A fairly agreed upon definition of greed is an inordinate or insatiable longing for wealth, status, and power, and as a secular psychological concept, greed is an inordinate desire to acquire or possess more than one needs. It is arguable that many Americans would disagree that it seems the more wealth and power one has the more they want, and that those lusting unlimited wealth, and power, are generally either Republicans or avid conservative Republican supporters.
Over the course of the past five years since angry conservatives and deluded even angrier emoprogs handed Republicans control of the House, and then the Senate, it has been apparent that there is nothing whatsoever Republicans are unwilling to take from the American people, including their very lives. This is not only abject greed, it is blatant disregard for human life from a party that labels itself staunchly pro-life.
It is nearly impossible to list everything Republicans have already indicated they will, or are attempting to take from Americans given the opportunity; either for the benefit of their wealthy donors or just for sport. Of course some Americans are likely aware that Republicans will, and are attempting to, take food from hungry children, homeless, working and elderly Americans, as well as take away their pensions and healthcare; not because they need or even want them. They just do not want Americans to have them. It is the ultimate expression of greed. Starving people and taking away healthcare is obviously life-threatening, but nothing compared to deliberately poisoning American citizens and not just according to the events in Flint Michigan.
In a very little reported, if at all, new study released late last week, researchers revealed that Republicans are viciously defending an industry practice wholly responsible for poisoning millions of Americans. The study focused on the deadly effects of oil and natural gas operations that contaminate the air, surface and ground water with deadly chemicals well-known to wreak havoc on birth and growth hormones; even while a fetus is still in the womb. So much for “protecting the unborn” mantra religious Republicans spend no small amount of time claiming is their unique raison d’être.
Several other recent reports revealed there are outrageously toxic levels of “selenium contamination” in groundwater near fracking operations that is, and has been, causing a dangerous increase in premature births, birth defects, cancer, Parkinson’s, and endocrine disruption.
According to yet another fracking study, there are at least 23 regularly used fracking chemicals “that either activate or inhibit the estrogen, androgen, glucocorticoid, progesterone, and/or thyroid receptors in the human body, and mixtures of these chemicals definitively behave synergistically, additively, or antagonistically in vitro.” The “known” chemicals also caused decreased sperm counts and increased body, heart, and thymus weights that means these chemical combinations attack multiple organ systems at once.
The study reported that the “adverse developmental and reproductive health effects on humans is devastating” and there is evidence this is and has been happening for some time. Still, despite President Obama’s Herculean attempt at reducing the fossil fuel industry’s “poisoning of America,” Republicans are working tirelessly to thwart the Presidents efforts at every turn; even labeling protecting American lives “un-American.”
The poisoning by the fossil fuel industry is even worse than studies and researchers can determine because most of the fracking chemicals that scientists are able to test are just the toxins that can be identified. A larger problem health advocates have complained bitterly about to no avail is that oil and gas companies refuse to identify which toxic chemicals they use in the fracking process; the oil industry will not disclose the chemicals they claim are “proprietary trade secrets.” In some Republican states, legislators passed laws levying harsh fines and prison for health and safety officials who even attempt to learn which chemicals are responsible for poisoning Americans when they have to treat people suffering from toxic spills, leaks, or “newly discovered” groundwater contamination.
To get an indication of the death and destruction being wrought on Americans living near fracking operations that Republicans claim are “safe” and worth abolishing the Environmental Protection Agency over, it is worth noting a Pennsylvania study of “fracking-induced pre-term births.” The study revealed that in a four year period from 2009 to 2013, 25 percent of mothers exposed to fracking are 40 percent more likely to deliver pre-maturely and if the child survives it is likely to experience life-long debilitating defects and health issues. Still, Republicans made a nasty move last month to increase fracking around the nation and increase the price of fuel for Americans.
When Republicans included a rider in the 2015-2016 budget lifting the ban on selling American crude oil overseas, not only were they taking away Americans’ inexpensive gas and oil, they took away American refinery jobs. What they are also taking is more Americans’ lives because the majority of increased oil and gas extraction for export is going to be through the fracking process; a process they still claim is safe.
There is nothing whatsoever Republicans are unwilling to take from the American people. They will take Americans’ national parks, wilderness areas and national monuments to give the logging, mining, and fossil fuel industry access to more wealth for the already highly-profitable industry. Through the Koch brothers’ ALEC and Heritage Action legislative arms Republicans are taking away access to the Sun by restricting the use of solar power, and the same two organizations have been taking away millions of Americans right to vote. Republicans are also crusading to take away women’s right to decide their own reproductive health and same-sex couples right to marry the person they love; not because they profit from unwanted pregnancies or gays being unable to wed, but just to exercise their power to take everything until Americans have nothing; not even their lives.
Democrats have an opportunity in a general election year to wreak their own havoc on Republican policies they can easily point to as only taking from the American people. Whether it is healthcare, nutrition assistance, clean air and water, voting rights, pensions, safe roads and bridges, or national parks, nothing is safe from Republicans and every Democrat in every state can easily cite several things Republicans have either already taken or are crusading to take. Now, after the events in Flint Michigan and recent mounds of research detailing the poisoning from fracking operations around the nation, there is sufficient proof that as Noam Chomsky recently said, Republicans will destroy humanity and they have already started deliberately destroying Americans’ lives.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.