Apr 8, 2013

This by an Icelandic Parliamentarian, Birgitta Jonsdottir - artist, activist etc. and amongst many other things (and why I took notice) is trying to publicize the persecution of Bradley Manning.

The FooLpoeM
I might be colorful
and I might paint the air
with mystical words.

I might get you to smile
from the bottom of your heart.

I might fall in love
with everything I lay my eyes upon
simply because my love
has no tags
it just is.

I might dance in the shadow of knowing
I might dance until I drop
but you see I am the fool of fools
as old as the soil
as young as the unborn
never seeking
just being
until I am no more
only my humble shadows
that I have created
to tail me into infinity.


Nov 11, 2012

Letter: Time To Work

Now that the elections are over, let's get to work. Here's a simple to-do list for all levels.

Federal: Get out of Afghanistan ASAP and stop bombing people all over the world with drones. We are not safer for this, and the immense dollars draining away must be directed to constructive programs and human needs. Oh yeah, and add 2% to the top marginal tax rate.

State: The most useful thing they could do for us would be to initiate a migration from property-based taxation to income tax for our local funding. Property taxes are tearing up our communities as retirees cannot bear the same level of taxation as they could when they were working. Besides this, Albany could put some serious effort on energy/green jobs. Germany is 6.1% solar now as a result of raising the price paid for kilowatts generated by individual solar installations. In the U.S. solar is less than 0.1% of electric generation. New York could make those same changes and reduce our exposure to fossil fuel risks.

Town: We should pave the roads. We cut paving from the budget for years now, and the roads are deteriorating. It will take an average of maybe $100 added to your tax bill to restore it, and there should be a return on that investment in car wear and tear, safety, and possibly mortgage taxes as crumbling roads are not a big seller.

Simple initiatives; ask your government officials where they stand.

Dan Welsh
Town Board Member
Nov. 11

Sep 27, 2012

Further Evidence That Global Warming's Getting Worse: Pollution, Disease & Planetary Food Riots Are Coming

Alarmist? Whatever! The world desperately needs some leadership from the USA. Not leadership in the form of pre-emptive military incursions and arming of "friendlies" to spread democracy, but leadership in the form of not shirking our responsibilities as the number one contributor to global warming and the terrible consequences set out (once again) in this report:

Further Evidence That Global Warming's Getting Worse: Pollution, Disease & Planetary Food Riots Are Coming
By Charles P. Pierce
at 2:20PM

Another day, another report about a huge international crisis about which neither of our political parties is prepared to do squat:

More than 100 million people will die and global economic growth will be cut by 3.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change, a report commissioned by 20 governments said on Wednesday.

Read more: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/global-warming-death-report-13098594#ixzz27flsobA1

Jul 21, 2012

Ledger Letter: Chemicals and cancer

Letter: Chemicals and cancer

The last few decades have seen an explosion in cancer. Normally, I would want to back a statement like that with some authoritative statistics. No need — everybody has friends and relatives who have been stricken.
It's all around us — the bracelets, the various benefit events, ads for Cancer Treatment Centers of America on prime-time TV. A tremendous amount of money goes to research to find a cure. That's good — for those dealing with the disease, progress can't come soon enough.

But we rarely talk about the causes. The simple reality is that this is the result of the cornucopia of synthetic compounds we have introduced into the environment. It can't be genetic — changes to entire populations don't happen that fast. We are swimming in a sea of chemicals that our body was not designed to handle, an estimated 80,000, 232 of which were found in the umbilical cords of babies in five states in one study.

So yes, we need to find a cure, but as is the case with many undesirable results, if you really want to get at this, it is more effective to move upstream and stop the new cases before they ever get in the pipeline. Look for organizations doing targeted, impactful work like "Cans, not cancer" (Google it), which is pushing to get BPA out of food cans. Eat fresh, basic foods. Eliminate plastics, fragrances and noxious chemicals at home. Read "What's Gotten Into Us" (Jenkins) and support local sustainability efforts.

Dan Welsh
South Salem, July 14

Jan 16, 2012

MLK Sustainability Quote (?)

I fear MLK is going to become like the Bible, or Adam Smith, or Mao -- you can find snippets to justify anything. If I take a sound-bite from the MLK archive and point it at the challenge of sustainability though, I hope the Karmic powers of social justice will not find fault. Here's the quote:
"The fact is that everybody in this country lives on welfare. Suburbia was built with federally subsidized credit, and the highways which take our white brothers out to the suburbs were built by federal money."

The message is equality and racial barriers, but generically, the point could be "there are hidden subsidies everywhere, and many of them amount to "perverse incentives". These are subsidies that work in opposition to societal goals. The highway subsidy exacerbated the economic disenfranchisement of minorities, but it also created our one and a half hour commutes, and, in tandem with the mortgage deduction (another subsidy), the excess of square footage that is contributing to our energy hangover. The cheap crap that I can buy because some workers somewhere, that have no power to negotiate or other job options, are paid next-to-nothing, is also subsidized, and so I buy more of it. Corporate subsidies are in the news every day now. The "free market" is an artificial construct; things are always skewed. So lets not freak out if somebody suggests we should tweak things a bit to encourage people to act in ways that increase our chances of survival. We created sprawl, and our huge footprint. We are obliged to fix it. The good news is that we can be creating sustainable, livable communities at the same time.

Oct 4, 2011

The Republican attack on voting

"...Restrictive voting laws in states across the country could affect up to five million voters from traditionally Democratic demographics in 2012, according to a new report by the Brennan Center."

Can you say Jim Crow?  Its time to speak up people; you're next!

Apr 7, 2011

Letter to the editor: Indian Point’s danger threat is real

To the Editors:

In J. D. Piro’s last column he reports that Nan Hayworth and Robert Castelli agree that “while safety is their paramount concern, the likelihood of a Japan-style tragedy at Indian Point is fairly low, since a tsunami hasn’t hit the North Atlantic coast since, well, never.” A simple googling of “nuclear accidents” will yield a seemingly endless list of disturbing events from just scary to breathtaking.

Major failures don’t have to involve a tsunami. Recent studies by Columbia University seismologists have revealed that fault lines near Indian Point have the potential to give rise to magnitude 7 earthquakes, higher than the design criteria used for the plant. The more basic fallacy here is that there could be some acceptable level of risk we are willing to take against worst-case scenarios for the metro region. No private company has the right to foist this unlimited risk on us. Ms. Hayworth is very free with references to the wonders of liberty and free markets as solutions for just about everything, yet we hear nothing from her about the corporate socialism represented by the legislative cap on liability provided to the nuclear industry by the Price Anderson Act (effectively making you their insurer).

Area towns, including Lewisboro (2004) and officials at all levels have demanded that we not relicense Indian Point. Mr. Castelli has been supportive of green energy initiatives; I hope he will come out clearly against Indian Point. Ms. Hayworth has a much larger leap to make to join her constituents.

South Salem, April 4