IBI Watch 10/23/11

23 10 2011



Koch – It’s the Deal Thing

If you want to know who is fighting progress on renewable energy, and doing the most to preserve precious purposeful ignorance in the populace, read up on the Koch brothers.  You can learn a lot about these virtual owners of Congress at these links.  The last link in the group looks beyond the Kochs to the bigger problem – the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, dramatically enhancing corporate ownership of our political process.  Thank you, Jim Hightower!  If you are so inclined – and of course I hope you are – consider joining the We the People campaign.  Hightower links to it.  I have saved you the trouble of looking for it.







A Truly Frightening Number

Halloween is approaching.  But who needs creepy crawlies, ghouls and buckets of blood?  We’ve got a number that ought to strike fear in our hearts.  That is, if you like the idea of sustaining the planet and all its inhabitants.  Check the population counter at the third link – home page to an organization I support.





Humanity and the Animal Kingdom – Three Views

For those who care about our relationship to our planetary fellow travelers, three stories provided alternating perspectives these past two weeks.    First – In my opinion, hunting for food is justifiable.  Read this story about a big bruin that met its demise in Wisconsin.  See if you can answer the one questions not answered in the news account.  Why?  And the secret weapon?  Cookie dough.  Second story – when an Ohio ‘exotic animal rancher’ went wacko, and offed himself, who suffered?  Animals, of course, massively – including some of the rarest on the planet.  Read this link to understand the consequences of refusal to regulate.  Only one quote really applies here.  That would be e.e cummings:  “god pity this busy monster manunkind . . . not.”  Both these stories made me think of my favorite modern fiction writer and his brilliant dystopia, A Friend of the Earth.  In T. Coraghessan Boyle’s (not too distant) future world, endangered species, nearing inevitable extinction, live in precariously small numbers on private refuges.  I recommend this book for its dark vision.  (Though in truth all the author did was to extend current trends!)  And finally – as an antidote to gloom and doom – please listen to the most recent On Being radio show, hosted by Krista Tippett.  Alan Rabinowitz has worked tirelessly to protect habitat for exotic animals.







Hail to the (ex) Chief!  He ‘Saved’ us from a ‘Crisis’

Hard to believe in these days of ballooning budget deficits and hard choices caused by our aversion to our formerly successful tax system, but 12 or so years ago, a very different ‘crisis’ loomed.  The crisis?  Too little federal debt.  That’s right, under President Clinton’s leadership, the US was running a surplus and steadily whittling away the national debt.  Ah, the good old days of a short-lived ‘crisis.’  You know the rest – George and his tax cuts and wars to the rescue!  Review recent history, with a twist, at this link.  And of course the solutions that George and his bathtub-loving buddy, Grover Norquist, brought figure mightily in our 2012 crisis.  A very concise article in the current Mother Jones brings it all together.  Big kudos to Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery.  And while you visit the MoJo site, be sure to stay for the side-linked Kevin Drum story: “’Rich People Create Jobs,’ and Five Other Myths that Must Die for Our Economy to Live.”  Includes great charts to back up the points.  And not a bathtub in sight.




How Lucky We Are . . . and How Much We Take for Granted

Scientists are digging ever deeper into the mysteries of the universe.  And the more they discover about its forces and general inhospitability to fragile creatures such as ourselves, the more it makes you wonder when we will ever wake up and appreciate how amazingly good humanity has had it.


“There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed.” 

-Mohandas K. Gandhi




Contributed links to this posting – Jeff Carlson, Anna Maria Lopez




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