Point of View Columns

Weekend Edition – July 12, 2013

Last weekend a train carrying fuel oil crashed and nearly destroyed a town in Quebec, Canada. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned? And while the U.S. has moved from #1 to #2 in the world’s obesity rankings (thanks to Mexico), the United States remains #1 when it comes to the largest incarcerated population in the world. And finally, while we await the verdict in the Zimmerman trial we can take a moment to wonder what would happen if the script had been flipped.

The Price of Progress

When a hand brake slipped on a trainload of fuel cars, the train crashed into a small town in Quebec, Canada killing at least fifty people and virtually destroying a huge section of that town. The accident appears to have been caused by human error or mechanical failure.

What we know about this modern era in which we live is that, despite all the safeguards and backup systems, there will always be accidents caused by human error and mechanical failure. Which has to make the idea of adding huge pipeline systems in this country is such a good idea.

We know that there are already serious safety concerns being expressed regarding the proposed XL Pipeline. Maybe we should look north to consider the potential consequences of disregarding those concerns.

Undisputed Champion

Thanks to the proliferation of sugar, junk and empty calories in the American diet this country has held the unenviable title of being the world’s most obese nation. But there must be something in those tacos because now Mexico is #1 while the United States has waddled to the #2 position.

However there is still an area where the U.S. is the undisputed champion. The largest incarcerated population in the world resides in the United States. Certainly a major reason for this dubious distinction is the farce of a so-called War on Drugs that is going into its fifth failed decade.

It is clear that imprisoning so many people has done very little to eliminate drug use in this country. It is also clear that violent explosions are still commonplace throughout this country.

Perhaps it is finally time to consider alternative approaches to law enforcement other than “locking them up and throwing away the key”.

Flip the Script…..Please!

The Zimmerman trial is lurching to an end and we await a verdict. Whatever the verdict it is useful to ponder an undisputed truth.

If George Zimmerman was black and Trayvon Martin was white the “black” Zimmerman would have been arrested on the spot for killing the “white” Trayvon Martin. Right now the “black” Zimmerman would be well into serving the second year of what would certainly have been a very long prison term.

Have a great weekend and stay strong!

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