Browsing Posts in Politics

As Carl Sagan would say; there are billions and billions and billions of stars. Throughout human history, men and women and children have looked to the sky with amazement and curiosity. I know I was one of them… and still am.

My first experience with modern space exploration came when I was about 7 years old. That is when I watched The Right Stuff. Much of the movie was above my head, but it gave me a firm grasp on our nation’s path toward space, both historically and within the context of modern space exploration.

About a year later, I was home sick from school watching the Price is Right, as was customary for me in 3rd grade, when Bob Barker was interrupted by breaking news: the Challenger Space Shuttle had blown up shortly after launch. I suppose I was somewhat devastated to hear the news as I was always mesmerized by space and space exploration. I would later go on to read the books and watch the television series The Cosmos by Carl Sagan at the age of 12 and later graduate to the more palatable writings of Stephen Hawking and Buckminster Fuller.

My curiosity of space and space exploration has never waned. However, I have had grave reservations about the course of our nation’s space ambitions for many years as the outdated Shuttle program has continued to prove to be little more than an exercise in futility as the cost of the bloated NASA budget, funded by taxpayer money, has produced little tangible successes and many, many failures resulting in the deaths of the Astronauts aboard the Challenger and later, Columbia. continue reading…

On May 27, 2010, President Obama held a press conference for the first time in 10 months to address the BP Oil Spill which continues to rage in the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the livelihood of thousands of fishermen as well as devastating the ocean for years to come.

Obama actually took responsibility for the blatant corruption in the Government Agencies which have been wined and dined by Big Oil, resulting in a complete lack of oversight to the practices which have allowed BP and other Oil giants to evade proper regulations which ultimately are designed to prevent catastrophes like this from happening.

I have to applaud the President for actually admitting that his administration bares some culpability in perpetuating and continuing the practice of allowing our tax-funded agencies to be unduly influenced by the same industries that they are paid to regulate.

For too long, for a decade or more, there’s been a cosy relationship between the federal agency that permits them to drill, it seems as if permits were too often issued based on little more than assurances of safety from the oil companies. That cannot and will not happen anymore.

I am somewhat skeptical however. I am fully aware that the Bush Administration (and to a lesser extent, the Clinton Admin. before that) made coziness with industry an art-form, yet Obama ran a campaign two years ago that promised to clean up the corrupt practices of W, yet he perpetuated the same practices up until the BP Oil Spill catastrophe brought it to the forefront. continue reading…

The downfall of the American Farmer is quite a unique example of modern corporatism manifested through what is the equivalency of serfdom for those across the nation who try to survive as independent farmers. As the large and powerful forces of Agri-Business consolidate their stranglehold on the American Farmer (as well as global consolidation of agricultural production), we the people continue to subsidize a system which is: eliminating the diversity of food sources; perpetuating devastation to the environment; poisoning our food with harmful pesticides that have been proven to be linked to numerous diseases; and furthering the profit-driven motives of corporations who view the American Farmer as merely a commodity to be exploited, duped, used and manipulated for their continuing attempt at controlling the world’s food supply.

This issue is quite personal as I come from a very long line of farmers. Going back hundreds of years in Ireland, parts of my family have existed through toiling in the fields to provide sustenance for their own survival and the survival of those who are nourished by the fruits of their labor. I still have family in Ireland that sustains a living from farming and those in my family that came to the United States over a hundred years ago, migrated to the midwest and continue to farm to this day, though they are most assuredly the last of four generations to sustain a living through farming as the collusion of Agri-Business and Banking have put them and all farmers in massive debt and left them with only one option: grow what they tell them to grow with only the genetically limited seeds they allow them to grow with and make sure that those crops are saturated with the dangerous chemicals that they require them to use. continue reading…

I am reclaiming two articles of mine that were written for another website which I am no longer affiliated with. I thought I would share them with any readers of mine who might not have read them.

From Clinton to Obama

Reconciling Hope with Reality

Having spent my entire adult life living through the Clinton, W., and now Obama administrations, not only do I have the intellectual and academic tools to put these political years in proper historical context, I have the sometimes rare blessing of actual real-time critique and analysis—rare to Historians such as myself at least. Around the time Clinton took office, we saw an explosion of cable news and right-wing talk radio, and a little later, the internet became a widely available source for the propagation of information from all corridors of political debate.

By and large, this wealth of information would ultimately serve to further divide what is largely a politically moderate population. Rather than thoughtful debate on real issues, the prevailing apparatus of political discussion was merely more than a screaming match between two sides, “Liberal” and “Conservative,” that produced little actual meaningful dialogue, but further divided an electorate that in reality is not too far apart on most issues. continue reading…

With the BP oil spill still raging after a month of disinformation and stonewalling from both BP and the Obama Administration as well as the catastrophe of the Massey coal mine explosion just two weeks prior to the BP Gulf disaster, the left and right are playing their trite and expected “blame game” without acknowledging the actual systemic realities of a Government that enables BP and Massey to rape and plunder the earth for the sake of profit at the expense of the environment and human life.

Rather than exacerbating the reactionary mindset of the “left” and the “right,” I prefer to look at the history of political economy as a whole, and show that the recent environmental and economic disasters of BP and Massey are the result of a system that promotes unsustainable energy simply for the sake of propagating energy profiteers that have had their teeth in our political system for well over 150 years. The environmental and human collateral has been tremendous and is not about the incompetence or passivity of either the Democrats or the Republicans as they both propagate this system. continue reading…

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