ENVIRONMENT: Get involved in anti-frack efforts

In July, I traveled to Washington with a busload of other local people for a rally to help convince our government to protect its people for the devastating assault on public health and safety that is called hydrofracking. This national effort drew about 5000 people.

Ten years ago, when I went to DC to protest against the looming Iraq war, the Mall was filled with 300,000 people.

It could be argued that the Iraq war was a less immediate threat to Americans than the destruction of our drinking water by hydrofracking, which affects potentially millions of people.

Nothing impacts human health more immediately and profoundly than access to clean, potable water. We are literally fighting for our lives against a giant polluted wave of greed, money, and ignorance that is the gas industry.

It makes no sense to go on about the war on drugs and the war on terror if we allow our own corporations to kill us. If we are to put the fear of God into those charged with protecting us, we need to have more than 5000 people. Get involved.


POVERTY: A Canadian perspective

While visiting the Finger Lakes from Ontario, Canada, I saw the headlines: “All this money and students can’t read: what?!” (I’m a teacher) and “Organic Farmers Continue Fight with Monsanto” (we’re farmers), so I decided to pick up the paper. Turns out the most interesting article by far was the interview with Rev. Marvin McMickle.

That man certainly has his head screwed on correctly. He speaks so eloquently and passionately about societal problems, which are pretty much the same in our rural Ontario community. We don’t have race problems, yet I see white students daily exhibiting the same “hopeless” behavior as the young black male population in the US.

In my opinion, the most interesting point the Reverend made was when he said: “The hearing is not the issue. It’s the surviving after having been heard that’s the issue.” We can get the disadvantaged to speak up, but without a plan to help both the advantaged and disadvantaged, we cannot progress.

Somehow we need to make kindness and caring “sexy” and “cool” again so that people will do it. Luckily, caring and kindness are self-seeding. The more you show it, the better you feel and the more you want to continue doing it.

Rochester is indeed lucky to have such a wonderful man as one of her citizens. We need more people like Rev. McMickle, who are not afraid to discuss these politically charged issues, who are not interested in laying blame, but want to look at the reality of the situation and speak openly and honestly about what needs to be done to change direction.


Mt. Morris’s good old socialist

I was glad to see the name of Francis Bellamy in the caption below the photo of Mt. Morris storefronts at the head of the article “The Mt. Morris Miracle.” That lets old socialists like me write in to remind readers that Bellamy was more than the writer of the Pledge of Allegiance.

In this fractured time in our country, mention of the author of the Pledge is a grand opportunity to remind some and inform others that Bellamy, born in Mt. Morris, was a socialist. “Socialist” has not always been a dirty word in these United States, and it shouldn’t be today.



One comment

  1. Tom Janowski · · Reply

    I was on the bus to Washington DC for the anti-fracking event as well. I also was saddened by the relatively small turnout. However, in talking with numerous people at the event, I came to think of the turnout not as small but as the best and brightest among the anti-fracking activists.

    This way I am comforted to know that there are 5000 extremely committed activists working constantly to stop fracking where it is already happening and to prevent it from invading places where it isn’t currently taking place.

    It may be of little consolation to those of us who care so deeply, but whatever the outcome, we can say we were there.

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