Is America Burning - a Forum To Discuss Issues

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Skyline - Houston, Texas

Saturday, January 07, 2006


Too many Americans seem to suffer from Attention Deficit Syndrome, or short term memory loss. I am not speaking of the medical conditions that cause these behaviors. I speak of voluntary, habitual inattention and forgetfulness about history, and about national or global events.

As soon as the media hullaballo dies down, the talking heads fall silent, they turn their jaded, apathetic eyes hopefully to the next scandal, a new tragedy, a fresh subject with which to play the "ain't it awful" game to entertain themselves before the sitcoms begin.

Briefly, the nation gasped in collective horror about the miners trapped in the Sago mine. We watched as the media played out the tragedy, watched the terrified, hopeful, please God, please God families and friends, then their terrible grief and pain as the awful truth was revealed to them. Some of us may have sympathized, empathized, and prayed along with them, hoping against hope they would be found safe.

But now this tragic drama is over and it's back to business as usual. The funerals are over, the bereaved and the community is left to deal with the aftermath, and some politicians make noises about enforcing mine safety.The government knows, the mine owners know, everyone knows that the general public has short attention and memory spans and will quickly forget, allowing this criminal "accidental" killing of these innocent, hardworking men to be forgotten as the new media hullaballoo erupts.

Just as the horrific tragedy of Katrina/New Orleans has faded in just a few short months. We receive an occasional report of disputed plans for rebuilding, one more human interest story of a survivor, but on the whole that's old news and everyone is tired of it.

Like spectators at an ancient Roman arena, the public is avid for more circuses, more blood in the sand. And like those spectators, we are given blood and circuses instead of bread, and the carnage goes on.

I would ask the readers to quickly scroll down to Granny's Jan. 6 post: "Different Subject - Same Perpetrator" before going further. You might also click on the "Comments" and read Progressive Traditionalist's remarks, a different subject yet actually same song, second verse. To hell with public safety but don't mess with corporate profits.

(As an aside to Progressive Traditionalist, us old people in this Seniors Apt. Complex are given nutritional bulletins and advised to eat fish X times a week, but warned not to eat more than Y cans of tuna per week because of the hazards. Why not enforce pollution laws to prevent poisoning our oceans and food fish? That would be costly for the offenders and reduce corporate profits, ofcourse!)

Re: the mine disaster, Granny pointed out 1) Bush pushes budget cuts for mine safety enforcement, 2) Bush administration eases coal mine safety rules, and then the kicker, 3) White House says mine safety is a priority.

Who is kidding who? Bush caters to the Money People, assuring them of greater profits. He cuts the federal budget for the mine safety officials who oversee safety, so the mine owners won't have to be hassled by these pests trying to make them adhere to safety laws.Then he and his administration ease the safety rules, freeing the mine owners of the expense of maintaining more rigid safety protocols. With less expense, they make more profits. The miners suffer and die.

The White House and mine owners shed crocodile tears over the deaths and business goes on.
Well, you know, you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette, and everyone knows that mining is a dangerous operation and ofcourse at times miners die due to accidents. Accidents happen, and etc. and etc..

The only survivor of that tragedy lived 40 hours in that unspeakable hellhole. The others lived at least 10 or more hours as they gradually suffocated from lack of oxygen.I can empathize with them on a very small scale. During asthmatic attacks I have suffered oxygen deprivation and no matter how hard I desperately, frantically tried to get oxygen to my starving lungs, I could not, and it is a horrible way to die. The ambulance arrived to save me in scarcely 5 minutes and it was the longest 5 minutes in the world. I cannot begin to imagine 10 to 40 hours of that.

We should not let this issue be buried along with those men, from respect for them and for the thousands of other miners who still go down into those dark, deep depths to work to feed their families.

Don't forget them. I urge you to read:
"Sago Tears at our Hearts":

At that site, click on to related links.Then email your representatives in Washington with all the speed and fury you can. Remember, safety rules relaxed or ignored might mean you or your loved ones could be next. Like these miners. Like the petrochemical workers in the Phillips explosion in Pasadena, Texas. Like the workers at the BP plant near Houston, Texas. Like ...I could go on and on.

On his post about Fascism, Progressive Traditionalist quoted Benito Mussolini, "Fascism is the marriage of corporate power and the State." So what do we have here, with the megacorporations and Big Business as Lord Of the Manor and our President as its blushing bride, bringing a whopping huge dowry to the marriage bed at the expense of the people.


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