Monday, December 8, 2008

Links o' the Day with a Lil' Commentary

First, the good...every street corner in Manhattan, photographed.

An example:

Next, the bad...a class action law suit against Halliburton-KBR for among other things exposing "everyone at the largest U.S. installation in Iraq to unsafe water and food and hazardous fumes from a burn pit."

Do you want to know who the winners were in the (latest iteration of) the Iraq War? Not the U.S. people, not the military, not the iraqi people, but incorporated business. They are the only ones. Since it is always easy to simply cut costs to increase profit rather than improve services, why not just ship ice in trucks that haven't been properly cleaned from the decaying corpses that were inside...or improperly incinerating human bodies and amputated body parts in open air bonfires while wild dogs carried around human remains. Yes, these occurred (according to the lawsuit). And, you know what? They are all logical results of allowing the profit (only) motivated corporations to dictate the rules, rather than the other way around.

Quality of life? Clean air, water, and sanitation? Mehhhhhhhhh. Who needs 'em?

annnnnd, the ugly...Kunstler's monday post:
...Anyway, some parts of our highway-bridge-and-tunnel system are already so decrepit that they pose a menace right now, and the clamor to direct "stimulation" there is already very strong -- backed by all the fraternities of engineers.

Stimulus aimed at perpetuating mass motoring will be a tragic waste of our dwindling resources. We'd be better off aiming it at fixing the railroads (especially electrifying them), refitting our harbors with piers and warehouses in preparation to move more stuff by boats, and in repairing the electric grid. Unfortunately, our tendency will be to try to rescue the totemic touchstones of everyday life, things familiar and comfortable, regardless of whether they have a future or not.
I post this because local news here in Texas yesterday said the state has 800 highway expansion and construciton projects backlogged in waiting for this public works stimulus. Way to be ready for the future...fixing a broken past...which has a similar positive effect as rewriting history. Doesn't actually change a thing.