A Friend’s Rant

I get a Christmas note from friends who live near Lake Champlain. Here is an excerpt:
We usually write what a friend calls “our rant” about here, sharing with you a few things that just flat out bother us.
Drones: especially those that kill without legal process, no court, and no facing the accuser. What happened to a fair trial? What precedent are we setting?
Information: we need to know what our elected government is doing in our name and with our money. We don’t need everything to be secret. How can we vote sensibly otherwise?
Hydro-fracking: putting chemicals into the earth to get natural gas out. What are the chemicals? If we are possibly damaging our groundwater and drinking water for ourselves and our children, how can we be so short-sighted?
Global warming: threatens the entire earth’s ecology yet we do next to nothing to curtail our carbon output. A rising tide might raise all boats is an old saying; it also assumes everyone has a boat and seems not to mention island and coastal communities.
Lastly the National Defense Act and the provisions in it signed into being by President Obama: allow the military to arrest any citizen suspected of aiding anyone the government considers an enemy, and holding them indefinitely without trial.
All this to protect our democracy, our constitution and Bill of Rights while militarizing our judicial system.

About Sam's Branch

I joined the Peace Corps in 1961 as West Virginia’s first volunteer. Go to Amazon.com to order my book Imagonna: Peace Corps Memories. I am the eighth generation of my family born in the Big Coal River Valley of West Virginia. My father and grandfather were underground coal miners. I have a chemical engineering degree from West Virginia University (WVU). After training to make sidewinder missiles, I joined the Peace Corps and taught chemistry and coached the track team at a secondary school in Nigeria. Since that time, I was WVU’s first full time foreign student advisor and worked in urban outreach, organic farming, construction labor, and high school teaching. I recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy (wvhighlands.org), and recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Kanawha State Forest Foundation (ksff.org). I am still on the board of the Labor History Association and the West Virginia Environmental Education Association and recently joined the board of the West Virginia Civil Liberties Union. I am active in the campaign to stop the destructive practice of mountain top removal strip mining in the Appalachian Mountains. You may contact me at martinjul@aol.com or my blog samsbranch.wordpress.
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