Soap Box

My very own cute little soap box!

Posts Tagged ‘absence of congressional oversight’

Climate Change

Posted by eemilla on October 15, 2009

The facts supporting climate change have been widely reported across numerous media outlets; I wanted to post this to add one more blog to the list in support of making drastic changes to our lifestyles.

Climate change is just one of the many ills our society suffers because of our addiction with fossil fuels.  Looking for purportedly cheap coal, we send fellow citizens to work in coal mines; once the vein dies or becomes too expensive, we raze the mountains and dump the top into the surrounding valleys creating wastelands in lieu of forested habitats.  Those stream beds supply someone’s water somewhere in the chain are then filled with poisons and waste from the mining, and during rainy years like this one the fills can create huge landslides (which if it doesn’t kill you isn’t covered under a homeowner’s policy).

Our love of the automobile has lead us to build massive expanses of blacktop.  The power of the car has allowed us to move further and further from work and commercial centers which leads to more traffic congestion then demand for less congested roadways.  The fuel for these vehicles will not last forever, and even if it did, its exhaust is killing us.  Furthermore is the fuel worth the national security risk; what would the economy do if for whatever crazy reason OPEC decided to stick it to us tomorrow?  Public transportation was squashed by domestic automakers, and many people still argue public transportation will never be self-sustaining (thanks for a good jab, Doug Gibson!).  Funny how the sweetheart lease deals we make with big oil doesn’t impugn them.  However, as our population grows the stress on the current roadways will increase while the demand for housing increases, and no one wants to live near the noise and smell of major roadway.

Our food is tied closely to energy prices because almost everything Americans eat is soaked in oil starting from the time the seeds are delivered from Monsanto to their drive to your home in plastic bags in the back of your car.  If you are eating processed foods then you have even more oil on your hands not to mention the spare tire around your middle.

Even if our elected officials refuse to act, we can each do something small like grow some food, bring your own boxes and bags to the store, do without the car, or insulate your home.  These little things when compounded will help, but a phone call or email to elected officials can’t hurt.

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Stimulus and Upcoming Bank Bailout Redux

Posted by eemilla on February 15, 2009

With all of the ongoing discussion about the economy and the soon to be signed stimulus bill, I wanted to throw my two cents into the mix.  

Read the rest of this entry »

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How Should We Get Big-Money Influence Out of Congressional Elections?

Posted by eemilla on January 3, 2009

My comment on the HuffPost was truncated due to space, so I expanded it a bit here.

More on Voting
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

The Durbin/Specter solution [to tax broadcast networks in order to finance elections] is great as long as it applies to all for-profit networks; I propose that the networks be offered the option of either providing broadcast time or paying the tax. The provided air time would be required to be either in prime time or a slot of the candidates’ choosing; I feel this method would provide more exposure than relying on the big four.  Alternatively, all networks that chose to provide air time in lieu of the tax would air a series of debates.  As presidential campaigns command more attention from the general public, it only makes sense that the financing reform would start with a national debate. Any thought of subsidized elections must enact campaign limits so that the price of campaigning doesn’t continue to grow.  We often focus just on the dollar amount; in the last election the three longest running candidates were also supposed to be serving US Senate terms.  Allowing career politicians to neglect and retain their incumbent seats while campaigning to rise to higher office (at any level including municipal) creates another barrier for average citizens to participate in our democracy; most small businesses couldn’t bear the cost of an employee being on leave for two years, and I am not sure how many Americans could afford to stop focusing on breadwinning for two years to run for office.

Finally, any discussion of campaign reform has to include the opening of the races; I want to vote for the best candidate whether it is in the primary or not, and the best candidates may not be in the same party.  There are more than two parties in this country, and I am ready to add those other voices to the mix.  I hope that by providing the Green or Libertarian perspective I may be spared of another debate focusing on a candidate’s patriotism as evidenced by the presence or absence of a lapel pin.  Ending the Democrats’ and Republicans’ strangle hold on the Commission for Presidential Debates is essential to any meaningful reform and any meaningful debate.

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Thank you Representative Henry Waxman

Posted by eemilla on August 1, 2008

I know it has taken much, much too long, but regardless thank you Representative Waxman for attacking the shameful abuses of defense contractors.  I hope this brings more justice to fruition than the contempt charge for Karl Rove is likely to bring.

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