Tuesday, June 14, 2005

This is a "Michael Jackson-Free" Zone

Always has been, always will be.

Last night I tried to listen to two things at once: Chris Bell on his conference call with Blogville, Texas and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in person locally.

I had dialed in, we had called the roll, and Tim McCann -- Bell's nearly-a-campaign operations manager -- was discussing the numbers on the House Parties held Sunday. I was proceeding to my seat in the Hobby Center just a few minutes before the program's opening.

And my phone dropped the call. And couldn't get it back up. Unless I went outside.

So your best reports will be found here and here.

I'm afraid I can't even give a good account of RFK Jr.'s discussion of our environmental woes, and they are woeful. He dispenses so much information that I simply couldn't keep up with it all. I noticed a woman a row in front of me taking shorthand, and she quit a few minutes after I did.

Here are a few snips of what I could assimilate:

Consider the devastation of Appalachia by the coal mining companies, whose product spins our country's electricity generators, which results in emissions loading up our breathable air with particulate that's choking our children (the incidence of juvenile asthma is skyrocketing) and causing our planet to warm up like an asphalt parking lot in Houston in June. With July and August on the way.

Consider the pollution of our rivers and lakes, where the fish we catch and eat has so much mercury now that it is dangerous -- approaching deadly -- to continue doing so. Kennedy's own recently-tested blood mercury levels are twice the recommended safe level, and his doctor claims that if he were a pregnant female, the child he would bear would have -- not might, would -- have significant cognitive impairment.

There was so much more -- the Bush administration's hand in all this, with all of the various lobbyists and corporate cronies now writing the laws meant to safeguard our environment for your children in the future. To use only the most recent example, it was revealed that a lackey for the American Petroleum Institute named Philip Cooney was editing the government's reports on global warming to eliminate the blame on the oil companies (and by extension the auto manufacturers for dragging their feet on hybrid vehicles and the Congress for failing to strengthen MPG standards, and on and on).

And then there's the complicity-by-indolence of our corporate media, to say nothing of the right-wing propaganda organs.

Kennedy noted that in his speeches before conservative groups, he gets exactly the same reaction as he does when he speaks at a liberal college campus; the one difference being that members of the mostly Republican audience invariably ask afterwards: "Why haven't we been hearing this before?" And his answer is "Because you're watching FOX News."

Go read this interview for more. And if that strikes a chord, read his book.

Update: Local Pacifica affiliate KPFT will broadcast a recording of RFK Jr.'s speech this Thursday evening, June 16, beginning at 7 pm CST. Streaming link also available there.


Traveller said...

Let's do a piece on media (most of 'em) with close corporate ties to the polluters.

Swimming today in Barton's and breathing the thick air blowin' in from the coast was a chore, attenuated somewhat by listening to a kid on the bank playing... a didgereedoo.

PDiddie said...

Let's, p.

Every time I visit Austin and tell people I'm from Houston they put the word "stinky" in front of it.

WTH is a didgereedoo? (And don't tell me to Google it...)