Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dirty, dirty coal

Once again, corporate dominance in government has given way to disaster. Because of power companies' insistence that fly ash, a residue from burned coal, is harmless, the EPA failed to declare a hazardous substance back in 2000. Fly ash, according to the United Mountain Defense, contains crystalline silica, which can cause:
  • Silicosis
  • Cancer
  • Scleroderma
  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Kidney disease
  • Tuberculosis
  • Renal disease

But now the biggest fly ash release in U.S. history has happened in Tennessee (though you wouldn't suspect it due to the lackluster response from the Tennessee Valley Authority), and the corporate media is giving it little-t0-no coverage. It should come as no surprise; General Electric, the owner of the NBC channels, has been one of the worst environmental criminals of recent years. Oh, and don't forget that CBS Corporation owns Westinghouse, another energy company. The media dare not bite the hand that feeds it.

Barack Obama has said that he supports using "clean coal" as an alternative energy source. However, this disaster has put the final nail in the coffin on "clean coal"--that is, there is no such thing.

Visit for more information on the fly ash spill.

Two-day cease-fire rejected by Israel

From Democracy Now!:

Gaza Bombing Continues as Israel Rejects Truce Proposal

Israel has rejected a French proposal for an emergency forty-eight-hour ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip. There were brief hopes for a lull in the bombing after Israeli officials said they were seriously considering the move. But earlier today Israeli warplanes continued to pound areas across Gaza.

30 Palestinians Killed in Latest Attacks

A Palestinian medic was killed and two others wounded when an Israeli missile struck next to their ambulance in Gaza City. Several underground tunnels along the Gaza border with Egypt were also attacked. Israel maintains the tunnels are used to smuggle in weapons, but they’re also used to bring in basic supplies denied by the Israeli blockade. Overall, at least thirty Palestinians were killed in Israeli attacks on Tuesday, including two sisters aged five and twelve. Nearly 400 Palestinians have been killed and at least 1,600 injured since Saturday. In Rafah, thousands of residents took shelter at a local UN school after their neighborhoods were attacked by Israeli missiles.

Rafah resident: “Missiles were fired at the municipality and around the municipality near the houses and made all the houses collapse. Most of the area is destroyed. There is complete destruction."

Palestinian rocket fire has meanwhile intensified on nearby Israeli towns. Four Israeli citizens, including two Arab Israelis, have been killed by rockets from the Gaza Strip since the Israeli assault began. The Bush administration continues to support Israel’s attack. On Tuesday, White House spokesperson Gordon Johndroe downplayed reports of growing Palestinian casualties.

If you are interested in a peace organization that is both pro-Israel and pro-peace, check out J Street at

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Israel and the morality of ending it all

What happens if a rocket falls on your town?
You certainly don't let the perpetrators get away with it, right?

But what happens when the rocket comes from a terrorist organization that was legitimately elected to power in the Gaza strip, but you won't recognize those elections?

Let's face it. The increased bombing of Gaza isn't going to stop Hamas from firing rockets into Israel, especially when it was Israel that broke the cease-fire months ago. And it is especially risky to start a ground invasion of Gaza. Haaretz said this:
But Hamas officials and analysts said Monday that the organization would actually like Israel to launch a ground operation; it hopes this would let it inflict such heavy losses on Israeli tanks and infantry that Israel would flee with its tail between its legs.
Hamas just wants a repeat of the failed war Israel waged against Lebanon a few years ago. Israel can either give the Hamas what it wants (since it is obvious that Hamas has no regard for the value of Palestinian life), or Israel can take the high road and stop bombing Gaza.

Most people want to pick sides in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. But, as a blogger on DailyKos said, this isn't an issue with one right side and one wrong side. It's an issue with two wrong sides with the added ingredient of lots of bloodshed.

Here's to an end to the violence in 2009.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Hello world!

I am a suburban radical.

Yes, I may look like an ordinary member of the bourgeois on the outside. But on the inside, there is a revolutionary waiting to pounce. Or run free. Or whatever revolutionaries do.

Mind you, as a suburban radical, I mean that I am a radical leftist. Just wanted to make that clear.

We are all radicals at heart. Even if we are trapped in the bubble that is suburbia, that is no excuse to not keep up with the news around the world and to examine it from a progressive perspective. That's where this blog comes in--I will try to keep updates on the news and, as a suburban radical, give my humble opinions.

So join me in making the "suburban radical" a new kind of citizen. Radicals of the world (even those trapped in urban sprawl), unite!