Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Banality of Evil

It may have been Eli Wiesel who most forcefully made the connection between banality and evil during the holocaust. Evil doesn't truly show itself in the grand and twisted schemes of an evil genius, but in the workaday and humdrum life of all its ministers.

"Nazi women epitomized the everyday 'banality of evil.' Carrying out traditional women's roles.... they cooperated with war, genocide and terror by ignoring it and helping to create an image that all was well." -- Claudia Koonz, Competition for Women's Lebensraum.'
Even the banalities of the Limbaughs, Coulters and Hannitys of the world pale in comparison to the nameless clockwork figures who ideologically tic and toc inside our government. Consider the EPA and the kinds of ministers George Bush has crammed it with - little ideological drones who punctiliously pursue the dictum of their master.

It has been known for decades that Mercury is a neurotoxin and that it is especially lethal in children. It has poisoned our fish supply and has become so concentrated in the larger sea mammals, such as dolphins and whales, that they are inedible. Period. Even so, this doesn't stop the Japanese from ladling out this toxic brew of Mercury laden flesh, every day, to their school age children. They continue to hunt whales and dolphins for food. Apparently, the much vaunted intelligence of the Japanese only goes so far.

In the United States, under the direction of George Bush and Dick Cheney, the EPA was (and presumably still is) under direct orders to stop all efforts by the States, otherwise known as federalism, to individually regulate mercury pollution. In some cases, the EPA requirements would have allowed plants to put more mercury into the air, not less.

"Many state officials believed under the federal trading program "some plants could go totally unregulated. That was totally unacceptable to many states," Becker said."

"About the same time, Nevada objected to the EPA's wanting to flood its power plants with pollution allowances far beyond the amount mercury the plants actually produced. That approach included a large bloc of allowances to a coal burning plant that had been shut down because of clean air violations."

The science behind the lethality of mercury is demonstrable and unquestioned by any peer-reviewed scientists. Fortunately for the United States and our children, a federal appeals court struck down Bush's big money-friendly approach for mercury reduction. Bizarrely, Bush's plan would have allowed plants with excessive smokestack emissions to buy pollution rights from other plants that foul the air less, effectively making the net change in our mercury pollution - Zero.

Some in the media might snarkily refer to this post as an example of "Bush Derangement Syndrome". If so, then explain to me who staffed the EPA and set their agenda? Explain to me any reasonable rationale for why we should continue to bathe our landscape in mercury?

This is one of the most neurologically toxic metals known to man, yet Bush & Cheney think the "economy" comes first.

Well, whose "economy"?

It's certainly not the "economy" of the children suffering from Mercury poisoning, or their mothers and fathers. It's not the "economy" of the fisherman netting fish that are too poisonous to consume. It's not the "economy" of the states whose rivers & lakes are increasingly too toxic to enjoy.

I think we all know whose "economy" Bush & Cheney are protecting.


Anonymous said...

Bush Bashing Boring

The ongoing media Bush-bash often reminds me of the Coyote-Roadrunner cartoons. Once consumed with hate, nothing can distract people from their one sighted goal of destroying their perceived target, regardless of how many times it blows up in their face.
Kelly Brown’s submissions (Spokesman Review) are typical of such antics. Her most recent diatribe (‘Debts draw on next generation’) listed opinions and outright mistakes as “facts.”
Bush is not a member of OPEC or Exxon/Mobil et al, yet she blames him for gas prices. She blames him for the national debt, which has never gone down since 1961. Bush ‘41 left it at 4 trillion, and Clinton left it at 5.6 trillion. Unfortunately, Bush ‘43 had a few unexpected bills such as 9/11 and it’s aftermath, including the inevitable mid east war.
(a 99% senate vote for the Iraq war doesn’t make it “Bush’s war.”)
Nonetheless, unemployment is at a 30 year low, the stock market is at an all time high, and Bush’s tax cuts are still providing economic stimulus.
Bush may have a low approval rating, but the Democrat Congress has an even lower rating. (They lied about bringing the troops home soon as they were elected into power, just as Obama is lying about same now) Regardless, Bush says he doesn’t care about “polls” and will instead leave his legacy in the hands of history. Too bad the Coyotes can’t wait that long}:-

upinVermont said...

Hi Anonymike,

When you want to address the actual post I wrote, let me know...