And If You Did Know?

In Memory of Sharon Michele McAvoy Nichols .:. December 24, 1949 – October 10, 2005

July 14, 2005

The Land of OZ

Filed under: her words — mark @ 10:08 am

Controversial Attack on Endangered Species Act May Backfire
by Christopher Getzan in The New Standard 7/14/05

I was just reading a new news source and found an article that made me gulp. It is concerning the Endangered Species Act. It seems that :

“Jul 12 – A new bill being drawn up by Republicans on a key House Committee may severely curtail the government’s power to enforce the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and eventually do away with the landmark law.”

To me this seems like another power grab by Big Business. It seems that:

“Republican members of the House Resources Committee, which has legislative and funding oversight of the Endangered Species Act, are behind the new legislation. Insiders all agree that committee chairman and longtime critic of the ESA, Richard Pombo (R-California), is the draft bill’s driving force.”

“The mainstream League of Conservation Voters has given Pombo’s environmental voting record an average rating of just 3 percent for the last congressional term. Meanwhile, Pombo has been a steady recipient of largesse from the dairy industry, agribusiness, real estate interests, and energy companies – all industries in need of unencumbered access to large swathes of land.”

Just another day in the Land of Oz (read Congress). Someone who has proven links to Big Business is minding the store. Does anyone else see this as bad???

Another point made by Getzan in the article is:

“Jim Sims, former director of communications for Vice President Dick Cheney’s Energy Task Force and current head of Partnership for The West, a nonprofit organization that provides network and issue orientation for numerous businesses and groups that advocate for property owners, says the draft bill will permit greater flexibility in working with commercial interests. The “great majority” of such parties, Sims told TNS, “want to do the right thing” when they find endangered species on land they wish to develop or use.”

While the article was maddening, this one truly stopped me. To say that we should not have laws and regulations to deal with the ones who do not want to “do the right thing” is tantamount to saying that we should just get rid of all laws because the vast majority of people want to do the right thing. WHAT???? The whole point of having a government is so that the people who want an unfair advantage are kept within acceptable bounds internationally, nationally, and locally. This is not rocket science; it is however just business as usual in Merry Old Land Of Oz. I am amazed, not shocked, but amazed nonetheless.

The good news is that:

“Though Suckling of the Center for Biological Diversity considers the draft of the Recovery Act “completely consistent with every bill [Pombo has] submitted” related to the ESA, he recalled that Pombo had been talking about reaching out to more moderate Republicans on ESA issues. “If he had done so,” Suckling said, “[that] bill would’ve had much more of a chance of succeeding. I think Pombo has shot himself in the foot, and there are few people on the right or the left who will want to be associated with the bill.”

So some of the people in the Land are not willing to just roll over and smile. Good for them.

July 4, 2005

Some Changes

Filed under: her words — mark @ 6:29 am

Well it is a new life in many ways for me. My Mother died. Now that both my parents are dead I have begun to feel much more adult. I can no longer see myself as a child who could go home if things got bad. Now I am on my own. I have a partner who is wonderful and I have wonderful friends, but I am on my own.

My mother was very ill. She had been so for about 3 years. She had a blood disorder that was causing her to die, and she did not do anything about it. She chose to let life take its course. That was her decision and the hardest part for me was to support her in that decision. I did not have to see her physical decline in a personal way because I live in Kansas and she lived in North Carolina. But I talked to her often and noticed the difficulty. She lived near her sisters, she was the oldest of ten children. They watched her decline and told me about it. She went to the doctor only when she was very near death and could not take it anymore. She got a couple of transfusions and this helped her feel less ill. But eventually the illness took its toll. It was going to happen anyway, but she chose to live life her own way. She did not want to prolong it artificially. So, she died on 6/7/05. I miss her. I am happy she is out of pain. I am mad at her for not taking better care of herself. I am happy that she got to run her own life. I am very sad that I do not have my mom around anymore. I have difficulty taking in that she is actually gone. I am depressed. I am relieved that I no longer have to worry about her. I am feeling more adult and more in control of my life. In other words I am just having a normal human reaction to an extraordinary event. There is no right way to do this, and no wrong way. I see that I have physical symptoms related to this event. I am having trouble sleeping, I have aches and pains, I have trouble concentrating. As a mental health professional I understand that these are normal responses, I also understand this as a person, but it is not as easy to see it when I am in it. So I have not been writing here. Writing this down would make it more real, and a part of me has not wanted to give it that much awareness. So I have been somewhat quiet about it. I have drawn inward and let my natural instincts take hold. It has been good for me. I am letting it happen naturally, like mom. It is a complex and multi-layered process, just like life.

I am now going to look for ways in which to live my life more completely. I am reading about a conference that recently took place in Nova Scotia. The focus of this conference was on Greatest National Happiness (GNH) as opposed to Gross National Product (GNP). It concerns living life at a more holistic level. Enviromental sustanability, economic equality, and governance based on the best for everyone being the core features. I am intrigued by this concept. I feel as though the entire top down type of control is arbitrary and destructive. So who knows perhaps we will learn something from our mistakes and go in a different direction. I will keep watching.