Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Power is neither virtue nor omnipotence

Sent as letter to editor:
Obama’s Losing Bet on Iran (NYT, 1/15/2014) is illogical and offensive. Where is Iran?
In the Middle East, "solutions" to regional problems must include Iran. To paraphrase one of Doran & Boot's own conclusions, the alternative "is the polarization of the entire region into pro- and anti-Iran blocs that feed a mushrooming cross-border civil war" -- and worse. Remember Vietnam? Iran(!)? Iraq? Afghanistan? As Sen. Fulbright reminded us, power is neither virtue nor omnipotence. Hasn't the US the power, grace and virtue to talk?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

NYTimes Bits 2014-01-14

Read The Circle, Dave Eggers. ... 1984 and Big Brother is you. If we all share everything, we have only one un-duplicatable identity, and a community whose mission is to know and support the individual, who's watching? Who cares?

There ain't no "good old days." YOU own your future or you give it over to someone else. "It's not my fault I can't take responsibility for myself."

Chevron / Andy Revkin / NYTimes Dot Earth Comment

Addressing the implications of this donation has helped many of us to reflect on our personal commitment to the environment and the mission of the Beacon Sloop Club. Pete Seeger's admonition, "Get 'em to the River, and they'll take care of it" is the foundation of the Club's free summer evening sails on a replica wooden ferry sloop Pete donated for the purpose 30 years ago ... and for our three summer festivals in Beacon's Riverfront Park. (Pete created that from a junk yard!) Please visit the BSC site, the Club and the festivals to keep BSC sailing!

BTW: the donation was given in the name of one of the Club's Captains -- whose dedication to the Club & local environment is second to very few -- through his participation in the Texaco cleanup. This added another dimension to the consideration.

Sent when I didn't see the above!

As Connie Hogarth says above, the Beacon Sloop Club is one of Pete Seeger's legacies. Its value is in the treasured mission he leaves it: "Get 'em in the River, and they'll take care of it." Free evening sails for everyone in the summer months, three festivals of music and community in Beacon's Riverfront Park -- created on top of a city dump with Pete's urging ... all were created, are maintained with and require continuous funding. This donation has helped the Club focus on the values that go along with maintaining and growing the vessels and community that spread Pete's message.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Iran sanctions ... Politics, Money, Power ... Not Policy

I continue to believe the sanctions against Iran are political, not substantive. Except for "defensive offensives" during the 80-88 war with Iraq when thousands were killed on both sides as a result of the US-backed Iraqi invasion, Iran has invaded nobody. Iraq, not Iran, used chemical weapons. Like any other country, its self-interest has ruled its relations and trade with others. Its posture has been necessarily defensive since the revolution in which several thousand were killed by the Shah and hundreds by the current regime. Sanctions?

Who processes uranium for nuclear power or "weapons-grade" material? US, Russia, China, N. Korea, Israel, France, Iran, UK(?). Who has nuclear weapons? US, Russia, China, Israel, N. Korea. Where are the sanctions against the first four? Where are the discussions? US makes treaties to satisfy economic interests, and the economic slaves follow. If Iranian oil were to enter the market, the price would go down. Guess who doesn't like that free market.

Why not sanction Chevron (incl. Texaco) till it cleans up Ecuador and all the other messes it's made around the world? Actual messes, not theoretical, including those in and surrounding our Gulf?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Beacon Stranglehold

The Beacon (NY) Free Press ran a story in the 01/01/2014 edition starting with "Now that the Democrats have a strangle-hold on the City Council ...". Using "stranglehold" in this context is insulting and inflammatory, certainly not journalistic. Council members earn respect not because of their party, but because of what they do.

Is there anyone who's against "smart growth"? Anybody not want the Council to be "proactive on future development and planning"? What's smart? What's dumb? We, the people of Beacon, Democrats or Republicans, have to let the Council know. It's their job to listen. And its our fault if they don't.

And it's the job of The Beacon Free Press to report what's going on ... objectively.

Vane Lashua