Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Nuclear Plant Operators, A Timely Reminder: Earthquakes Happen

A Colorado quake shook the Richter Scale above 5
today, and just a few hours later, another quake
tipped too close to 6 on the East Coast. No reports
of fatalities so far, thankfully. These events were
scarcely expected, especially along the Eastern Seaboard;
monuments in DC were affected, the full extent yet to be

Two Nuclear Plants in Virginia were shut down; no
radiation escaped the plant, we're told. But depending
on random luck, which IS what we're doing, operating
many aging plants, is courting disaster. Any reactors
along either coasts is subject to a Fukushima-type quake
and tsunami scenario. Even without a tsunami, a quake could
disrupt the coolant water supply, leading to a meltdown.

Here's hoping saner minds prevail among the powerful,
deciding to scale back this technology, eventually
shuttering it in the U.S. for good.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Constitution: Corrections Long Overdue

Our Constitution, much lauded and copied
worldwide, nevertheless is far from perfect.
I can think of several of its stipulations
which should land in the dustbin of history:

(1) In Article One, the granting of marque
and reprisal, essentially permitting piracy,
we need this why?

(2) Wherever African Americans are referred to
in there as "3/5ths of all other persons..."
well, THAT'S got to go. Subsequent amendments
following Emancipation and the Civil War do not
specifically redress/address this arrogantly inhuman,
inaccurate language. The 14th Amendment does change
the basis for electing members of the House, without,
however, apologizing to Native or African Americans.

(3) The Second Amendment should be further clarified,
as the part regarding "a well-regulated militia" seems
to have entirely skipped over too many people's feeble
understanding. AK47s and their ilk should be completely
outlawed except for wartime use, and only licensed 22s
and 38s allowed WITHIN THE HOME for protection. Hunting,
already regulated, may not require much modification.

The Founders themselves publicly admitted they were only
human, recognized the future would necessitate/create
changes to our founding document. Addressing these three
items here would go a long way to elevate, and humanize,
an America now rushing to a deplorable bottom.

Such corrections, logical and humane, are long overdue.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Time for TIFs to go

Since they've become little more than sources
of municipal corruption which deprive schools and
other vital entities of needed funds, TIFs should
be outlawed at the federal level. The original helpful
notion, promulgated by Rep. Jack Kemp, has morphed into a
grotesque way to keep tax monies from the public good
but easily available to the politicians. Since when is
Chicago's LaSalle Street, with its Federal Reserve Bank,
etc., a "blighted area"?? (Yeah, blighted by large numbers
of the uncaring rich, maybe.) When former Mayor Daley
crated the LaSalle Street TIF, the proof was in that the
fix was in. No other information necessary to the point.
According to The Reader's Ben Joravsky, Chicago has 160 of
these, relatively few in truly economically depressed areas.

But it gets worse: TIF funds, which were originally intended
to boost economic development in poor neighborhoods, are now
subsidizing large corporations blackmailing the city, the CME
being one. "We'll leave the city unless you fork over millions..."

So LEAVE, already. The fewer thieves left in Chicago, the better.

TIFs: initially an innovative idea perverted by the greedy, now
deserve the ax. --And soon!