This week, I watched clips on the news of Sarah Palin spelling out the “h” “e” “double l” “no” in a speech given to Republican party members and I began to think about the kind of place where in 1930’s America they could say “hell no” but in 2010 sophisticated America, that isn’t okay. I listened as they cheered Michelle Bachmann and then noticed a note I had written about her being the one that wants to remove school lunches because “no food provides a great incentive” and she says “hunger is a good motivator” for school children trying to learn. That was reported by msnbc on 06-29-09, (8.36 pm Countdown with Keith Olberman show).
Although most news shows were grabbing the clip of Newt Gingrich’s radical statement about President Obama, they seemed to miss the most important aspect which was Speaker Gingrich’s plan to unfund anything the Democrats have put in place that they dislike once they get the seats in the mid-term elections. That plan has been carried out before by Republicans which is why the food inspectors, safety inspectors, EPA and other agencies went from enough manpower to get the job done, to less than enough to inspect anything, let alone enough to insure the public’s safety or to enforce the regulations at any appreciable level. The fact is that now, when the Republicans get the chance using the seats in Congress they expect to gain, they will unfund the subsidy for legally required health insurance such that a family of four with a thirty thousand dollar a year income will spend ten thousand a year for health insurance coverage as legally regulated and not have any help to pay for it. Across the board, everything that may have been even partly corrected in government agencies like the consumer protection agency, OSHA, the EPA, the Department of Interior, the FDA, the Department of Agriculture and the Highway Safety and Transportation Board, that would provide funding to do what their agency mission and legislation requires will also be unfunded by the Republican’s plan. I would say that is more important than whether Speaker Newt Gingrich’s opinion about President Obama has any merit or not.
I would love to see who did this one originally, which appeared on several different broadcasts of the news here and there over the last couple weeks, at least – which is the idea that because the unemployment figures are around 9.7 percent, it therefore means that the rest of the population is working somewhere and so everything is evidently just fine. Well, how the person who said it came by that is one thing, but I don’t understand why it was reprinted, repeated and reported by people who should know better. The fact is easily seen by asking some simple questions, such as “are there jobs in the United States for 92 percent of all employable adults over the age of sixteen and all of the immigrant workers that are in the US from elsewhere, including from Mexico?” Of course not. The problem isn’t that we have immigrants because every family in America was an immigrant at some point in their family’s history. The real problem is that the United States doesn’t have employment opportunities, jobs, business positions and financial opportunities for that entire and complete population which includes every American citizen and all the immigrant workers and every employable adult and every high school to college age student who wants to work. That is the real problem and that is what must be fixed sooner rather than later.
There are some things that rhetoric does nothing but injustice to when it is applied. Or rather, rhetoric causes injustice when it is applied to some things. That might be a better way to say it. Specifically, considering the mining safety regulations that business people thought to be (based on rhetoric) something intended by the “liberals” and the “left” that would simply crimp their business activities and cut into their profits, delay their businesses and destroy their competitiveness. However, the mining accidents which resulted in the safety regulations were forty years ago and common before that. The lessons from those events were horrific and became the basis of everyone, including “right” and “conservatives” and “liberals” and “left” and business people and the rest of AMerica in between demanding the safety issues be resolved if the mines and mining were to continue at all. Then they forgot and the “rhetoric” spinners took over. And then, the people in charge of those businesses involved with mining decided to spend their money, time, manpower and network of resources on attorneys and lobby companies and pr firms and campaign contributions and literally, on armies of people to dissuade the regulations, sidestep the safety requirements and undermine the legislation that had already been put in place. For far less money than that, they could’ve abided by the safety regulations in the right ways as they were intended in the first place and all the way along with a genuine appreciation for why those requirements existed. The cost to business of failing to adhere to those guidelines, whether they are the law or not – is to be put out of business by horrific events such as the one that just occurred in West Virginia.
Along with the loss of life which is hard to understand and absolutely unacceptable, the real costs of buying into the idea that mine safety is just a matter of rhetoric – a matter of opinion to be debated in court by attorneys seeking to remove violation chits against the company, or a matter of opinion to be altered by intelligent argument against regulations as an unnecessary hindrance to business – are that the real costs exist one way or the other, in real terms for human lives, human health, community opportunities and business losses. I would love to know why it is economically advantaged to businesses for the same money to be spent on lawyers and lobbyists and pr firms rather than on safety measures to meet the regulations’ guidelines and to meet the measure of sound, good sense to protect human lives, people’s health and the overall health of the communities where they operate. Are there tax incentives that cover attorneys’ fees and court costs of fighting against the regulations, but not for meeting the safety standards? Are the losses covered when horrific events do occur but putting safety assets in place are not covered in the same manner? What makes it desirable to sidestep the regulations in the first place and put even greater sums of money into getting away with it than would’ve been required to bring the mine or business up to code?
As much as it is used today and in previous years across many arenas, rhetoric has given us a financial crisis of unmitigated proportions, horrific losses of life in every arena where it has been applied, including food safety, mine safety, and others too numerous to name, and overall, the use of rhetoric and perception management at the expense of the facts and the factual basis of reality has taken us from a nation that is the best in everything with a standing of number one to a standing of zero where the best comes from everywhere but here. The most intelligent minds in science, mathematics, engineering, finance, banking, health, languages, even in English – are no longer from the United States. Our country has no longer been rewarding competence and intelligence for so long now, that to be competitive in these arenas will take several generations starting today, if we were starting to do something about it today. And, rhetoric about that isn’t going to change one iota of it.
When the obscene snow storms and odd, extreme weather events have been occurring, I have been so tempted to say, (in the same way our Republican politicians and news producers do), “just because it looks like a blizzard, doesn’t mean it really is snowing or that it is a blizzard – that might be a warm, sunny day with a light breeze, if that’s what you want to believe. Anybody that says otherwise is simply engaging in rhetoric. It’s really only a matter of opinion about whether that is snow or really something else. It doesn’t mean anything. It isn’t really a blizzard unless you believe it is a blizzard.” And, then get about fifty scientists to write nice, well thought out, impressive reports about how the air holds crystallized moisture, but that doesn’t make it snow, etc., etc., etc., – and it certainly doesn’t combine with any other extreme weather events to mean anything that mankind has done could’ve ever had any real impact on it – hmmmm.
(Snows and floods are only a rhetorical argument for one way to look at it, if the lessons are applied across the board about facts only being a matter of opinion and how they are framed or referenced as being the only real truth about them. In the same light, saying America is still the best in everything and number one in this area or another, does not make it so. Actions to restore America to be the best and to excel beyond whatever is now number one in every area is really the only thing that will make a difference. Losing the economic wars of the past fifty years has meant that in real terms, real lives were lost, real families, real children, real parents, real opportunities and real communities were lost or degraded or denigrated, and their future opportunities denigrated or lost, as well. That doesn’t change by looking at it differently. That only changes by accepting it as it is and doing something about it.)
– cricketdiane, 04-10-10
This week on bloomberg, I also watched the FCIC hearings with Prince and Rubin answering questions. They sounded like dolts. I can’t imagine having that much power, that much in people resources, that much education and experience, that much money, that much salary, that much in bonuses and stocks, along with that much in access to resources and perks generally – and to be that stupid at the same time as what they were presenting themselves to have been at the time decisions were made which influenced or failed to influence their company’s financial well-being. That is absurd. When one of the statements they made revealed that being on a board of directors was no more than an administrative function, as it was described by them – it made sense only and as no more than a hospitality meeting with rubber stamp approval for whatever came by them in order to satisfy the laws that require it. There certainly were indications that the board of directors and executives on the payrolls in companies have been paid to do all the things that would’ve prevented the economic collapse that their companies and the US is now enduring. But, they didn’t and then they are acting like that was not in their job description. Then what are they getting paid to do?
Regulations, rhetoric and recession / deordered Depression economy – losing the economic wars through incompetence, short-sightedness, and rhetoric used as a basis of facts – well, it isn’t a cliff if you don’t want to believe it is a cliff and it isn’t a recession if you don’t believe it is a recession and if you believe everything is fine in America then it is – that isn’t useful rhetoric, it is opinionated perception management fact altering that is getting in the way of getting necessary things accomplished – Republicans will strip away the funding as soon as they get the chance, business executives and CEOs will sidestep regulations saying those regulations hinder profits, and bankers / Wall Street players will use all of us without playing fair or receiving any consequences for doing it that way
And here is something else I doubt most people realize –
Exploration study area and location of the approximately 300 lead-zinc exploration boreholes near Winona, Missouri
In response to diminishing economic ore reserves in the Viburnum Trend, exploration for new sources of lead-zinc ore began in an area south of Winona, Missouri, and north of the Eleven Point River. Much of the exploration drilling is in the Mark Twain National Forest, which is managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service (FS) and U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
The exploration area is within a region highly valued for its scenic beauty and recreational opportunities, including two federally designated scenic rivers that are visited annually by more than 2 million people: the Ozark National Scenic Riverways (ONSR) administered by the National Park Service (NPS); and the Eleven Point National Scenic River (EPNSR) administered by the FS.
New Lead Zinc Mining Projects Missouri - Mark Twain National Forest 300 sites tested for mining potential
In response to diminishing economic ore reserves in the Viburnum Trend, exploration for new sources of lead-zinc ore began in an area south of Winona, Missouri, and north of the Eleven Point River. Much of the exploration drilling is in the Mark Twain National Forest, which is managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service (FS) and U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The exploration area is within a region highly valued for its scenic beauty and recreational opportunities, including two federally designated scenic rivers that are visited annually by more than 2 million people: the Ozark National Scenic Riverways (ONSR) administered by the National Park Service (NPS); and the Eleven Point National Scenic River (EPNSR) administered by the FS.
One of the things I have noticed is how the previous Republican administrations have used rhetorical arguments and perception management altering techniques to change agency missions from what they were originally intended and legislated to be such that they would instead act as and become agents of the industries, businesses, trades and corporate interests they were supposed to be keeping in line. So instead of the Americans with Disabilities Act protecting the people with disabilities, the agencies responsible for implementing it became agents of the business communities and business interests to help subsidize them accommodating people with disabilities or sidestepping the requirements of that accommodation required by the law.
The consumer protection agency became a place for businesses to use as a way to buy time, divert the intentions of regulations, to protect their interests over those of the consumer and to genuinely tie up the resources long enough to get away with profits that didn’t rightfully belong to them since they were acquired by selling something dangerous, lethal, toxic or otherwise damaging to the public intentionally. The Department of Interior and even the USGS became agents of mining interests, oil drilling industries and other investment groups rather than the government agencies designed to protect and defend our national natural resources.
The Board of Highway Transportation and Safety, the FAA and the FDA became no more than the agents of airlines, car manufacturers and drug companies who wanted the stamp of approval to get away with murder for a profit unhindered by legislation demanding common sense public safety measures. And, worst of all, the US Treasure, the SEC and the other protectors of sound financial and fiduciary responsibility became agents of an investment community, financiers and bankers who have absolutely no conscience whatsoever with regard to their actions and the great ripples of harm that their actions can and do cause directly and indirectly.
Our officers of every agency in the federal and state governments have been serving the interests of those businesses they were designed to be regulating, or where those agencies were intended to be enforcement tools of legislation and regulations on those businesses, business practices, industries and in the interest of public safety. At the same time, resources have been diverted to areas where the public interest was not served and the job originally intended for these agencies didn’t get done to the tune of millions and even in some cases, billions of dollars, with tremendous losses of lives and health, and with the same job now needing to be done which should’ve been done in the first place.
Well, the system is broken say many people and most of the free world. America’s government is broken. But, the system isn’t broken because it continues to serve itself and its own interests using our money just fine. It isn’t broken. It is thriving. As in places around the world, the governments are doing just fine. It is the people that are dying, that are starving, that are homeless, that are in disarray, that are being subjected to heinous crimes, that are in danger or whose health is being destroyed by these things whether in the United States or anywhere else. The government is thriving but the people it is designed to serve, are not thriving but are suffering instead.
Governments, businesses, currency, money, stocks, bonds, assets, property, residences, mortgages, wages, corporations, commercial property, resources, national assets, natural resources, goods, services, and life generally are the inventions of mankind intended to serve people, not the other way around as it has become. Without serving the people, these inventions of concept and commonality serve no purpose except the demise of mankind and of communities and of our future. They cannot and do not exist without us. They can serve their own interests only so long before they create their own demise as well by failing to adhere to the simple principle upon which they were founded that is, their founding purpose is to serve the needs of the people and not their own ends in and of themselves.
A corporate entity is not a person. It does not have the conscience of a person. It doesn’t have the consciousness or the soul or the mind or the mentality or the potentiality of a person. It cannot serves its own interests at the destruction of the people it was designed to serve without eventually feeding on itself and being a destructive force in the world rather than of good. And, that is where we are now.
Money in any form, designed to serve itself and its own interests rather than those of people, will not survive the measure of currency at some point and will be reduced to worthless values hardly resembling what they had been thought to be. It is just the nature of it. Profits taken at the expense of the health, lives, safety and futures of those they were intended to serve as they were acquired, will turn in on themselves sooner or later and be a liability rather than an asset. That’s why generations before us said not to do it that way. It wasn’t said or expressed with the intention of being a hindrance but rather, because they knew the costs firsthand and experienced them. They saw their own lives, opportunities and fortunes devastated by it firsthand. Why should the lessons they already paid to learn be ignored out of hand?
There was an explosion of a huge tank of syrup that caused a flood which engulfed a town. The loss of lives was tremendous, the cleanup was horrific and expensive, the destruction to property was obscene, the ongoing travesties to people’s health in the community created cruel and unnecessary suffering, and the business profits that had seemed so assured were gone. How could the director and management of that factory live in that community or in any other walking head to head with the respect of those around them? What was their gain for having cut corners and abrogated the safety of the people in their community? There are places to live that are worse than dead and I would say, that is one of them. The mine somewhere that is on fire smouldering under the mounds of earth heaped on it forever burning which wouldn’t have caught fire in the first place if the precautions had been taken that were reasonable (I’ll look it up later and put the name – but at least one child was killed after falling in it and the community surrounding it had to be disbanded,) – what was the gain?
Where are the business people and investors going to happily exist with themselves and with the respect of others after something like that? Where are the profits, where are the futures of the people who were part of that business and surviving in that community from it and where are the useful outcomes? In either case, as in many others that have occurred along the same lines, short-sightedness and the idea that the business only existed to serve itself and its own interests destroyed it and made it into a destructive, nightmarish force for harm rather than for good. And that is evil in every sense of the word, when it doesn’t have to be.