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NEWS WATCH! AMERICANS SPEAK OUT ON GLOBAL WARMING AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Posted in Clean Energy, Conscious Actions, Corporate Polluters, Global Warming, Sustainable Living on August 11th, 2008

POLL REVEALS MORE AMERICANS THAN EVER BEFORE WORKING TO REDUCE THEIR CARBON FOOTPRINT” BY DRIVING LESS, USING LESS ELECTRICITY AND RECYCLING

airpollition4.jpg

Americans in record numbers are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint despite the stonewalling of major politicians and much of the corporate elite, according to the latest ABC News/Planet Green/Stanford University Poll.

Of those quizzed, the majority believe that Global Warming is real, that it is caused by the actions of individuals and businesses, and unless significant lifestyle changes are enacted will greatly impact the lives of future generations. To aid in the fight against Global Warming, most Americans polled support a cap-and-trade system to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Not surprisingly, an overwhelming 64% of Americans polled now rate “finding new energy sources” as more important than improving conservation. Additionally, most Americans admit to supporting higher taxes on oil company profits, stricter fuel efficiency rules for cars, and legislative controls to prevent oil speculators from driving up gas prices.

For some reason, however, most of those polled – - a stunning 41% – - reject describing themselves as environmentalists. Among those distancing themselves from the trendy label are 70% of Republicans and 60% of Democrats.

Finally, on a disappointing note, 44% of those polled favor building more nuclear power plants, the most people to express support of nuclear power in 28 years.

POLL NUMBERS AT A GLANCE:

Ways respondents are reducing their individual carbon footprint:

71% of those polled are reducing their use of energy or goods whose production creates greenhouse gases.

59% are using less gasoline — driving less, or using smaller, more fuel-efficient cars, while others are carpooling or taking mass transit.

60% are cutting their consumption of power and water, and

33% are recycling.

Ways America can reduce it’s global carbon footprint:

78% of respondents support the institution of stricter fuel efficiency standards for cars.

61% would like the federal government to outlaw oil speculation by investors when the speculation results in higher prices at the pump.

55% would support a windfall profit tax on oil company profits, and

74% favor the institution of a “cap and trade” system with the government issuing permits limiting the amount of greenhouse gases companies can emit.

Of those supporting a “cap and trade” system, 57% would maintin this position even if it raised their electric bill by $10 a month, while a slightly smaller 47% would continue their support if the increase was $25 a month.

This system enjoys bi-partisan suport with 66 percent of Democrats, 52 percent of Republicans, and 60 percent of Independents expressing their support for the “cap-and-trade” system.

Why respondents conserve:

34% say it’s mainly to improve the environment.

25% acknowledge it’s to save money, and

41% attribute their actions to both reasons equally.

Why 30% of respondents are not conserving:

20% admit not knowing how to proceed.

50% consider it either unnecessary, too expensive, too inconvenient, won’t do any good, or they just aren’t interested.

GLOBAL WARMING:

80% of those polled acknowledge that global warming is occurring, with 25% of respondents listing global warming as the single biggest environmental problem in the world.

It’s effect on the planet:

74% of respondents blame Global Warming for causing the melting of polar ice.

Closer to home, nearly 60% of those polled credit global warming with increasing the frequency of extreme weather events like droughts and storms, while 43% blame unstable weather patterns in the area where they live on the phenomena.

Global Warming and the future:

81% of those polled believe that if significant action isn’t taken to address global warming, it poses a threat to future generations.

37% worry it will affect them in their own lifetime, and

73% worry that it’ll pose a serious threat in their children’s lifetimes.

Responsibility for Global Warming:

58% of those polled blame Global Warming on the actions of people. This number rises to 63% when commercial and industrial activities are added to the mix.

64% of women polled believe global warming is caused by human activity, as opposed to 52% of men.

Reducing Global Warming:

75% of those polled believe global warming will only be reduced if individuals make major lifestyle changes.

67% of respondents feel that the federal government should do more about global warming even if other countries do less.

Men vs. Women on Global Warming:

72% of women polled reported that global warming is “personally important to them, while

59% of men agreed.

Religion and Gobal Warming:

26% of those polled, who identified themselves as evangelical white Protestants, see global warming as very serious issue compared to 40% of non-evangelical white Protestants.

35% of those polled, who identified themselves as evangelical white Protestants, claim that global warming is “personally important to them” as opposed to 48% of of non-evangelical white Protestants, while

46% of those polled, who identified themselves as evangelical white Protestants, acknowledged that they would like to see the federal government doing more about global warming, compared with 64% of non-evangelical white Protestants.

Politics and Global Warming:

20% of those polled who identified themselves as Republican admitted that they consider Global Warming as very serious,

compared to 53% of Democrats for whom the issue is very serious.
polled.

Nuclear Power:

44% of those polled favor building more nuclear power plants.

Support for Nuclear by political party:

60% of respondents who support building more nuclear power plants listed their party affiliation as Republican; while

33% of Democrats stated their support for a greater use of nukes.

An Environmentalist for President:

42% of those polled say they’d be more likely to support a candidate who’s a strong environmentalist.

Buying Green:

75% of those polled believe buying environmentally friendly products is better for the environment.

67% try to buy them at least occasionally, while

46% try to buy them “whenever possible.”

Green’s meaning to America:

33% percent of those polled believe taking unilateral action actually would help the U.S. economy creating new businesses and jobs, while

22% believe such efforts will damage the U.S. economy.

On a less positive note, 44% of those polled worry that addressing Global Warming will cause them financial hardship.

Offshore Drilling and drilling in Nature Preserves:

63 percent of those polled favor oil drilling in coastal waters where it’s currently prohibited, and

55 percent favor drilling in wilderness areas.

My Notes! These last two numbers, while higher than normal in polls like this, are most certainly a reaction to $4.00 a gallon gasoline, and to the massive profits that the oil companies are enjoying as a result of the higher prices.

Sadly, the poll did not quiz respondents on how much oil they believed was in these currently protected areas? Had they done so, all parties involved would have been disappointed to learn that if all of the currently protected areas were drained dry of oil, there may – - and this is a very questionable may – - be enough remaining to supply the world for 5 or 6 months, tops.

So why then all of the interest from George Bush, John McCain and others of their ilk in drilling in and potentially damaging these areas?

What do the oil companies stand to gain from the tens, and perhaps, hundreds of millions of dollars that they are spending, and will continue to spend, on lobbyists and in the purchase of politicians to achieve this goal?

My best guess is that it is all about control. Most expert’s believe that short of a miracle occurring between now and Election Day, the Democrats will sweep all three branches of government come election day. And with the Democrats will come saner energy policy, and a government less willing to roll over and play dead at Big Oil’s beckoning.

So for those in the fossil fuel business, it’s now or potentially never. Let’s hope the latter comes to pass.

Till Soon!

- – Denis

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CONSUMER ALERT! MORE BAD BEEF

Posted in Corporate Carelessness, Corporate Polluters, Corporate Responsibility, Eco Thugs, Health Watch, Public Service Announcement, Toxic Food, Toxin Alert! on August 9th, 2008

FOR THE SECOND TIME IN AS MANY MONTHS BEEF FROM NEBRASKA BEEF LTD MAY BE CONTAMINATED WITH E. COLI

burgers.jpgNebraska Beef Ltd. announced Friday night that it is recalling 1.2 million pounds of fresh ground beef because the product may be contaminated with E. coli. This is the second time in as many months that the company has had to recall product. Last months recall is blamed for at least 49 cases of E. coli.

Stores affected by this latest recall include Whole Foods Markets in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington D. C., Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Canada.

To date, Whole Foods reports that seven people in Massachusetts and two people in Pennsylvania have become ill after eating the affected meat. The company is requesting that customers who purchased ground beef from June 2 though Aug. 6 to return it to the store with the packaging or receipt for a refund.

For more information, consumers can call 512-542-0878.

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NEWS WATCH! CHENEY REPORTEDLY TAKES KNIFE TO CLIMATE TESTIMONY

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Corporate Polluters, Corruption Watch, Eco Thugs, Government Shenanigans on July 8th, 2008

ALLEGEDLY SHREDS THE SECTION LINKING CLIMATE CHANGE AND PUBLIC HEALTH

cheneycowboyhat.jpgEver the oilman, Vice President Dick Cheney stands accused, today, of pushing for major deletions in congressional testimony linking the health of the general public to climate change. Per a former EPA official quoted by the Associated Press in their posting on the matter, earlier today, the ‘Dark Lord’ was concerned that the presentation of the data “might make it harder to avoid regulating greenhouse gases”.

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HEALTH WATCH! ASTHMA AND OTHER BREATHING DISORDERS PLAGUE KATRINA SURVIVORS

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Corporate Polluters, Corporate Responsibility, Eco Thugs, Government Shenanigans, Health Watch, News Brief, Toxic Living, Toxin Alert! on May 27th, 2008

FORMALDEHYDE FUMES IN LEVELS UP TO FIVE TIMES ABOVE THAT WHICH IS CONSIDERED SAFE FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION, DETECTED IN MANY OF THE 143,000 FEMA TRAILERS SENT TO THE GULF COAST
fematrailer.jpgAs if the trauma, indignity and economic hard times that the residents of New Orleans have suffered since Hurricane Katrina was not sufficient aggravation for one lifetime, many area residents are now being diagnosed with cases of asthma and other breathing disorders, at numbers and levels higher than what is considered normal for the area.

According to an AP wire story published earlier today, formaldehyde fumes, many times at levels up to five times above what is considered safe for humans to breathe, have, as early as 2006, been found to be present in many of the 143,000 trailers sent to the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina. But for some reason, this news is only now being shared with those affected.

This is particularly upsetting because it is just the latest example of what can happen to innocent people when the government to whom they turn for aid in emergencies such as this – and who is supposed to be looking our for their well-being – doesn’t care enough to inspect the trailers before declaring them safe for habitation

But then, much of the devastation present in New Orleans and the surrounding areas could have been avoided if only the Bush administration had heeded the warnings of the Army Corps of Engineers and fortified New Orleans’s levees when the need first became apparent.

But then, this is the Bush administration we are talking about and the money that should have been used to protect the citizens of New Orleans apparently was needed elsewhere, perhaps to finance tax breaks for the wealthy or maybe it was to continue Mr. Bush’s ridiculous little war.

But this is just my opinion, What do you think? Please share in the comments section.

-LIB

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BUSH ADMIN BUCKLES AND GRANTS PROTECTED SPECIES STATUS TO THE ALASKAN POLAR BEAR

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Corporate Polluters, Corruption Watch, Eco Thugs, Endangered Species, Government Shenanigans, News Brief, Presidential Crimes & Misdemeanors on May 20th, 2008

BUT DID THE RULING COME IN TIME TO SAVE THE POLAR BEAR?

polarbearice_djc.jpgWell, the good news, if you can call it that, is that the polar bear got finally some protection from the Bush Administration last week. The bad news is that in typical George Bush fashion, the ruling granting endangered species protection to the polar bear is chocked so full of loopholes favoring the oil companies and other corporate polluters that many, including Natural Resources Defense Council President, Frances Beinecke, believe that it will be years and a number of successful court battles before the legislation “offers any real protections”.

Sadly this should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the workings of the Bush administration, particularly when it comes to protecting the environment. Specifically speaking, one can only wonder if the polar bears, already living on borrowed time, will even be around by the time the Bush Administration’s ruling works its way through our court system, and is challenged by every two-bit polluter and oil company despot who ever bribed a congressman, or funneled undeclared money to a lobbyist?

The facts in this matter are indisputable; as I write this, the polar bears natural habitat is melting out from underneath them far more rapidly than even the most aggressive predictions had foreseen. Now I might be paranoid in making this observation, but as I see it, the only reason that the Bush administration finally went ahead and granted endangered species protection to the polar bears, after years of stonewalling, was because they knew that by the time that the ruling had withstood all challenges, Global Warming would have destroyed most of the Polar bears remaining habitat and the matter would become moot. Either way, with less than a year remaining on George Bush’s term, this matter would be someone else’s problem.

As angry as this sort of political gamesmanship makes me, I have to keep reminding myself that we are talking about a species of animal here, and in the Bush administration and corporate America’s worldview – an all too prevalent worldview in America today – the plight of animals means little when weighed against the potential for profit.

It is no secret that the oil companies have been maneuvering for some time now to get the right to drill in the Alaskan Wilderness preserve. Millions of dollars have been spent to sell this to the American people as the only viable way to end our nation’s dependence on middle eastern oil, and by extension the problems that come along with doing business in that region

The only problem with this contention is that it is not true. Granted it sounds plausible and to a nation of people concerned for their and their family’s future, sounding plausible is often all that it takes.

For the record, the only way to break our dependence on foreign oil is for this country to get behind cleaner, more modern power technologies such as wind, solar, hydrogen and cellulosic ethanol. Corn based ethanol, the standard in this country, is a fine example of what happens when corporations are allowed to dictate policy to politicians. Not only has this movement created worldwide food shortages, but the little publicized fact is that it takes more than a gallon of fossil fuels to make a gallon of corn based ethanol. More importantly, a gallon of corn based ethanol is only about 70% as effective as a gallon of the fossil fuels that it aims to replace.

So who benefits from this exercise, other than the corporations making the ethanol and receiving generous federal subsidies to do so? Certainly not you and me, that’s for sure! But this is a matter for another posting, so we won’t dwell on it here.

Returning to the protected species ruling, the oil companies’ official position is that it will prevent them from drilling in much of the wilderness. They further note that the ruling will force the establishment of buffer zones to protect nursing mother bears and their cubs from the deafening seismic testing, frequent spills, and other distractions so much a part of modern energy exploration.

Now in a better world, this ruling would be a catalyst for change, a reason to begin aggressively developing new sources of energy. But not here! Here it is just a cause for law suits pitting well heeled hired guns against an already overworked and underpaid infrastructure, bled to the bone by a president concerned for little other than that which benefits his rich friends. Sharing the blame for this is a corporate structure that would rather exploit existing technologies regardless of their potential harm to mankind then to spend the money required to make any of the newer technologies commercially viable.

To change this will take leadership the likes of which this country has not seen in seventy years, not since the days of Franklyn Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal. To change this will take great courage, courage of the sort exemplified by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and the previously noted FDR, but which we have not seen lately in this country.

One thing is certain, we cannot continue for much longer on the path on which we are heading, not and retain the essence of what is great about this country.

So my friends, it is up to each and every one of us to make this happen. The alternative is just too horrible to consider.

-LIB

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NEWS WATCH! BUSH EASES CLEAN-AIR PROTECTIONS FOR NATIONAL PARKS AND WILDERNESS AREAS

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Corporate Polluters, Eco Thugs, Global Warming, Government Shenanigans, Health Watch, News Brief, Presidential Crimes & Misdemeanors, Toxin Alert! on May 17th, 2008

THIS LATEST GIFT TO POLLUTERS WILL MAKE IT EASIER TO BUILD POLLUTING POWER PLANTS NEAR PROTECTED AREAS

coalfiredpowerplant.jpgThe administration’s war against clean air and water scored another victory today with the announcement that Corporate America’s man in the White House is putting the finishing touches on a plan, which would make it easier to build power plants near national parks and wilderness areas.

The new regulations, expected to be finalized this summer, rewrite a key provision of the Clean Air Act as it applies to “Class 1 areas,”, Beltway shorthand for these precious natural resources.

This initiative is the latest in a series of administration efforts to weaken air quality protections at national parks.

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COMMENTARY: MORE OF THE SAME GIBBERISH

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Clean Energy, Corporate Polluters, Eco Thugs, Global Warming, Government Shenanigans, News Brief, Presidential Crimes & Misdemeanors, Toxic Living on April 17th, 2008

BUSH’S LATEST ENVIRONMENTAL NON-PROPOSAL ALLOWS CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS TO PEAK IN 2025

s-bush-and-the-bunny-large.jpgWith the release, yesterday, of the latest White House plan to stop the growth of global warming emissions, George Bush all but guaranteed his standing as the most anti-environmental president in US history.”

The administrations proposal, sketchy that it is, calls for letting U.S. carbon dioxide emissions peak in 2025, though Mr. Bush has proposed no specifics on how to do so.

The President was specific, however, in refusing to consider any new taxes, trade barriers, or plans to abandon nuclear power, saying that the coal-burning electric utilities — the biggest single source of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions — need to find new high-tech ways of trapping greenhouse gases.

Per da prez, “if we fully implement our strong new laws, adhere to the principles I’ve outlined, and adopt appropriate incentives, we will put America on an ambitious new track for greenhouse gas reductions,” he said, before adding, “we’re doing a lot to protect this environment.”

Now any even marginal student of environmental issues knows that the president has no plan, whatsoever, to implement conservation policy at this late hour in his presidency, and this entire discussion is just empty words intended to placate an ever more environmentally aware population.

From the day he took office, Mr. Bush and his administration have rejected any and all attempts to enact any serious legislation to curb carbon dioxide emissions, citing on the rare occasion that he deemed to explain his actions, his belief in the Market Economy and the ability of corporations to self regulate.

We all know what a lot of crap that that is!

Moreover, I am willing to go out and a limb and speculate here that we will not see any significant change in environmental policy until Barrack Obama is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States.

-LIB

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HEALTH WATCH! SCIENTISTS DISCOVER HOW TO GROW PORK, CHICKEN, AND BEEF THROUGH CELL CULTURE IN VATS

Posted in Corporate Polluters, Global Warming, Health Watch, Humane Treatment of Animals, New Scientific Data, News Brief, Sustainable Business on April 15th, 2008

HOW LONG BEFORE YOU CAN EAT MEAT AND BE ETHICAL, AND ENVIRONMENTAL, TOO?

cattle.jpegWouldn’t it be kinda nifty if it were possible to have all of the pork, chicken, and beef that anyone would ever want to chow down on, without the environmental and ethical consequences created by the outdated and barbaric process of raising and slaughtering cattle for food?

Well, thankfully the lab coat and pocket protector set think that this is as important as I do and have figured out a way to do something about it.

Their discovery, a procedure, known as Cultured Meat Technology, while still in its infancy, will in the years to come eliminate the need for most of the feedlots and slaughterhouses scattered around our world today, by making it possible to produce ample supplies of different meats through cell culture in vats.

Besides the fact that this new procedure will allow scientists to produce products high in beneficial nutrients and low in heart-debilitating fats, it will make it possible for us to eliminate several of the most prolific sources of methane gas production in our world today. A colorless, odorless gas, methane from cow belches and lower gastric discharges is a potent, greenhouse gas, as it traps 21 times more heat within our atmosphere than carbon dioxide, our most common and best known greenhouse gas.

To help wrap you mind around the scope of the methane issue and how important this discovery is to our continued existence on this planet, it’s important to understand that the methane released by the 1.3 billion cows alive on our planet today, (100 million in the US alone), is more harmful than all of the carbon monoxide fumes generated by all of the cars, trucks and planes in use today.

This does not mean that if we fix this problem, we can all run out and order without consequence, a three-ton gas-guzzler. No way, Jose! What it does mean is that, perhaps, we have bought ourselves a little time-out in our rush to destruction, time, which hopefully we will not squander with distractions, as has been our society’s ongoing MO.

The time has come when we as a civilized people can no longer allow the poorer nations of the earth to bulldoze large swaths of rain forest land to make way for cattle grazing as our society struggles to produce enough meats to supply the needs of the almost 9 billion people who currently call this planet home. Now why they cannot eat more meat substitutes, more tofu, tofutti, tempeh etc., is beyond me, but that is a topic for a different discussion.

-LIB

CONTINUE READING –

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COMMENTARY: TELL CONGRESS TO REGULATE TOBACCO AS A DRUG

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Corporate Polluters, Health Watch on April 1st, 2008

THE LONG STALLED BILL, VEHEMENTLY OPPOSED BY THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY, WILL GRANT THE FDA POWER TO REGULATE CIGARETTE ADDITIVES, WHILE NOT ALLOWING THE AGENCY TO BAN NICOTINE

cigtray5.jpegThe bill would lead to sweeping changes in both the FDA and the tobacco industry,” according to an article in todays Wall Street Journal. Moreover, the bill would codify ideas championed by former FDA Commissioner David Kessler in the 1990s, ideas later struck down by the Supreme Court.

If passed in it’s present form, the bill would:

Allow the FDA to set product standards, which could include LIMITING CERTAIN INGREDIENTS in cigarettes;

Tobacco makers would have to turn over to the FDA extensive information and win FDA approval for claims that products carry reduced health risks;

The FDA would get the ability to regulate advertising of tobacco products.”

Best Beltway gestimates, once again, per the Wall Street Journal, are that the bill will pass out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee later this week and be taken up by the full house shortly thereafter. From there the bill is off to the Senate, where in a surprise development, it has the support of all three Presidential candidates.

It is from there, however, that the road gets bumpy, particularly in that the legislation must then be sent to the FDA commissioner, who as might be expected, “has raised concerns about it.”

So, this is where we come in. The Senate and the House, regardless of how much they would like to think otherwise, work for you and I. Truth be told, so does the FDA Commissioner, though with typical Republican Party arrogance, I doubt he thinks so.

As employers it is our responsibility to inform our employees, writing is usually the best way, how we expect them to vote on a given issue, reminding them, when necessary, that not only do we hold the key to their continued political futures, but that the road is littered with has-been politicians who made the mistake of angering the electorate.

Yes my friends, What I am proposing here that we replace the old model where we trusted our elected officials to do what was best for us with a policy where we scrutinize their every step and call them to answer, criminally if necessary, when they loose focus, even momentarily, on the job that they were elected to do.

Maybe by making an example of fifteen or twenty of our least scrupulous elected officials, the type for whom providing for the well being of Mobil Oil, Cargill, and Citibank is more important than looking out for you and I, the balance will start to swing back to the way that our forefathers imagined it. If not, at least we will be doing our part to increase the literacy curve in the prisons these defrocked politicians are sent to.

-LIB

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COURAGEOUS KANSAS GOVERNOR VETOES PLANS TO REVIVE TWO COAL-FIRED ELECTRIC PLANTS

Posted in Conscious Actions, Corporate Greed, Corporate Polluters, Eco Warriors, Health Watch on March 24th, 2008

THE PLANTS WOULD ANNUALLY PRODUCE AN ADDITIONAL 11 MILLION TONS OF CARBON-DIOXIDE

climate_security1.jpgKudos to Kansas’ Democratic Governor, Kathleen Sebelius, for bravely vetoing a measure, which would have revived plans to construct two coal-fired power plants in the southwest corner of the state.

Production of the plants, estimated to generate up to 1,400 megawatts of electricity, was halted by the state’s secretary of health and the environment, Rod Bremby, when it was revealed that the plants would add an additional 11 million tons of carbon-dioxide for each 1400 megawatts generated.

As might be expected, Governor Sebelius’ action has brought about threats from prominent Kansas Republicans – who like their brothers and sisters elsewhere in the country, have never met a utility, no matter how destructive, that they could not embrace – to draft a new measure to revive the coal plants, but when or if they will be successful is unknown.

Now if only they would spend some of the money that they will invest in fighting this battle developing alternate sources of clean power, well, we all know what that could mean to our world and the futures of us all.

But that is not the way of the corporations, and more importantly why, an unregulated market based economy will never work. Unless big brother is there forcing their hand, the unmitigated greed of corporations will do nothing but destroy what little we have in this country that is actually engaged in doing the right thing by our citizens.

But this is a rant for another day…

-LIB

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