Remembering 9/11, with a twist

September 11, 2016

On this day 15 years ago, the United States experienced the largest terror attack in our history. It is a day that we will long remember. My heart goes out to the families of the victims.

On this day, I would also like for us to remember that Osama bin Laden who orchestrated the attack was of the house of Saud. 16 of the 19 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia. In response to our attack by Saudis, we attacked Iraq in what is now considered to be an enormous blunder of epic proportions.

We still treat Saudi Arabia as a friendly nation in that region. I don’t know why. We still talk about selling arms to Saudi Arabia. I don’t know why. We still buy oil from Saudi Arabia. I don’t know why.

Further, if we assume that every 3,000 lives lost prematurely is “one 9/11” then we have ten 9/11s on our highways every year. We have another ten 9/11s every year as a result of lax gun laws and a nationwide obsession with the damn things (should we consider the NRA a terrorist organization? perhaps). We have sixty-five 9/11s every year as a result of air pollution which we might have reduced tremendously if we took action on climate change (is ExxonMobil a terrorist organization? perhaps).

So, will we do anything for safer roads, stricter gun regulations, and strong regulation of pollution to actually prevent some or all of these 9/11s going forward?

I am not hopeful.

I grieve not only for the 3,000 victims 15 years ago, but also for the 3.9 million lives lost prematurely just from these causes and from many other causes as well since then. And, I grieve for the 260,000 we will lose in 2016.

Perhaps I should subtract out the highway deaths? We do, last I heard, have the safest roads in the world. Maybe we are already doing as much as we can about that. But, the other 230,000 every year can certainly be reduced by at least several 9/11s, if we were to pretend to care.

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New York: Our bears are smarter than your bears … and some hikers

July 26, 2009

Bear-Proof Can Is Pop-Top Picnic for a Crafty Thief

This is very cool, IMNSHO. I like that Yellow Yellow can open a canister with which some hikers struggle. I also found the possibility of some level of teaching of other bears to be fascinating. I love this stuff!

I am glad that they are not talking about harming or removing this non-aggressive bear. I hope that someone will realize that the right solution is probably to put permanent truly bear-proof steel structures at the documented camp sites in the Adirondacks. Perhaps I’ll send email to the Adirondack Council.

Thanks rit.


Nukes Are NOT The Answer!!

January 20, 2008

If, like many, you believe nuclear power to be the solution to global warming, you need to read this. If you think France has solved the problem of what to do with nuclear waste, you need to read this.

[ed. note. My first link to this article went bad. I’m now putting links to the same article from three different sites. Reading any one of them will be good enough, no need to click all three. The third is a PDF if you want high quality printing. Thanks – M.S.]

Nuclear revival rekindles waste concerns
Nuclear revival rekindles waste concerns
Nuclear revival rekindles waste concerns

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Valdez — A Deliberate Act by Exxon and BP?

October 9, 2007

The first thing to read in this post is an article entitled A well-designed disaster: the untold story of the Exxon Valdez. If that fails to make you physically ill, read on.

Here is an article from The Nation in 2004 entitled Whatever It Takes, detailing the actions ExxonMobil had taken up to that point in time. I was hoping to find something more current. Still though, 15 years of doing nothing is not a reason to hope that they’ve done anything in the last 3 years.

I read both of these articles in a book that is a collection of articles entitled The I Hate Corporate America Reader. There are many other great and depressing articles in that book as well.

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Dare to Cruise

September 25, 2007

I’m always on a kick to try to convince people to use cruise control whenever possible. Cruise control provides many benefits that I will list below. However, my main reason for being a cruise control advocate is that it really pisses me off when others on the road do not maintain a constant speed. They pass me then get over and slow down. I pass them back they do the same again. We go up a hill and everyone on the road slows down. We go down a hill and everyone races.

I don’t care how good a driver you are. I don’t care how much you think you watch your speedometer. There is no way you will ever maintain a more constant speed with your foot than a little cruise control bot can. It doesn’t get bored. It’s mind doesn’t wander. It doesn’t have to do the far more important job of watching the rest of the road to avoid hitting anything. That little cruisebot just sits there all damn day watching the speedometer and making corrections. Please let it do its job.

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