Opening Set Minds? (#196) –Robert M. Shelby, 7-9-13. [439 txt wds]

If anything can waken Tea Party people from their retrogressive, slumberously agitated vision, stir the tired Progressive movements from their sad frustration, and pull them both together into a viable force for solving problems to really improve the nation, it may well be The Metropolitan Revolution. It centers on a new book by Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley, subtitled: “How Cities and Metros Are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy.” I have long held a reservedly negative view of The Brookings Institute as a front for regressive conservatism and corporate propaganda. This book shows how brilliant light can flash out of cavernous darkness to put a new and hopeful look on the world scene.


But, locally, what effect on our world can we in Benicia expect to exert by opposing Valero’s plan to bring dilute shale oil into its refinery here by rail? Can we accomplish more than a brief holding action? Do not the big money barons hold the power over state and federal legislators and agencies to swing decisions their way by flexible means and multiple pathways? Why should we, short-lived creatures, identify ourselves with the future well-being of our country instead of sitting back to let the self-satisfied, ego-sure zombies and their kids dine on the corpse of our world? We’re going to die off before long. Why not let our unfortunate descendants take care of themselves while the world expires?


Wrecking America by resource piracy and ill-controlled exploitation? T. Boone Pickens and Richard Cheney (of Halliburton bad fame) can never expiate nor atone for their careless roles in ruining America for their interests in money. For ruining natural landscape and bringing death or painful ill-health to uncounted millions of people through the Iraq wars?–and now from ubiquitous gas-fracking on private and public lands? They and the groups who are destroying the land-surface of Alberta and Idaho for shale oil, and the mountain-tops of Appalachia for coal? They could return all their profits from the last two decades and it would not make up for the real cost of their horribly destructive works, works from which profit has accrued to few, trickling down to employees, but at real cost ultimately to all of us, not including the loss of things which could have been accomplished by equivalent financial investments, instead?


Monday evening I viewed Gasland 2013 on YouTube. I invite you to find and view Gasland II. There you will see images of the most egregiously careless, mad scramble for more natural gas to be used not for national advantage but only for quick financial gain, regardless of wreckage and pollution.


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