A few more odds and ends at mid-year

Since we are just beyond the halfway point of the year, I thought I would touch on a couple of issues in the news. In no particular order:

But, we have been fracking for over 60 years…

T. Boone Pickens, the famous oil man, was on CBS Good Morning News talking about how safe fracking is and we have been doing it for over 60 years. This is a common refrain from people in the fossil fuel industry to indicate how safe a process it is. This line of reasoning is disingenuous, as while that is true, the way they are fracking now, both vertically and horizontally, has only been done for the last few years. Fracking has never been safe, it is just people outside the industry are paying attention more. But, the new process has significantly greater pressure points where failure can occur. I also was tickled that Mr. Pickens pretended not to be aware of the $3 million jury award against a fracker for a family whose health has been impacted. Of course, he is aware of this as it is “a canary in a coal mine,” pun intended.

When every issue is a political game, nothing gets done…

I saw a funny line in the Letter to the Editor section of my paper. If Congress can sue the President for aggressive executive actions, can we sue Congress for dereliction of duty.  Most Americans are weary of all the political gamesmanship in some “zero-sum game of chess” where someone must win and someone must lose. Common Core was a bipartisan plan favored by business and teachers for the US to compete better globally. But, with the President behind it, the extremists in the opposing party had to be against it and now some states are repealing it. It should be improved not gotten rid of, so says the teachers. Obamacare is patterned after a Republican idea in Romneycare that was supported by Tea Party leadership for the whole country. Once Obamacare was passed, the leadership said BOTH Romneycare and Obamacare was unconstitutional. Again, Obamacare, which is showing some success, should be improved, but not repealed, so says the majority of voters.

The US and the world has some challenges, cooler heads must prevail…

As I wrote in an earlier post quoting a line from the movie Troy, “war is old men talking and young men dying.” Women are also dying as soldiers and pawns in extremist and terrorist actions. If we are going to commit people to die, let’s makes sure we know who we are fighting against, who we are fighting with, what are we fighting for, what will be different if we do fight and, above all things, are their diplomatic and economic pressures that could be deployed to avoid killing people.

The President has done some things poorly, but he should be commended for rallying countries together to economically punish Russia. The worst punishment for Russia is they are made to look untrustworthy like their leader which has led to an exit of capital. This is far from over, but so far, we have stayed away from a far worse scenario. Obama was too slow to act in Syria, but doing due diligence and helping on a targeted basis in Iraq is a judicious move. The last thing we need to do is bomb the hell out of people before we know what is what. And, we certainly should not be listening to a former Vice President, who did exactly that on top of a lie as a reason to invade,

The response to 9/11 is making the US look bad….

Many of our allies were 100% behind us after 9/11. However, as we set up the apparatus to make our country safer,  we have stepped on not only US citizens’ rights, but the rights of others around the world. I recognize spying has been going on since the dawn of civilization, but we have to treat our allies with better respect, if we want them to do so in return. I realize there is a need for cyber intelligence gathering, but we have to have the utmost in stewardship and governance. If this spy in Germany story points a finger at the US, then we need to do some major apologies and not let it happen again. American citizens and our global counterparts deserve better than this.

Our only recourse to Citizens United and other enablers is to not listen…

I have seen enviable activity to garner signatures in attempt to alter election funding laws in response to the poor decisions of the Supreme Court on these issues. Yet, like Sisyphus, we will be rolling a boulder uphill on this. We should try, but an additional strategy is well with our grasp. In fact, we hold the key in our hands. Mute all campaign commercials, as they are at best an embellishment. Obama’s presidential campaign commercials were proven to be 50% accurate, while Romney’s were proven to be only 33% accurate, so you are better off not watching. Those which are funded by out-of-state organizations with innocent sounding apple pie names, are the ones which we especially need to avoid. Also, please stop watching the book end faux news sources in Fox and MSNBC, which provide at best, a spin doctored version of the news. Any show that has people like Karl Rove on it should be avoided, as he is a professional spin doctor. He is paid to put perfume on any pig and does it very well.

That is all I choose to write about for now. Unfortunately, there is so much more on the agenda I could opine on. I would love to read your thoughts.

PS – Please check out Roseylinn’s post on a different take on the Hobby Lobby decision at http://roseylinn.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/birth-control-vs-e-d-drugs/