Saturday, 8 August 2009

Poisoning the Well

Today, in "Terrorism" by any other name ... Canadian Cynic quotes Steven Pearlstein at The Washington Post on the extreme tactics deployed by the biggest, sorest, stupidest losers in the history of US presidential elections.

The recent attacks by Republican leaders and their ideological fellow-travelers on the effort to reform the health-care system have been so misleading, so disingenuous, that they could only spring from a cynical effort to gain partisan political advantage. By poisoning the political well, they've given up any pretense of being the loyal opposition. They've become political terrorists, willing to say or do anything to prevent the country from reaching a consensus on one of its most serious domestic problems. ...

When Democrats, for example, propose to fund research to give doctors, patients and health plans better information on what works and what doesn't, Republicans sense a sinister plot to have the government decide what treatments you will get. By the same wacko-logic, a proposal that Medicare pay for counseling on end-of-life care is transformed into a secret plan for mass euthanasia of the elderly. ...

Can there be anyone more two-faced than the Republican leaders who in one breath rail against the evils of government-run health care and in another propose a government-subsidized high-risk pool for people with chronic illness, government-subsidized community health centers for the uninsured, and opening up Medicare to people at age 55?

Health reform is a test of whether this country can function once again as a civil society -- whether we can trust ourselves to embrace the big, important changes that require everyone to give up something in order to make everyone better off. Republican leaders are eager to see us fail that test. We need to show them that no matter how many lies they tell or how many scare tactics they concoct, Americans will come together and get this done. If health reform is to be anyone's Waterloo, let it be theirs.

Meanwhile, on this side of the border in Ontario, the McGuinty government is implementing Dump Site 41, a project that will poison an immense aquifer that is a primary supply of water source to numerous municipalities in the area.
The dumpsite would sit atop the Alliston Aquifer, one of the largest underground pristine water reservoirs that extends from Georgian Bay to Lake Simcoe and the Oak Ridges Moraine and is linked to numerous streams, rivers and wetlands in the area that stand to be polluted. Ultimately, the polluted water would flow into Georgian Bay and Lake Ontario. Anyone who argues that leachate would be drastically diluted by the time it reaches these waters is missing the point: dilution is no solution—it’s an excuse. The threat is not only to the local communities. The area of the groundwater compromised by this dumpsite, which coincidentally is not even needed at this point, is vast.

Thanks to John Laforet for blogging about this environmental threat.

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