Thursday, August 22, 2013

If You Can't Say Anything Good . . .

So they say if you can't say anything good, you shouldn't be saying anything at all. It appears that that's been the case since I've gotten back from Florida, which now seems like it was a long time ago. But in fact this been very little good news since my return. (Aside from the wonderful winning ways of the Texas Rangers lately.) But rather than say nothing at all, let me just give you a few short bullets about what's happened in the past week – all the good news:
  • The Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan has leaked another 300 tons of radioactive water into the soil. You will not believe how much radioactive water has been released into the ocean and into the ground there since the 2011 tsunami. It is staggering. Scientists don't really know what the long-term effects of this is, but – surprise! – They are concerned about marine life. Check out this article.
  • A military judge has sentenced Pfc. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison for leaking classified information. Manning is a whistleblower, he's not a traitor, he's not a criminal. It used to be that whistleblowing was adjudged an honorable thing to do. We are a long way from that in paranoid America today where terrorism and terrorists are everywhere.
  • Along with the security state apparatus, which is everywhere. We just found out that NSA "accidentally" collected the email communications – or was it Internet transactions? – of over 50,000 Americans who had no connection whatever to terrorism. Does anybody really believe these people at NSA or in the White House when they say anything at all about this domestic spying and how they've got it under control now? I don't.
  • Another crazy rube, admittedly "off his meds" with a gun in an elementary school. This time in Atlanta. Some brave soul in the school actually managed to talk him out of killing anybody, so nobody was hurt. But don't you worry: some idiot perfectly protected by the laws that the NRA has stifled will succeed in blowing a bunch of innocent people away with a gun in the not-too-distant future. There is no safer bet in America.
  • The Syrian government has killed hundreds of its own people with poison gas near Damascus. The USA Today this morning had a picture of about 25 dead bodies laid out on sheets, and most of them, or I should say all of them, were kids. There's something so repulsive about this so repugnant to human decency, that it puts a serious question to my pacifism. The last thing I want is for the United States to get involved in punching the Middle Eastern tar baby again, but the moral dilemma presented by something like this is almost insoluble.
  • Closer to home in the little city of Duncan, Oklahoma, three teenagers shot and killed a 22-year old Australian baseball player who was jogging near his girlfriend's home. They were bored and just decided to kill somebody, one of the thugs explained. They did it "for fun." Does this really need any commentary? It was a .22 caliber handgun. Story here.
Maybe I shouldn't be saying anything at all, huh?
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