Three points in response to Mr. Tradleners Maggies Drawers column:
Scientists never say its just a theory. A scientific theory requires masses of supportive data, yet is never a statement of absolute and complete truth. The theory of evolution, for example, though based on massive evidence, does not pretend to be a complete data set or closed to future modification that wouldnt be science. Likewise, the theory that the climate change is real and caused significantly by human activity is based on overwhelming evidence. Almost all scientists accept it; like five out of 10,000 dont.
Tradlener writes of lying. Remember the organized campaigns to discount that tobacco causes cancer and that the ozone hole was not real? Those lies were generated by self seeking corporate interests. In like manner, there is a networked effort today financed by oil and coal corporations to undermine the theory of human caused climate change. Where are the peer reviewed articles in current professional journals that challenge the theory? They dont exist.
Tradlener writes, ... people involved in the study lied about their findings. What specific study? Actually, there are many, many studies supporting the theory and their many, many authors are not proven liars, though false charges have been made.
The current U.S. House invited Richard Muller to testify; hes a prominent University of California scientist, one of the last scientists to question climate change, and a darling of climate change skeptics. Muller testified he now believes the theory.
Turning to Tradleners and my differing understandings of health care and the financial crisis: My perspective starts with Montezuma County where some of the most valuable, dynamic, creative citizens are capitalists: they are farmers, restaurateurs, owners of dry cleaning, nursery and grocery establishments, musicians and on and on. As much as they might wish, they can not pay their employees better wages, to say nothing of health and retirement benefits.
At the national level, mega corporations dominate. I begin by noting Americans over time have turned to government when the market fails. And the market does fail in important ways. Thus we have adopted unemployment insurance, Social Security, Medicare, critical infrastructure construction and so on. Regards health care specifically, Obama Care, modeled on Romney Care, fails to address important aspects of the United States shameful health care system. It does not, for example, control costs which are so high, in part, because insurance administrative costs increase medical costs by over 20 percent. The administrative costs of Medicare are much less. I support Medicare for all, provided the needs of unemployed health insurance workers are addressed.
As for the alleged role of Fannie and Freddie in causing the financial collapse, Joe Nocera, a New York Times business columnist, tells the story well in The Big Lie. (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/24/opinion/nocera-the-big-lie.html?r=1) Fannie and Freddie were latecomers to predatory, recklessly speculative, and often illegal practices that promoted the housing bubble and caused the financial collapse.
John Reed, a former CEO of Citigroup, one of the too big to fail banks, admits he erred in supporting elimination of the Glass Steagall Act which for 70 years prevented a repeat of the 1929 Wall Street crash. (Watch Reed make this admission at http://billmoyers.com/segment/john-reed-on-big-banks-power-and-influence/)
Repeal of Glass Steagall under Clinton made another collapse inevitable. Gretchen Morgensen, Pulitzer Prize journalist, argues that still another financial collapse is inevitable because Dodd Frank, significantly designed by Wall Street lobbyists, fails to break up the too-big banks and adequately control speculative practices. (See http://www.the-peoples-forum.com/cgi-bin/readart.cgi?ArtNum=27410) Sensible, enforced regulation keeps us from returning to the misery of the cutthroat capitalism of the 19th century.
Finally, I believe Tradlener when he says the local Tea Party receives no funds from the Koch Brothers. But he is evidently unaware that they have contributed millions to the national Tea Party movement. Tradlener might find it edifying to watch David Stockman, Ronald Reagans budget director, argue that we no longer have democracy or capitalism because big money, the 1 percent, controls Washington whichever party is in power, significantly disfranchising the 99 percent, the rest of us. (See http://billmoyers.com/segment/david-stockman-on-crony-capitalism/)
Big Money will control Washington until we, for starters, do away with the Supreme Courts Citizens United ruling which allows corporations, unions, and the wealthy to make unlimited political donations. Also essential is electoral reform that gives all Americans an equal voice. At present the super wealthy and mega corporations speak with a voice in Washington that largely drowns out the 99 percent. Unions are an ever-dwindling voice in America.
Ned Harper is a Dolores resident.