Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Someone's getting serious about single-use plastics

It's undeniable that the use of plastics for practically everything is terribly convenient.

It's also undeniable that this convenience has a huge downside; the Planet is becoming a trash heap and it's having a devastating impact on wildlife everywhere.

It's imperative that we get serious about this and make some real changes.

Yes, I know this will not be easy.

A tiny bit of good news: the French are getting serious about weaning themselves off of the use of  plastic for everything. And it's having an impact.

Of course, it would have an even greater impact if we in the U.S. were to follow their lead.

But it's virtually certain that our resistance to change, coupled with the determination of the Fossil Fuel industry to prioritize its profitability over the welfare of the environment, will mean that we will never actually rise to meet the challenge.

This is regrettable, to say the very least.

And it's just one more reason--and there are so many--that the outlook for our Planet is very bleak.

We had better wake up.

Not only about our use of plastics, but about a whole range of issues that are contributing to this horrible degradation of the Earth.

Will we ever rise to meet the challenge?

I wouldn't say there's no chance.

But I wouldn't  bet the rent that we will.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Parnas documents and the Maddow interview

This whole Ukraine Gate matter is still getting bigger.

As it does so, it lays bare even more stunning corruption from donald trump and his criminal regime.

Criminal and totally, utterly incompetent. What a combination.

Now in the wake of Rachael Maddow's interview with Lev Parnas, we have confirmation--and a lot of it--about Dear Leader's venality, clumsiness and complete lack of even a speck of moral principle.

Just like everything that has been revealed so far about trump's attempt to strong-arm the newly-elected Ukrainian President Zelensky, the interview clearly shows that Dolt 45 believes he can do anything he wants no matter how hateful, petty and self-serving.

Even if, as in this case, the things he does are contrary to well-established Foreign Policy and our strategic interests.

And he believes--with ample justification--that he would face zero consequences for those actions.

We know that trump has done at least a dozen different things which, if done by any other President in our history, would have led immediately to disgrace and impeachment.

And we know that the most likely outcome here is that his complicit Republican cronies will shield him from any consequences in this matter, as they have been doing from the day he began to stink up the Oval Office.

And it's to our everlasting shame and detriment.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

An edit to today's post: I just came across this good and informative piece from Hill reporter Justine Coleman that sums up well what we've learned from the Parnas interview.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

All out war with Iran avoided--for now

In my last blog posting, I talked about how -- in the wake of the killing of General Soleimani -- it was a given that an actual shooting war was coming.

I'm very happy to say that I was wrong about that as cooler heads prevailed and president trump did not escalate the situation and opt for an all-out, balls-to-the-wall conflict.

I do still think that trump would like to have something big -- like a war in the Middle East -- to distract Americans while he's facing the Impeachment process.

I still think he looks at the prospect of war in general as an opportunity to blow stuff up and kill people -- lots of people -- he doesn't like.

But he did listen to his advisers for once and chose to not throw gas on a fire that was already raging. A fire that was merely smoldering, it should be noted, at the time he got into the White House.

It was burning brightly after the killing and I'm glad to say that he didn't make it into the huge conflagration that it could have been had he followed his worst impulse--as he so often does.

A fascinating article in the New York Times tells the story of how this process worked itself out and is certainly of interest here. I recommend it highly.

The trump presidency has been a long series of miscues and disasters.

The prospects that this destructive and insane modus operandi will change for the rest of the time this poser holds the reins of power are very, very close to zero.

But it is a good thing indeed that he didn't take us into war this time.

Let's hope he doesn't the next time has the chance.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© Ben Lawrence Basile

Sunday, January 5, 2020

On the Impending War with Iran

There are wars raging in every corner of our planet at this moment.

War has been a part of human existence from the very beginning. And in places where conflicts are raging now, people know from their own grim experience that war is a very hellish thing that should be avoided at all cost.

Here in the US, we’ve been involved in hundreds of wars but have not had the fighting come to our shores since Pearl Harbor.

And before that, one must go all the way back to the War of 1812 to find a time when a foreign adversary attacked us right here, where we live.

And so the thought of wars may not evoke much of a response from a typical American.

But those who have lived through–or are living through wars right now–know full well what a horrible, suffocating, life-stealing tragedy war is.

As I write this, the U.S. is closer to an actual shooting war than we have been in a long time.

One of the things that is so frustrating and disquieting is that it’s possible–even likely when one looks at the facts–that our elected leaders are foolishly spoiling for a war.

If that’s the case, those in our country who have the power to set in motion conflicts and wars are certain to get their wish.

If so, it will be yet one more time when those who've lived through the horrors of war--or who are simply trying to head it off--will have their desire for Peace thwarted and watch, helplessly, as Humanity descends once again into the dark and desperate hellscape of war.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© Ben Lawrence Basile