Wednesday, March 16, 2011

GREED- Common Ingredient in Compounding the Horror of Natural Disasters and Crushing Human Rights

I will not being going to Japan to cover the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. The threat of radiation and living in fear of its consequences scares me. With Japan on my mind, I took a trip to the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, home of the National Data Buoy Center, where tsunami detecting buoys are made and monitored, after reading they might be hit by funding cuts proposed by the GOP budget bill. A small story, compared to the nuclear meltdown. But the idea of cutting a program that protects human life made me want to research the Data Center myself.

The stories I've recently covered have one thing in common: GREED. In Haiti, builders put up shoddy buildings with no concern for the safety of those who inhabited them. After the earthquake. despite the contributions of so many people who wanted to help, aid never got to most of the needy. Lives were surely lost due to the misuse of money and outright stealing.

The BP Gulf Coast oil disaster was caused by a corporation that cut corners, costing 11 people their lives. No one is in jail for malpractice or reckless endangerment. And now countless Gulf Coast residents are sick from a new toxicity in their environment. Baby dolphins are dying by the dozen. Many who work along the Gulf Coast are going broke, not able to pay their bills or feed their families, yet the man responsible for deciding the outcome of the claims they've filed gets almost a million a month for his services.

At the same time I hear that Hillary Clinton has promised the military now ruling in Egypt 90 million dollars, I get a report from a friend that his friends are being jailed with no legal proceedings, no trials, no medial treatment. We supported Mubarak, an evil dictator, and considered him our friend; now the US seems to be following the same path with questionable leaders in the same county. And then there is Libya, where Qaddafi crushes his own people while the world stands by and does absolutely nothing.

Why can't we simply do what is morally right? Why is our foreign policy determined by people who profit greatly from relationships with those who crush human rights? It seems we support dictators to protect our flow of oil yet still have no new energy concept in the works. Are we governed by the possibility that the cost of fuel will go up again? I read that half of the our nuclear reactors are over 30 years old. Can we trust the nuclear regulators as we did the regulators of the deep sea oil platforms? It's best not to think too much about all the catastrophes that can occur, I remind myself. But it's very hard not to.
To read entry about the Data Buoy center scroll down to next entry

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