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Showing posts from March, 2018

Invisible Chemical Warfare

On February 21, 2017, president Trump had a White House ceremony for signing a resolution empowering mining companies to restart dumping mining waste into waterways. Several miners and the senators of West Virginia and Kentucky and other Republican politicians, invited to the White House, thanked Trump profusely.
Moral crime
This immoral act reminded me of tyrannical regimes dispensing injustice. The monarch, military man, dictator or religious preacher, surrounded by his acolytes, is announcing gifts for the faithful. But seeing a president imitating a strong man? That was unsettling, but not surprising.
Trump did not hide his pride in being a billionaire. And neither did he obscure his hostility towards the natural world and public health. He denounced those supporting the science of global warming. He promised deregulation to the extreme. He was determined to set America back to the ecological nothingness of the Reagan era. Yet about 150 million Americans voted for him.
Trump delive…

Olympic Dreams

If you can escape the toxic vortex of the twenty-first century and dream of a time our world was being born, you would have to travel to ancient Greece.
Hellenes (Greeks) have always called their country Hellas (Greece). But Hellas was not one country but something like a couple of thousands small states spread all over mainland Greece and the Mediterranean. Hellas was the Greek United Nations: employing the diplomatic niceties of peace but perpetually bickering and, often, fighting border conflicts and, sometimes, real wars.
Yes, the Greeks of hundreds of states were one people with the same language, piety for the same Olympian gods, and similar traditions like reading Homer and investigating the natural world and the heavens.
The best of the Greeks, including Homer, embraced the education of the mind. But they also added athletics as an end and a means to an end: educate the Greeks to live well and preserve their freedom.
Athletics meant competing peacefully in sprin…

Community Rights or Corporate Hegemony in Oregon?

In 2014, I visited several communities in Oregon where, in public libraries, I talked about bad environmental policies: how laws crafted by polluters became national laws and how administrations like that of Reagan went out of its way in displaying being in bed with polluters.
The law regulating pesticides
One of the worst environmental laws is the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act of 1947. Congress has amended this law repeatedly but, in a real sense, it has left the pro-industry law unchanged. Giant loopholes give the US Environmental Protection Agency the license to bless the outrageous behavior of the owners of pesticides to peddle their hazardous wares any way they please.
EPA accepts minimum testing standards, even potentially fraudulent studies, for farm and timber sprays. EPA and the industry allege the indispensability of the sprays. Once these chemicals are in the market, their owners make money and take years in completing long-term “safety” studies.
Since the…