Climate Change Heating Up

The science on global warming cannot be any clearer. Human consumption of fossil fuels generates heat-trapping emissions that have been building up in our atmosphere, breaking down our protective ozone layer, which raises the global temperature. This alters storm patterns and their strength, creates floods and droughts in areas where this has never occurred.

As of March, there were 15,000 weather-related records set this year. Since summer began, there have been over 50 heat-related deaths in the US. In June, 56% of the country was in a drought and there were 5,000 record daily highs, causing horrific wild fires.

Our oceans are also being adversely affected, because the CO2 from fossil fuels causes a chemical reaction, which is making our salt water more acidic. The World Resources Agency, and many other scientific groups, agree that this is killing our reefs. The entire ecosystem of our oceans, including the fish we eat, will die without the reefs.

For years we have been lied to about global warming. President G.W. Bush changed the official science reports and the White House scientists who wrote the reports on global warming were either fired or left on principles and are working on their own to stop pollution.

There is also a group of climate change deniers called the Heartland Institute. This is a right-wing group backed by the likes of the Koch Brothers, ExxonMobil, Philip Morris, major pharmcos such as Pfizer and Eli Lilly. Recently, AT&T gave them $100,000. Their mission “to promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems” should be, “We lie often enough, and in enough places, to make you believe whatever we want you to believe.” This is the same group that attempted to convince us second-hand smoke was not a health hazard. (You noticed Philip Morris is one of their backers!) Their latest obsession is denying the science of man-made climate change. Worse yet, they are pushing to undermine the teaching of global warming in our schools. They managed to get their lie into the Tennessee schools.

The CEOs and executives who are only interested in profits will lie, cheat, get laws changed — whatever it takes to keep them from having to clean up their fossil fuel disasters. I often wonder if these earth destroyers, the politicians and others that support them, have any children or grandchildren. If they do, how can they look in the mirror knowing the devastation they’ll be leaving their descendants?

Carol Burger
Mount Juliet, Tenn.

Workers Need Less Bubble, More Wages

I am still wondering why a corporation can be considered a person as concerns political speech and yet not be limited to give $200 a year plus be subject to full disclosure like the rest of us real persons. If that requirement were enforced we would have real democracy where real persons would be equal!

And why can’t people unite for pension funds and health care if they want to? Isn’t that a big reason unions are good for workers? What owner or CEO or manager of a business would not work to have retirement and healthcare for themselves? Why should any workers go without? And on less pay?

If wages had gone up with the economy for the last 30-40 years, debt would have been less, Wall Street and banks not as big, maybe, and not so bubblelicious and dangerous to our economics. What’s wrong with that?

Cheryl Lovely
Presque Isle, Maine

Middle Class Can’t Count on Rich

One of the most advocated and widely held political theories being debated in America today is that if the wealthiest and most financially secure Americans are financially rewarded, all members of all social classes in America would benefit.

The wealthiest and most financially secure Americans are regarded to be the job creators. They are the ones who fuel and drive the American economy, it is maintained by some.

Supposedly, the wealthiest and most financially secure Americans would use the money and funds they are rewarded with no invest it into job opportunities for the middle and working classes.

Most likely, the wealthiest and most financially secure American citizens couldn’t care less about the well being of members of the social classes below them. What is there about those at the financial top in America that would make them so generous and benevolent to care less about those in the classes below them?

Probably the wealthiest and most financially secure Americans would use the money government rewards them with to cushion their own well being and self interests. They would keep the money for themselves. There is a chance that middle and working class Americans would never receive the benefits that those at the top are supposed to send down to them out of greed.

Richard F. Adamski
Waterbury, Conn.

Don’t Slight Cuba

Was the “Rev. “ Don Rollins’ rant against super-manager [Ozzie] Guillen (“Castro claims another exile in Miami,” 5/15/12 TPP) “just entertainment” or, rather, notably impertinent’? He neglected to mention the vicious unChristian acts for over 50 years of reactionary US governments against a small “colored” island which dared to rebel against being a vassal gangster whorehouse for US politicos and. corporate “elites.” He seems to have no inkling that the Dulles-Eisenhower Administration (an early version of Cheney-Bush) chose to turn a patriotic nationalist revolution against fascist thugs into a “Communist” takeover to justify its outrage over losing that handy brothel-gambling den resort. For Christ’s sake, read some history, Mr. R; try Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman in Z Mag, for instance. Some of the dictatorships the US has backed and today backs make the Castro brothers look like saints, which they are not.

The reference to “Cuban America” may be the most embarrassing lapse on your columnist’s part. For his information, AMERICA embraces two continents, North & South; Brazilians, Mexicans, Canadians and Cubans are all legitimate Americans. But Yankees are so “exceptionalist” (read megalomaniacal) that they “think” US equals America and that the whole would longs to attain US “perfection” (e.g., the “health” system or gridlocked sold-out Federal Government). Healthful socialism is surely just what deluded Miamians most sorely lack and. need. Wake up and witness what Wall Street’s doing to you, folks.

Rob MacLeod
Porthill, Idaho

Editor Notes: We don’t think Rollins’ column was a “rant.” He wrote about the backlash among Cuban Americans (sorry, but that is the most common descriptive term for the emigre community) in South Florida to the respect that Guillen, a Venezuelan, has for Fidel Castro, a Cuban. He saw it as a cautionary tale about the risk of speaking one’s mind when it conflicts with other people’s narratives.

Mitt the Liar

Mitt Romney is the consumate, complete and utter, hypocritical LIAR! How he can justify his behavior, lying through his teeth time after time after time and time again, in view of his religious beliefs is beyond me and calls into question the quality of his character in every respect. Is this the sort of person we want as our President? This man is a Bishop in the Mormon Church, the equivalent of a Catholic Priest or a Protestant Pastor. His behavior does not match the position. Do Mormons recognize the Holy Bible as the word of God? If so, Romney is in violation of the Ten Commandments relative to the bearing of false witness. It appears he will say anything for political gain and that those who support him are willing to accept his behavior wholeheartedly. But then, Republican Party leaders appear more than willing to lie their way into power at any rate.

Thomas Stumbaugh
Camino, Calif.

‘Christian’ Nation

What a distressing irony! Hardly a day goes by that I don’t hear someone boast, or read in a newspaper, that we are a Christian nation. And yet, at the same time, as David Sirota reminds us, America has become the true “Lord of War.” (“Our Economy Depends on Guns and Butter,” 6/15/12 TPP).

“We are the leading arms supplier to the developing world, and we are responsible for the majority of all weapons sales across the globe,” Mr. Sirota writes.

Why, then, since weapons are the antithesis of Christian love and compassion, is our “Christian nation” at the forefront of the world’s arms suppliers?

Moreover, the Christian economic formula, according to Acts 4:34, also says that money was “put at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.”

Therefore, if we were a Christian nation, as so many insist, we’d have no one in need!

The only conclusion I can draw to this disparity is that the United States has a soft, compassionate Christian mouth — and a hard, calculating capitalist heart.

David Quintero
Monrovia, Calif.

Food Stamps

The current effort in Congress to eliminate the food stamp program, presented as a “cut” of $33 billion, reveals a disturbing inability on the part of some of our elected representatives to grasp the interdependent dynamics of a complex economy. The food stamp program does not only benefit the recipients of the stamps but also the food producers or farmers and, through them, ultimately everyone. The program plays a role in securing an adequate food supply, and stabilizing food prices.

Food is a unique commodity, being, on the one hand, the single most essential commodity while, on the other hand , demand for food cannot be significantly increased by aggressive huckstering. You might be able to convince some people, Yes, we really do need that third car, that fourth computer, that fifth plasma, or, though they can take the time off their cell phones, that $1000 wrist watch would be nice, but everyone, within narrow limits, can only eat so much food, and if you are eating proportionately, the limits are not only narrow but fixed.

Consequently, it is impossible for food producers to survive without government assistance, as technology constantly increases the supply of food, while the demand, on a per capita basis, remains static or stable. This is not the case everywhere in the world, but has been so in America for over a century, and today also Europe.

Under an unalloyed market mechanism the supply of food will tend to outweigh the demand, almost inevitably, causing prices to drop to the point where food producers can no longer afford to produce. The correction for this is, that the Government must act to reduce the supply of food on the market. A number of methods have been tried, but the most sensible one is for the government to buy, store, and distribute some food to persons of low to modest income. It is simply a matter of matching up our large food supply and surplus, with our large supply of the economically distressed. This is what the food stamp program accomplishes.

Jim Hunter
Philadelphia Pa.

Health Care Needs Improvement

The ongoing debate over our corporate profit-driven health care system, which reportedly generates an estimated $360 billion in annual profit, has been instrumental in spawning a wave of distortions, misinformation and outright lies; the following statistics might help to challenge, if not refute.

Empty slogans, such as “Best health care system in the world,” are frequently bandied about and seem to dominate the discourse, yet remain totally unproven and uncontested. Of course, it might apply to those among us fortunate enough to have it provided by an altruistic employer, or well-heeled individuals able to afford it, yet the vast majority among us is laboring under the weight of issues pertaining to pre-existing conditions, treatment denied, rationing (!) excessive co-pay demands, cancellations, discontinuation of coverage, premium increases, inflated prices of pharmaceuticals etc ... at a cost of over $8,000 per capita, by far the highest in the world, with very little to show for. Wages continue to tumble, and 60% of U.S. bankruptcies are now health care related, an issue totally alien to other civilized countries around the world.

Maybe the following information, recently compiled by Graedon People’s Pharmacy, will serve as further enlightenment:

Medical mistakes are now the leading cause of death in the US, which includes hospital acquired infections, medical and drug errors, misdiagnoses, post-operative infections, fatal drug reactions, unnecessary surgeries and many more, which accounts for 788,000 deaths annually, and actually exceeds those of heart disease (616,000) and cancer (562,000), which renders us 30th overall in life expectancy.

The fact that close to 50 million of our citizens lack health insurance, which causes an additional 50,000 deaths a year, should be added to the litany.

Contrast that with our partners and allies, Britain and Germany, whose system of universal health care does not exclude anyone, yet the above described mistakes in Britain number 11,000 and Germany 17,000 per annum, adjusted for population disparity, would interpret to 55,000 or 68,000 respectively, moreover, their administrative cost is a mere one-sixth of ours.

Of course, they subscribe to the evil of socialized medicine, which we are taught, any freedom loving red blooded American has the duty to reject out of hand, because it represents a dangerous slippery slope to communism.

I give you a better reason why: $360 billion!

Joe Bahlke
Red Bluff, Calif.

From The Progressive Populist, August 15, 2012


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