Lingering Themes

The mariner hasn’t written much lately. It’s a combination of spring gardening labor and the tsunami of events around the world. There are several old sayings that go along the lines of “What you think isn’t worth a spit in the ocean.” Sadly, that is true. The only tool any one of us has is our vote and our desire to volunteer beyond a normal commitment.

When Justice Roberts said money is the same as speech, he cleared the last obstacle to oligarchy. Some can speak much more loudly than others.

Well, one has seen the benefit of voting. The mariner wonders how untrustworthy his fellow voters have been given election results and the fact that millions follow Fox Broadcasting, Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. Laura Calder doesn’t bother the mariner because all she can do is character assassination; little of what she says has content. Then there’s Sarah and Michele Bachman. Only the presence of Jon Stewart has kept us sane – and Jon ends his show August 9th.

We will see what the future brings as 22 republicans and 1 democrat vie for the next Presidential term. The mariner says one democrat because the few democrats running beside Clinton are more interested in raising liberal issues and keeping Hillary as far left of center as possible. In retrospect, history has shown that the Clintons are survivalists first, pragmatic centrists second, and ideologues last.

If you are a regular reader, you know that the mariner is firmly opposed to fast tracking the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership). The reason that progressives, unions and liberal organizations like AARP and women’s advocacies are opposed to fast tracking is the fact that no one in the negotiations represents the common man; the worker; the issues of minimum wage and benefits.

The argument presented by Obama is that TPP will create more jobs in the US and provide more opportunity for export – not to mention that most American workers won’t make much more than minimum wage. There is no opportunity to discuss worker issues similar to equal pay, employee-owned, retirement benefits, profit sharing and other economic devices that will lift the middle class to where it belongs.

Another issue in the news, that sadly shows the nasty side of capitalism, is the number of oil wells and railroads built within 1,000 feet of ICBM silos in North Dakota. Properly, this alarming situation can’t be represented here. The mariner suggests you watch Rachel Maddow’s video report at

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/watch/oil-trains-alarmingly-near-nuclear-missiles-444408387996

Six workers have died due to lax (and illegal) safety regulations.

Lastly, climate change speaks more loudly as the days roll by. Nothing will be done by the United States until the ranking democratic member (Barbara Boxer (D)) becomes chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Currently the chairman is Jim Inhofe (R) Oklahoma – the senator who threw the snowball in Senate chambers, who scoffed at the existence of climate change. Does the mariner sense the influence of oil contributions? Inhofe received a 5% approval rating from environmental advocates.

Enough of dipping one’s toe into the tsunami wave of current events. Perhaps the mariner is safer just limiting his engagement to spitting.

Ancient Mariner

 

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