Archives for posts with tag: chemical

Even for Speaker Boehner, this is epic lying: yesterday, he blamed the Prexy for the West Virginia chemical spill, by claiming that there are plenty of regulations already, so it must be Obama’s fault. In reality, there are loads of unregulated chemicals in our drinking water, including the batch that screwed the pooch for West Virginians recently.

As it chances, people in WV are still reporting health problems from using the supposedly “safe” water. And no one can help them, because regulations do not require the chemical manufacturer to know or provide information on possible side-effects. And so, since there’s no regulations (Boehner is truly telling some really big lies) requiring such information, nobody knows anything about this chemical.

It’s now heading down the Ohio River, and eventually will proceed through the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. And no one knows what will happen.

Because, contrary to what comes out of Boehner’s lying mouth, there are no regulations requiring such knowledge. Since there are no regulations, the manufacturer spent no money on creating such knowledge. So we do not know what’s coming at us. Libertarians and Republicans may like this situation, but the rest of us would prefer to know if we can drink the water or wash our hands in it.

John Boehner is lying as usual. Also as usual, most of the media aren’t calling him on his lies. But now, Gentle Reader, you at least know he’s lying to you.

So what are you going to do about it?

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

When this writer was but a wee cranky lad, he was sometimes bullied. Fortunately, he was blessed with the ability to fight back. So after a while, the bullies went and found other, easier targets for their bullying. Does that mean that fighting back did no good? After all, the bullying didn’t stop, it just happened somewhere else.

Most of us have seen a domestic incident happen in public. Usually, some good citizen will call the cops or otherwise intervene. Odds are, the domestic abuse continues in private after the intervention. Does that mean that the intervention did no good? After all, the abuse didn’t stop, it just happened somewhere else.

In both of these cases, it’s a fair guess that you’d say “standing up for the victim of abuse is the right thing to do, even if it doesn’t completely fix everything”. This writer agrees. There are issues of morality in play here, not just inhuman calculations of efficacy. So why do so many of us appear willing to throw the Syrian people under the bus by ignoring the abuse that is being heaped upon them? 

Yes, Iraq was a cluster-f***. Sure was. That was (as your humble correspondent said and has been saying since before the Bushistas lied us into that quagmire) a stupid conflict that we never should have gotten into. But Syria is not Iraq. Nor is the fact that an intervention went South in the past a good reason to never intervene again everevereverevernomatterwhat.

On a short-term, purely practical level, there may be no clearly foreseeable benefit to intervention in Syria, and  there certainly are manifold risks to consider. That doesn’t mean we should sit back and do nothing. Just as with a wife being beaten or a child being abused, we intervene even though we do not know the outcome, because we know that right now, a basic human right is being violated. And we owe it to our fellow human beings to stand up for them when their rights are denied.

The fact that they are on the other side of the world instead of the other side of the street does  not take away our obligation to care for those who are being oppressed. You know what oppressors love? The same thing that bullies, wife-beaters and child molesters love: they love people who do nothing to stop them from committing crimes against humanity, because it enables them to continue committing those crimes.

Sometimes the media and politicos (and our fellow Americans) can get so wrapped up in realpolitik that we forget about basic human rights and decency. And make  no  mistake, there are lots of Americans saying “what is happening in Syria is none of our business”, or something of such. So take a moment and think: if you were being beaten, bullied, sexually abused, or gassed, what would you say? Answer: you’d say “HELP ME!” or words to that effect. As you should.

And what would you say to those who could have helped you but chose to turn away, leaving you to the tender mercies of your abuser? Answer: you’d say “F*** YOU, MOTHERF***ER”, or words to that effect. And those whose cowardice or indifference had sealed your fate would deserve those words, that shame, that stinging indictment of their manifest inhumanity.

This does not mean that military intervention is safe, or simple, or even desirable. Nor is military intervention the only route to take – there are some rumblings about a new diplomatic solution, thanks to John Kerry’s flapping yap. But no intervention, doing nothing at all, just because we are understandably weary of war and justly suspicious of our government? That is morally indefensible. (To be clear: thus far, we have done nothing. Nothing at the UN, nothing on the ground.)

People are being abused in Syria: 2 million Syrians are refugees, many living under tarps in the desert, as this post is being written. Hundreds have been gassed to death, and thousands more have been tortured and killed by the abusive Assad regime. If we vote to do nothing to help them, it is no different than turning away from the bullied person or abused child who needs our help right here at home.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Yesterday, the Russian-backed Syrian government used chemical weapons on its own people. Russia (meaning Vladimir Putin) is blocking UN action to investigate this war crime. Vlad the Destroyer is OK with crimes against humanity.

Recently, Russia passed some truly regressive anti-LGBT laws, and announced that foreign visitors (such as Olympic athletes) would be jailed, harassed, and so on. Vlad the Destroyer is OK with persecuting gay people for being gay.

A while back, members of a Russian punk band got sent to a labor camp for making fun of Putin and the Church. Vlad the Destroyer is OK with working people to death, if they offend him.

It is hard to imagine anyone supporting or praising such a despicable piece of dung as Putin. Indeed, one would think that anyone who does praise and support Putin is someone who shared his destructive, regressive, authoritarian tendencies and traits. One would be right.

So, then: Syria, Wikileaks, Greenwald, Snowden and Assange have been revealed as supporters of war crimes, hate crimes, and violations of human rights across the board. Think about this, the next time you think about supporting them. When they praise Putin as a human rights icon, they support his human rights activities.

Up yours, Putin. And the same goes for anyone and everyone who supports him.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky