Saturday, January 01, 2011
Good Morning 2011
I wanted to post this picture last night, but I was actually out and about for new year's eve despite this awful head cold. Anyway, yesterday's Bad Cats calendar page sums up my dreadful feelings pretty well.
You may have noticed fewer blog posts in 2010. To me there is no mystery why: in April, I became unable to read the news -- the ecological catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico was utterly depressing. For three straight months, oil gushed from the Deepwater Horizon rig -- 205.8 million gallons of crude oil total. Then they added chemical dispersants into the water to hide the oil. The poisoning of the gulf is just one aspect of this disaster. The other big story is that, no matter how often the oil companies tell us to trust them, they don't have absolute power over nature, there are no fail-safe systems, and people in charge will often make crucial decisions that ultimately kill people in order to save money.
Don't tell me BP couldn't have predicted the catastrophe. The UK firm suffered a similar blowout on an Azerbaijan gas platform 18 months earlier. BP's little secret was revealed by WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks was another big story in 2010. The whistleblower site may not be perfect, and its editor in chief, Julian Assange, has been likened to a terrorist, but don't let that overshadow the disturbing truths they have revealed. I'm coming to the realization that we need WikiLeaks now more than ever and they are now very much a part of the fourth estate... even as the media and the government would like to convince you that any real journalism is warfare.
Although I take some solace that WikiLeaks is doing the difficult and dangerous work to publish the truth, I'm very much dismayed that the 2010 U.S. electorate was grossly misinformed. Hello teabaggers! Most Economists who have estimated the effect of the health insurance reform law believe it will NOT increase the federal budget deficit over the next ten years. And notice how none of your conservative candidates gave a rat's ass about the "Ground Zero mosque" after the election was over? Now please take your misspelled signs and go home and enjoy your tax cuts.
I know I'm making 2010 seem like a real downer, but I suppose it had some bright spots too -- like health insurance reform, student loan reform, the end of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell," and the economy -- it seems to be getting better.
Good morning 2011. Don't disappoint me!