The past couple of weeks have been quite eventful in terms of wildlife issues and societal events that show how truly fractured and disturbed our society is. The Koch owned Congress has declared all out war on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and are looking to continue the decimation of the Endangered Species Act and gray wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming. Unfortunately the Teahadists and fake Democrats are not content just destroying native wildlife. Included within the 2016 Appropriations bill for the Interior and EPA is a provision that will limit regulations pertaining to the import of ivory into the United States. A cause championed by the National
Redneck Rifle Association (NRA) and by trophy “hunters” all over the country.
As the eco-news gets more and more dire with each passing day our Congress is going out of their way to block common sense environmental protections for clean air, clean water, and the protection of wildlife. This week a terrifying study was published by the Science Advances journal showed that Earth is entering a sixth “mass extinction” and that this one is a direct result of humans. From the Washington Post:
“We are now moving into another one of these events that could easily, easily ruin the lives of everybody on the planet,” Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich said in a video created by the school.
In a study published Friday in the journal Science Advances, biologists found that the Earth is losing mammal species 20 to 100 times the rate of the past. Extinctions are happening so fast, they could rival the event that killed the dinosaurs in as little as 250 years. Given the timing, the unprecedented speed of the losses and decades of research on the effects of pollution, hunting and habitat loss, they assert that human activity is responsible.
Sobering news that should horrify every single person on this planet. But it didn’t. Just to show that Wisconsin continues to produce festering boils on the butt of society our very own pumpkin pie haircutted Rep. Glenn Grothman introduced legislation in the House of Representatives that would block EPA clean air rules that are just too “burdensome” for his Koch masters. Neil Heinen of Madison’s WISC Channel 3 pointed this out in his editorial:
The researchers found that human activity related to development and climate change has contributed to “an exceptionally rapid loss of biodiversity,” as “our global society has started to destroy species of other organisms at an accelerating rate.” The window of opportunity to alleviate the loss of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish is rapidly closing, according to the researchers.
That sobering story was followed by a press release from Republican Representative Glenn Grothman from Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District, on introduction of his bill to “prevent burdensome regulations the Environmental Protection Agency is handing down under the Clean Air Act.”
You can’t make up this stuff.
No you cannot make this stuff up. Grothman and his ilk have made the very air we breath available to the highest bidder. Our planet is dying and all these people want to do is milk the last vestiges of nature for their own profit or for a few campaign donations tossed their way by wealthy benefactors.
When do we say ENOUGH? When the last stream dries up and all that we have left to drink is chemical laced water from fracking? How about when the only water left to drink is the e coli laced runoff from factory farms like the monster pig torture factory being proposed for Bayfield County in Wisconsin? How about when our air is so polluted and smog ridden that a vacation to Beijing looks like respiratory heaven? When the great white hunters kill off all the wildlife and then turn to killing “tree huggers” or “liberals” to satisfy their bloodlust? What is it going to take to tell our corrupt politicians ENOUGH? Enough of the commercialization of our wildlife. Enough of selling off our pristine lands to energy interests to destroy. Enough pandering to the killing cartels and big ag that want to see a predator free landscape. Enough of greedy zealots like Glenn Grothman and Taconite Tommy Tiffany looking to destroy the remaining checks and balances that barely keep us from falling off an ecological cliff. ENOUGH! Do you want your children to have to see the last days of this planet and it’s inhabitants? Because if we don’t act they will and far sooner than you think.
All of us are guilty of taking advantage of modern conveniences and give little thought about how they came into our possession. This is especially true here in the United States where we are more concerned with deflated footballs, “reality TV stars” that once were dudes and now are chicks, and whatever the ridiculous pop-culture nonsense of the day is, than our world dying before our eyes. We don’t look at how that hamburger or pork chop ended up on a plate. We don’t look at how the fruits and vegetables we consume end up there either and the quasi-slave labor involved in that process. We don’t see any of it. We only see what we want to see or what the more gullible among us are told to look at by the corporate controlled media. Do yourself a favor and take a moment to learn how the food you are consuming ended up on your plate. Take a moment to see how your phone ended up assembled and in your hand. Take a moment to see who is cleaning your workplace and how they got there. You may not like what you learn but knowledge is power and that power can change things if enough voices are willing to demand that change. I’m not too optimistic that our fat and lazy society in this country really cares all that much though. That brings us to the next part of my rant.
America’s Twisted Gun Culture
America as a country was born by the gun, and there is a pretty good chance that we will die by it as well if Mother Nature doesn’t get us first as explained above. The gun features prominently in every aspect of our culture from movies to video games. As a veteran and having worked in the law enforcement field for over half of my life combined, I have no problems with firearms and the reasonable ownership of them. I even own a small shotgun for home protection. What I do have a problem with is the obsession with and lionization of the gun so that it becomes more important than society itself. Following the domestic terror attack at the church in Charleston, South Carolina we Americans again fall into the same divided camps. You have the extremist gun nuts on one side that view any reasonable gun restrictions as a violation of their “rights” and the other side calling for the elimination of guns from society or for increased regulation. Even though I am a gun owner I side with those calling for stricter regulation of certain types of firearms and those that are allowed to possess them.
While this may offend 2nd Amendment proponents that crow about their “rights” I have to ask if the other parts of the Constitution or other founding documents are just as important to them? How about that little part in the preamble to the Declaration of Independence calling the pursuit of LIFE, liberty, and happiness to be unalienable rights? Are those rights any less important than the rights of those that want to flash and intimidate with their toys? How about the “well regulated militia” line of the 2nd Amendment? What “well regulated militia” did the mass murderers that shot up Sandy Hook, the Aurora Theater, Virginia Tech, and the church in Charleston belong to? As with the selling out of our planet when is enough ENOUGH? How many more schools, churches, temples, and places of business need to be shot up by some schizoid with a stupid haircut and short circuit in the brain before we as a society scream ENOUGH? The Constitution is not a suicide pact and the gun isn’t more important than the people it governs. If it is then we need to do some serious self reflection as a country and as a society about what LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness really means.
Of course no national tragedy would be complete without a Wisconsin politician again showing that we can out asshole you any day of the week.
As he signed two bills expanding gun rights Wednesday, Gov. Scott Walker said he initially declined to say whether South Carolina should take down a Confederate flag because that state’s governor had asked him to hold off on addressing the issue.
Walker took heat from opponents for signing the gun legislation so soon after the South Carolina shooting and doing it in Milwaukee, which has seen a spike in gun violence. The governor said the bills he signed, one of which ended a 48-hour waiting period for gun purchases, had nothing to do with the South Carolina shooting.
From announcing DNR layoffs on Earth Day to this Wisconsin is sure going out of it’s way to show the rest of the country that we can spit in the faces of environmentalists and victims of gun violence better than anyone else in the nation. While the repeal of the 48 hour waiting period is of course met with jubilation by the gun nuts of our society they obviously don’t care why it was implemented in the first place.
Republicans have said the 48-hour waiting period is a “time tax” and is no longer necessary because of advancements in technology that allow background checks to be conducted quickly.
But some Democrats have warned the waiting period also serves as a cooling-off period, especially in domestic violence cases.
So a gun nut having to wait a couple of days is now a “time tax?” What planet do these people live on where an argument like this has any credibility? As one that has worked in the law enforcement field I can say from my experience that a “cooling off” period is a necessity in this state where alcohol fueled domestic violence is a MAJOR problem. But we can’t let that 48 hour “time tax” get in the way of an angry domestic abuser or a gun fetishist immediately getting their hands on their little toy now can we?
I could go on all day but I will stop there. We all need to take some time to reflect and see where we want our planet and country go. If we continue on the path that we are on neither will survive to the next generation. Is that what we want? Do we want to destroy our ecosystem so Charles and David Koch can add a few more zeroes to the billions that they already possess? Do we want to wipe out imperiled species both here and across the globe so some “great white hunter” can have a head to hang on their wall, or so some Chinese man thinks he can get a boner by ingesting parts of an imperiled species? Do we want a society where there are guns everywhere at every time and are used as an intimidation tool or to be pulled out at any perceived slight? If we even have a voice left then the sane among us need to stand up and scream ENOUGH!