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#NeverForget the Union Carbide Gas Leak in Bhopal India on December 2nd, 1984.

The night of the 2nd-3rd of December 1984 was one of the (if not THE) largest industrial accidents in history. An accident at the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India released 30 tons of various highly toxic gases into the air, exposing up to 600,000 people. The gas cloud stayed low to the ground and spread through the shanty towns that surrounded the plant. Though the plant had internal and external alarms, the external alarm was disabled after it went off, preventing the people in surrounding neighborhoods from fleeing to safety upwind. It was not sounded again until the leak had been contained, too late to fix the damage that had already been done.

    Approximately 15,000 people died from the aftermath of the accident. Additionally, many children are born with physical and mental impairments because of their parent's exposure. The area's water is likely still contaminated. The cleanup still remains to be completed, and human rights groups report that thousan…
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Flag Worship or Flag Protest?

I often see memes and social media posts expressing a sentiment that burning or stomping on the US flag is bad. They state that flag desecration should either be made a felony or that it dishonors the members of our armed forces who sacrificed for that flag. I disagree. Flying the flag is cool. Protesting the flag is cool. Neglecting the flag, however, is very uncool.

Flag Worship - Acceptable! Flying the flag is a great and wonderful thing. It shows patriotism and a nationalistic spirit that can bring us Americans together as a people (whatever that means). I fly flags all the time. Some of my best friends are flags. Flying the flag shows active and principled support of the country and/or government you believe in and serve. I am for this.

But, those who serve or served in our armed forces do not do so for a flag. I served in the US Marines for 12 years but did not serve for a flag. I served, we all served, for each other.1 For the fighter to our left and right, and for our families an…

#NeverForget the Elaine, Arkansas Race Riot and Massacre of Sept. 30, 1919.

Americans are quick to "Never Forget" the bad things that happen to America. September 11th is often "Never Forgotten," because it was a day that we were attacked. Americans are much less likely to "Never Forget" the terrible things that we have done, or that have happened in our country. One of those is the massacre in Elaine, Arkansas. When hundreds of African-Americans were murdered by their white neighbors and soldiers of the U.S. Army.

   African-American sharecroppers of the region had begun to organize in order to work together to obtain better prices for their crops. This combined two things that triggered the white southerners: African-American rights, and Unions (perceived as un-American bolshevism). On the night of September 30, 1919 a union meeting at a church developed into a shootout between the union organizers and two white officials sent to spy on them. This shootout sparked one of the deadliest racial confrontations in U.S. history.

Taking advantage of the Trump presidency

In the words of many political leaders, “You never want a good crisis to go to waste.” This usually refers to using a political crisis to achieve a political goal of a government leader or political party. It is time for We, the People, of the United States to take advantage of a crisis, and change how much power our elected officials have. President Donald J. Trump is bound to present us with an opportunity to investigate fully the powers of the Presidency, and we should take advantage of that to rein in the power of the chief executive. There have been many well-documented opportunities of politicians breaking the law, going against the wishes of their constituents, or involving the country in unjust conflicts. Any of those opportunities could have been the crisis that the People could have used to change the power structure of our executive branch, but nothing has changed.
    There is no doubt that President Nixon violated domestic, international, and human rights laws and n…

War is a Racket

I just re-read the short treatise 'War is a Racket' by Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler. He reminds us that there are parties that are interested in war, and that will press for war in order to make money. A lot of money. He also reminds us that it is the low and middle classes that pay for wars, in both blood and taxes. This was written in 1935, after the First World War and describing events leading to the Second.1

    He proposed that war should require a plebiscite where the decision to vote is decided by those who would be called upon to fight and possibly die in that war. He also proposes a Constitutional Amendment that would not allow for U.S. military forces to leave the continental U.S. (and the Panama Canal Zone, in his day we were in charge of that), and for air and naval forces to be limited to operating within a few hundred miles from our shores. He wanted to take away the ability of interested parties to create a situation where the people of the U.S. wou…