Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hit Them Where it Hurts: Right in the Wallet

From AlterNet:

Why an Ultra-Conservative Texas Grandmother Hates the GOP

What could make Jordan Fogal, a 61-year-old ultra-conservative Republican grandmother from Texas, refuse to vote for a single Republican in the last election? Two innocent sounding words: mandatory arbitration.

I'll skip posting the entire story since if you are interested it is available at the above link but this paragraph should whet your interest:

Right now you may be thinking, "that is a sad story, but it could never happen to me because I would never sign a mandatory arbitration agreement." Unfortunately, if you have a new home, new car, car lease, credit card, bank account, cell phone, storage room, utilities, or an exterminator chances are you already have.

Do not just take my word for it, look at your contract.

More information on mandatory arbitration here and here.

Ok, I won't even try to claim this one is a strictly partisan issue, it isn't but (there's always a "but" isn't there?) let's say it leans heavily to the right.

While I'm on this train of thought, have you tried to purchase homeowner's insurance lately? Best of luck to you if you live in one of the Gulf States and in many cases, various counties all over the country that have been deemed "disaster prone". The number of major insurer's no longer writing policies in certain parts of the country has been increasing for several years....along with the number of places no longer considered 'insurable". Allstate pulling out of California is only the latest and largest case in point.

Now I'll grant that it is probably reasonable to not want to insure some homes in some areas. Hey, if you build your 5 million dollar mansion on an unstable, coastal hillside you're on your own as far as I'm concerned (these are referred to in CA as mobile homes (ie: Hey, look! Those people you just did the landscaping job for just got a mobile home!) On the other hand it is pushing entire populations of some towns and cities out of their present locations as businesses opt to relocate due to the high cost or unavailability of insurance coverage. Most of them opt out to another state....far, far away.

Face it southerners, many of your towns and cities are not going to rebuild after even moderate storm or flooding damage. When the jobs leave so does the population. In some cases that may be the best or only solution but do we really intend to de-populate the entire states of Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana? We're certainly headed in that direction without some serious attention to disaster mitigation and looking at ways to deal with the growing insurance crises.

We could of course just go ahead and de-populate the entire hurricane, flooding and tornado prone zones and increase the population in areas deemed safer but then there is the water issue.

When the MSM bothered to cover the issue at all, and it was only minimally as far as I could see, I heard mainly criticism for this proposed bill which would tie climate change issues to national security. Both sides of the aisle had some detractors, one side saying we could not trust government to deal with this issue and the other jumping on their wingnut-mobiles to proclaim this was a "left-wing alarmist" agenda.

Government usually is only as competant as it has to be to keep us from rioting, unfortunately it is the best and only agency we have at least at this time. Who else to begin addressing the issue? Talk show hosts?

For the wingnut crowd, take a deep breath, the bill is sponsored by Senator Chuck Hagel , a Nebraska Republican, and Senator Richard J. Durbin , an Illinois Democrat. Not even your daddy O' Reilly could call Hagel a "liberal".

You might consider this from the CIA World Factbook too, last check they weren't exactly a bastion of left-wing propaganda and thought.

government water control projects have drained most of the inhabited marsh areas east of An Nasiriyah by drying up or diverting the feeder streams and rivers; a once sizable population of Marsh Arabs, who inhabited these areas for thousands of years, has been displaced; furthermore, the destruction of the natural habitat poses serious threats to the area's wildlife populations; inadequate supplies of potable water; development of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers system contingent upon agreements with upstream riparian Turkey; air and water pollution; soil degradation (salination) and erosion; desertification

Getting blown to bits is but one of the obstacles to survival they are facing. The truth is they do not have a supply of potable water great enough to sustain the current population much less any future increased population. For certain they are not the only nation facing the same situation and situations like this tend to make people....testy. Maybe a look at how climate may impact security isn't such a bad idea after all?

I'm not going to worry about any of this too much because as with most things, probably not many people will pay attention until their water bill is in the hundreds of dollars. Funny how thousands of people dying of disease, hunger, thirst or warfare barely makes a blip on our radar but boy howdy, get one $300 dollar utility bill or a 20 cent a gallon increase in gas prices and we're all ears. Maybe we should start charging taxpayers for every preventable death, I'm thinking that might get our attention.


Woozie said...

Funny how thousands of people dying of disease, hunger, thirst or warfare barely makes a blip on our radar...

We're Americans, we don't care about any one else but ourselves because we've been indoctrinated to put ourself and out interests before those of everybody else, including other Americans. I just wrote an essay on this earlier this day. Odd...

Not Your Mama said...

Bah humbug, you didn't post it. Yeah, I think it's something a lot of us are trying to find a balance for...between caring and at the same time not feeling we have to walk around miserable 24/7 with some kind of cultural guilt trip.

Being indoctrinated from birth with the idea that we are "the most caring nation on earth" probably doesn't make coming to terms with the issue any easier.

TomCat said...

Most of the "foreign aid" that comes from the US is in the form of credit to purchase weapons. When it comes to true humanitarian aid, the US spends the smallest percentage of our GDP on it of any modern industrialized country.