The Rite of Spring – 3. Sacrificial Dance (conclusion)

So: the moment that changed my life was no physical one, nor religious one, nor even sentimental nor loving one. It was a moral moment. I decided to keep my promise to not take sides, but nowhere in that promise did it say …. Continue reading

The Rite of Spring – 2. The Ritual of Abduction

If anyone knows what a “Jesus Bar” is (that handle on the passenger’s side, that you grab and shout “JESUS!” when the driver puts too much G-force on you, etc.) the Puddle Jumper had two: one for the pilot and one for the co-pilot. It gave me no sense of security that pilot kept grabbing his like a San Francisco trolley passenger in an earthquake…. Continue reading

Circumventing Transparency: Pennsylvania’s Latest Shell Game to Protect Big Energy

by WALTER BRASCH   David  M. Jacobson wanted a transcript of a public hearing conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), May 2. The public meeting was to allow persons to discuss a proposal by National Gypsum and En-Tire Logistics to build a tire burner plant in Union County that would burn about 100 million pounds of shredded tires each year, and convert part of that to electricity to benefit National Gypsum, with the rest taken to landfills. Jacobson is a member of Organizations United for the Environment (OUE), which objects to the plant because of the amount of pollutants that would be sent into the atmosphere. The DEP was happy to provide the transcript. All Jacobson had … Continue reading

Tipping Points

“Tipping Point” – Recently I have been struck by how many times I have heard that term lifted up. I heard it in reference to our atmosphere passing beyond the “tipping point” of 400 parts per million CO2. Climate change has happened – we’ve passed the tipping point. I saw this graphically presented this week in the striking images in the feature-length documentary, “HOME.” I heard the term used in the PBS documentary series, “Why Poverty? Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream,” which I also viewed this week. It’s a look at the dangerously widening gap between the rich and poor, and the Koch brothers and others who are promoting and exacerbating that gap. And finally I heard … Continue reading

Standing Tall for Landowner Rights

by Walter Brasch   Julia Trigg Crawford of Direct, Texas, is the manager of a 650-acre farm that her grandfather first bought in 1948. The farm produces mostly corn, wheat, and soy. On its north border is the Red River; to the west is the Bois d’Arc Creek. TransCanada is an Alberta-based corporation that is building the controversial Keystone Pipeline that will carry bitumen—thicker, more corrosive and toxic, than crude oil—through 36-inch diameter pipes from the Alberta tar sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast, mostly to be exported. The $2.3 billion southern segment, about 485 miles from Cushing, Okla., to the Gulf Coast is nearly complete. With the exception of a 300-mile extension between Cushing and Steele City, Neb., … Continue reading

Former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates on Benghazi

The Benghazi Kabuki theater continues as House Republicans push on with “hearing” that some are calling a witch hunt. An apt description… Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told CBS’ Face the Nation that “some critics of the administration have a “cartoonish impression of military capabilities and military forces.”” Gates, a Republican who was appointed by then-President George W. Bush in 2006 and agreed to stay through more than two years of President Obama’s first term, repeatedly declined to criticize the policymakers who devised a response to the September 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens. “Frankly, had I been in the job at the … Continue reading