself.

Posted by: Kathryn at December 29, 2009 2:34 PM
Comment #293145

From a Univ of Tx article: Metal Huasi, a lead smelting plant that operated in Abra Pampa for roughly 30 years, emitted pollutants that have resulted in environmental degradation and health problems, including lead poisoning in over 80% of the town’s children. The federal and provincial government did not even react when Metal Huasi closed in the late 1980s, leaving behind a fifteen to twenty thousand ton pile of heavy metal waste, at least 900 tons of which contained high concentrations of lead, in Abra Pampa’s town center. The town center is only one of the town’s three most significant deposits of waste, and although the town’s largest pile of waste was eventually removed by January 2009, 60,000 tons of waste and contaminated materials remain throughout Abra Pampa today. The only measure taken by government authorities to “contain” the remaining toxic waste was the installation of chain-link fences to keep residents away.
With an overwhelming majority of children in Abra Pampa showing signs of severe lead poisoning, the government’s failure to provide assistance is particularly acute. For example, a 2006 study showed that roughly 80% of children in Abra Pampa had blood lead levels higher than 5 μg/dL (micrograms per deciliter); approximately 16% of the town’s children exhibited levels of lead in their blood exceeding 20 μg/dL. Although 10 μg/dL of lead is internationally recognized as dangerous, there is an emerging medical consensus that levels as low as 3 μg/dL are associated with adverse health effects in children, including delayed puberty, impaired vision, learning disabilities, and impaired motor function. The effects of lead poisoning in children are particularly serious—as childhood lead levels increase, IQ begins to drop off significantly.
As Dulitzky points out: “The National Secretary of Mining reports that there are currently over 400 projects being planned or already in progress in Argentina, which means that if government continues to fail to apply its laws and respond to problems in an effective, efficient, and transparent way, there may soon be many towns just like Abra Pampa—abandoned by mining and poisoned by lead—throughout Argentina.”
From another article:
The following statistics give perspective to the ongoing environmental situation in Argentina:
• Disappearances of Forests: in 1914 there were 105 million hectares, in 2005 there is an estimated 33 million remaining hectares of forest
• Increase in Pesticides: In 1991 agriculture reported using 40 million liters of pesticides, by 1997 that number had grown to 100 million
• In the Province of Jujuy, 59% of children from the Abra Pampas have an unsafe amount of lead in their blood, the impact to local flora and fauna is unknown
• The burning of forests generates more greenhouse gases than motor vehicles
• Since 1985, the amount of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere has increased 140%, whereas Carbon Dioxide, Nitrogen Oxide and particulates have increased 60%, 56% and 100%, respectively.
• Since 1914, two-thirds of Argentina’s native forests have been destroyed. If this destruction continues unchecked, all of Argentina’s native forests will be gone by the year 2024.
Another article: Industrial pollution, especially water pollution, is one of the most urgent problems on Argentina’s environmental agenda. Its high concentration in densely populated areas (the one that could be called “extended Greater Buenos Aires”) strongly contributes to the problem. Air pollution from motor vehicles in densely populated urban areas adds to the industrial contamination and results in critical environmental problems. Major environmental impacts in rural areas of Argentina are deforestation, and the associated increases in flooding, erosion and elevation of the phreatic bed, as well as agrochemicals (pesticides and fertilisers) with regard to the generation of toxic waste.
Another article: When genetically modified soya came on the scene it seemed like a heaven-sent solution to Argentina’s agricultural problems. Now soya is being blamed for an environmental crisis that is threatening the country’s fragile economic recovery. Sue Branford discovers how it all went wrong.Argentina’s bitter harvestA YEAR ago, Colonia Loma Senés was just another rural backwater in the north of Argentina. But that was before the toxic cloud arrived.
“The poison got blown onto our plots and into our houses,” recalls local farmer Sandoval Filem˜n. “Straight away our eyes started smarting. The children’s bare legs came out in rashes.” The following morning the village awoke to a scene of desolation.
“Almost all of our crops were badly damaged. I couldn’t believe my eyes,” says Sandoval’s wife, Eugenia. Over the next few days and weeks chickens and pigs died, and sows and nanny goats gave birth to dead or deformed young. Months later banana trees were deformed and stunted and were still not bearing edible fruit.
The villagers quickly pointed the finger at a neighbouring farm whose tenants were growing genetically modified soya, engineered to be resistant to the herbicide glyphosate. A month later, agronomists from the nearby National University of Formosa visited the scene and confirmed the villagers’ suspicions. The researchers concluded that the neighbouring farmers, like thousands of others growing GM soya in Argentina, had been forced to take drastic action against resistant weeds and had carelessly drenched the land- and nearby Colonia Loma Senés- with a mixture of powerful herbicides.
Yes, Kathryn, there are hundreds of articles like these out there on Central and South Am. Mass production coupled with technology is not necessarily a good thing. There are more and more small farm ventures starting up around the U.S. Going for quality over quantity. Doubtful that will slow down globalization and merger-mania. I think China is bringing on-line one or two coal fired plants a week.
Kathryn, I think a ‘utopia’ would last as long as a one government, perhaps in the form of the UN, world could hold it together.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 29, 2009 2:42 PM
Comment #293147

Utopia was a E ticket ride at Disneyland, Washington and Jefferson warned us about such shenanigans, Just look at the present Senate and Congress at great deal of them were their back then.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at December 29, 2009 3:26 PM
Comment #293149

Must be good egg nogg Rodney!!??

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 29, 2009 4:39 PM
Comment #293224

Since us Populists are an endangered species I think we should be immune from bannation.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 31, 2009 6:16 PM
Comment #293236

Starting out the New Year with Panetta, Napolitano and Obama reorganizing the intel agencies is way afar of my New Year Resolution. My resolution is for revolution, of the peaceful kind.

Happy New Year Watchblogger’s!

Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 1, 2010 12:06 AM
Comment #293269

Again this ridulous notion that a third or more parties would magically fix what is wrong with the government. Name anyplace in the world that has been true. I am living in the Philippines these days. There are lots of parties. Like the results?The number of parties is niether here nor there regarding good governance. What matters is that people elect representitives of good repute and forsite that actually believe they can make positive changes. Fortunately there are a lot of folks in politics that fit that bill,though not enough. Magic bullets do not exist,nor the toothe fairy. I you want change get involved with a party that actually might have a chance to make needed changes and push for them yourself. Its more work than benoaning the lack of some simple minded solution and might even work.

Posted by: bills at January 2, 2010 5:23 AM
Comment #293270

Again this ridiculous notion that a third or more parties would magically fix what is wrong with the government. Name any place in the world that has been true. I am living in the Philippines these days. There are lots of parties. Like the results?The number of parties is niether here nor there regarding good governance. What matters is that people elect representitives of good repute and forsite that actually believe they can make positive changes. Fortunately there are a lot of folks in politics that fit that bill,though not enough. Magic bullets do not exist,nor the toothe fairy. If you want change get involved with a party that actually might have a chance to make needed changes and push for them yourself. Its more work than bemoaning the lack of some simple minded solution and might even work.

Posted by: bills at January 2, 2010 5:25 AM
Comment #293272

bills, do you not believe that if the TEA partiers decide to form a new party they could easily roll over the Republicans in 2012? Any movement that can garner 30-35% of the voting public they are a potent force to be reckoned with. Even if they do it wouldn’t make a whit of diffference for within two years their new party would be eat up with corruption by the money influence and come to mirrow the Corpocracy pdq.
It will take a 3rd party to reform government but not just any 3rd party. Has to be a party founded in some rules designed to prevent being co-opted by the money influence.
More likely that the Republicans will take over the TEA party movement this time around. d.a.n is spot on in saying that their will have to be way more pain and misery before the couch potatoes will come out of their seats.
As long as people are generally content with the Corpocracy we will continue to have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 2, 2010 9:58 AM
Comment #293377

It was good egg nogg Roy, First 3 since ?? in a long time.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at January 5, 2010 1:31 PM
Comment #293514

I grew up in the western desert version of Mayberry and it is still a good way to live. However, to make it work you have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and go to work. When your town has a population of less than 3000 and the biggest fat cats are farmers and mid level mine managers you have neither the money nor the votes to get anyone in the state or the federal government interested in your problems. However, they are more than happy to enforce their rules and regulations that cost us a fortune and make it nearly impossible to get anything done. This is also becoming true of the out of area and out of state corporate bureaucrats that run our industries. The Tea Party movement is a reaction to this control of the average citizen’s life, but until those people get invovled in local politics and actually run for positions at the local level their lives will be run by those who don’t understand their needs or problems and have their own ulterior motives. After several years of serving on the local hospital board, I dread the idea of anyone at the corporate, state, federal, or U.N. level arriving to deliver their version of “utopia” on us.

Posted by: jim at January 9, 2010 12:04 AM
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