Is Gale Norton our Seretary of Interior or our Secretary of Energy?

I don’t have any expertise on the whole issue of ANWAR and energy exploration. But I find it very disturbing that Gale Norton has decided to advocate for oil drilling on the Editorial Pages of the New York Times. She is nothing but a shill for the mining, timber, and now, oil industries. Isn’t that the exact opposite of what the Secretary of Interior is supposed to be?

Even though it is noon, the landscape is pitch black. The wind chill stands at 70 below zero. A lone man drives across a vast frozen plain on a road made of ice. He sits atop a large, bug-like machine with enormous wheels. He is heading for a spot on the tundra pinpointed by satellite imagery to explore for oil. When the spring thaw comes and the road melts, any evidence that a man or a machine ever crossed there will be gone.

This is the world of Arctic energy exploration in the 21st century. It is as different from what oil exploration used to be as the compact supercomputers of today are different from the huge vacuum tube computers of the 1950s. Through the use of advanced technology, we have learned not only to get access to oil and gas reserves in Arctic environments but also to protect their ecosystems and wildlife. Gale Norton’s NY Times Editorial

I’m willing to entertain the idea that we have made advances in environmentally friendly ways of exploring for oil. But what about when we actually find oil?

Will we have one lone man up there pumping oil. Will there be no activity except during winter months?

In 1980, when Congress created the refuge, it set aside the 1002 area for possible future energy development. To date, Congress has not approved this development because of environmental concerns. In the meantime, America’s domestic production of energy has declined and we have become more and more dependent on imported oil.

Has Gale Norton advocated for alternative energy sources? Or just for less regulation for her special interests masters?

Not today:

more on the flip…

Peace

This is a trial to write a diary. From reading on Kos and other sites, I have become aware that this world situation is taking a toll on most of us. I guess we all can agree that we would like a better world and most of all peace for all. But what can we do? Well, this morning after talking with a friend on the phone, I decided maybe one thing I can do is to write a diary about this topic.

My friend and I talked about how before the fall of the wall in Berlin, there used to be all those demonstrations for peace and maybe not known to all, there was a world-wide meditation circle, where at 12 noon local time, people where meditating, praying, visualizing or using whatever techniques they had available to them, for peace – just a few minutes. Did it help? Who knows? Fact is, for a while the world seemed to be more peaceful. Maybe it is time to reactivate such a circle again. We have nothing to loose and only to gain. Even if it does not help the world at large, it can help on an individual level to calm a little and deal better with the stress .

In this connection I always think of Gandhi who lived in this world, but never was willing to give up his inner peace and calm, and still, or maybe because of this, became such a powerful force in this world.

Two things I would like to achieve with this diary. Maybe to get this good “force” flowing stronger again and to start a discussion and sharing, on how to best deal on the inner plane with the political situation in this world. We will need some inner strength and endurance if we want to effect a change in this world.

I have been a “New Age-Freak” for many decades now (oh, my God, how time passes) and have learned a few things along the way on relaxation techniques, meditation, yoga and more on this line. Would any of you be interested to learn more about these things in future diaries?

Really. Simple. Common Human Needs – and Desires.

I’ve wanted to write a (sort of) diary for a while at dKos but have been a little discouraged at my own writing/communication skills compared to so many great writers there.  But since there’s a smaller audience here at the moment, I’ll give it a shot.

When I was in high school, I had a friend who used to laugh at me because, as she used to say, I “philosed” too much.  She was right.  I have a tendency to want to know every aspect of a situation, think of every possibility, learn every factoid – in short, I have a hard time keeping it simple.

I find that it really is a liberal’s problem.  Not just intellectualizing, but emotionalizing, too.  There’s no question that this played a part in Kerry’s communication problems.  And while the framing debates go on, and the weight of the Republican propaganda machines obscure, the simple fact is that we need to go back to the simple facts again, and work from there.  All human beings have common needs, and all human beings have common desires.

The recent bi-partisan objections to the Bankruptcy bill demonstrate that there really are commonalities that most people can agree with.  By identifying those needs and desires and then going one step beyond to the level that we can all agree on, perhaps we can redefine and come to a general consensus as to who we are as humans, and as Americans.

For example, some basic needs:  Food.  Water.   The next step:  Food – no child should go hungry.  Water – everyone should have clean, drinkable water.  

It’s the step after that we all have problems with.  Who provides or guarantees that every child has enough food to eat?  What about the quality of the food?  Now we’re into class and politics.  Complexity upon complexity.

But it would take an obviously heartless, inhuman, and un-American s.o.b. to deliberately eat in front of a starving child.  That is something that anyone who isn’t a sociopath can agree on, no matter the politics.

Some basic desires to bandy about:   Fire departments.  Education.  Transportation.

Too simplistic, perhaps.  But until we start again with defining the things that we can all agree on, it seems that we’re all just “philosing” too much for any country wide agreement.

Report: Iraq coverage wasn’t biased

cross posted at dKos

I really couldn’t come up with a better title than the headline of this insane AP article.  Apparently, Americans have this insane idea that the coverage of the Iraq War is/was biased.  And now everything’s okay; it must have been something we just imagined, because some think tank just said the coverage was not biased.

A study of news coverage of the war in Iraq fails to support a conclusion that events were portrayed either negatively or positively most of the time.

The Project for Excellence in Journalism looked at nearly 2,200 stories on television, newspapers and Web sites and found that most of them couldn’t be categorized either way.

Twenty-five percent of the stories were negative and 20 percent were positive, according to the study, released Sunday by the Washington-based think tank.

I can’t say I agree with the conclusion, but the project director for the think tank has made some stunning conclusions.