Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A relief, a worry, and a puzzle

A relief: I am mightily relieved that the Senate rejected the Keystone Pipeline. I've read a lot about it: the scientists warn against it--one went so far as to say it was a note of doom for the planet; others point to the spills the pipeline has already had in Canada and this country, including a huge one in North Dakota; the President is not the only one to point out that Canada was merely using the US as a path to ship crude (and dirty) oil to China and other parts--there will be no benefit to the US, except 50 permanent jobs (Bernie Sanders said today that is not job growth). I saw a map today--the Tar Sands oil is in the southwest of Canada. The pipeline would snake it's way over to the Midwest and through our "bread basket," across the Southwest to be shipped out. We will not get a drop of oil; our gas prices will not go down, might go up. Someone told me tonight that the same oil is now being shipped on railroad cars, which is more dangerous. I vote we ban that shipment--let Canada ship its own dirty oil without detouring through our country, either by pipeline or rail. I am grateful for senators who want to work to correct climate change and are not affected by greed.
A worry: the brewing trouble in Ferguson MO. Whichever way the grand jury decides there will still be trouble, I fear. I read a Facebook posting recently about how tired Americans are of giving tax breaks to corporations that pay no tax and make huge profits, of paying corrupt politicians, of the general breakdown in our political system, of racism, of the gap between the wealthy and the poor. It ended with the ominous message: a storm is coming. I'm afraid Ferguson, especially an acquittal, might be the spark that ignites that storm (okay, mixed metaphor). But I remember too well how riots spread across the country after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. It could happen again, but I pray not. There's no ignoring that there is simmering tension in this country.
A puzzle: for some time it's been assumed that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2016. Once again, I rely on Facebook--it's a great monitor of public sentiment--and I feel instead of gaining support, she's losing traction. More than one person has touted Elizabeth Warren as a presidential candidate. From my point of view, she'd be great but I'm not sure she has the following--yet. There's been talk of an Elizabeth Warren/Bernie Sanders ticket, which sounds idealistically wonderful to me. But I'm not sure they stand a chance. I dismissed a mention of a Clinton/Warren ticket--this country just isn't ready for two women.
With all these issues--the climate, race riots, jockeying for political position--I think it's one of those times we have to trust in whatever God we believe in. I can't believe rational thinking will win out.

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