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The Pile: Thoughts, Life, and Photography of Joshua Davis

Will Democrats Vote For Climate Change?

There’s a plan in New York City to bring in congestion pricing. Basically if you enter the most congested part of a city (for New York that would be Midtown and Downtown), you have to pay a toll. In London traffic saw a 20% decrease, and carbon emissions saw a similar drop. And did I mention business profits have increased?

It appears that the New York general assembly, which is Democratically controlled won’t vote on whether New York City can have this congestion scheme. Today is the last day to vote on this, because the Federal government won’t grant funding if it isn’t approved on Monday. It appears as if weak kneed politicians won’t ignore the complaints of their constituents to better protect their constituents freedoms. Think, they won’t be able to drive to their favorite beach if nothing is done about global warming, because it will be flooded.

But here in America we equate the car with freedom. A smart move on the car companies sides. They have huge American flags at the dealerships, they sponsor patriotic events, and hold sales on national holidays. As a result Americans feel anyone wanting to reduce private automobile usage, that their “inherently granted right to drive” is curtailed. But in fact mass transit affords more freedom. Ever tried to read a book while speeding down the highway? Ever waited a couple of hours at the repair shop while the bus was repaired?

Photo by mpecarevic.

Filed under: Environment

Divided We Stand, Together We Fall

Protestor holds sign declaring

Only one Repulican showed at the NAACP’s anual convention, that was Tom Tancredo. It’s actualy funny, because he’s one of the most racist candiates out there.

While there Tancredo said “I get mad when I here Latinos are taking black jobs.” Looks like he just pulled out the race card. Anyways it seems conservatives have a strategy to divide the minorities (or mainly the brown and black skinned ones), so instead of being one powerful voting block, we all have a difficult time working together to insure our future.

I remember my mother use to tell me “Don’t make racial jokes in mixed company.” The reasoning behind this was even though a black and white person might be telling Asian jokes, someone else is going to make a joke about you’re race. That’s how I feel, conservatives talk of holding jobs from Latinos and giving them to blacks, but when they’ve gotten rid of Latinos they’ll come do the same thing to us.

Oh, and I promise my next post will be about something non-immigration related. Photo by Claudia A. De La Garza.

Filed under: '08 Election, American Politics, Black Matters, Immigration

Ending Government Corruption

I can’t help but wonder how rare government corruption would occur, if stronger penalties where handed out. At first look the execution of Zheng Xiaoyu seems fair, he took bribes to approve medications, that wound up killing people.

But then on second look China seems to be this execution more for show than for justice, because they want to show that they’re serious about ending “cheap” Chinese products, such as tainted dog food and toothpaste, andeven malfunctioning fireworks. But this sentence came unusually quickly and hasrshly.

But then you see America where you can lie and obstruct justice and not have to serve any jail time. While political corruption seems like a domestic issue for the country involved it’s not one. Even though Lewis Libby was an issue of domestic issues, there have been other instances of corruption of the Bush administration, that have had international consquences, such as the false excuse given about WMDs and bioweapons in Iraq.

There should be International standards for how corruption is handled. For instance deliberately approving products you know might cause death should result in fines that amount to the revenue earned from that product being sold. And while I certainly don’t want harm to occur to my America, lying to start a war should result in some sort of arms embargo, and since many of the biggest contributers to wars are countries that make most of their weapons, countries should be banned from both buying and selling milatary equipment with such offending countries.

Filed under: American Politics, Politics, The World

Go Home: Global Warming Naysayers

A quick note, there will be no beaches to party on if global warming occurs, because they’ll be flooded, or a massive sea wall will be protecting the chain hotels and restaurants, from the very thing big business said would never happen. And what should those from Minnesota care about global warming, it’s to far inland to be affected, so why don’t you go back home?

Despite the Republicans attempt to shut down Live Earth in DC, it still went on, and we had something the other events lacked, Al Gore spoke. Unfortunately the venue only held 200 people, so the other 6000 of us, had stand on our tip toes, and try to block out people chanting “turn it up” over the low volume speakers.

Photo by Joshua Davis (articnomad)

Filed under: American Politics, Economy and Business, Environment, Local Politics

Border Fence sits on Mexican Land

During routine inspection, it was discovered that a section of border fence along the U.S.-Mexican border, was 1 to 6 feet inside the Mexican border. Like any neighbor they have requested that the fence be removed. But from early responses it appears the government doesn’t want to pay the 2.5 million required to move the fence.

You’d think when you’re building a fence in the middle of the desert it wouldn’t have to be right on the border. Who really cares if an “illegal” walks five feet onto our land? And what about those fence builders, since they weren’t crossing the border at an officially recognized point, they became illegal emigrants (or from Mexico’s view, immigrants). Maybe next time they could have a setback of several feet.

Or maybe we should just forget the entire fence idea, since it’s illegal in the first place, and the people making the decisions on where to place the fence obviously don’t know what they’re doing. If anything should be done about illegal border crossing, it should be fixing the way most people enter the U.S. illegally, by over staying their visitation limits.

Filed under: American Politics, Immigration

At Last Minute, Live Earth to Visit DC

In a series events, from the National Mall being booked, to global warming nay sayers in Congress, Gore decided to move his Live Earth concert, from Washington, DC, to New York. But just in time the Native Americans came to the rescue, and are allowing the concert to be performed on the front plaza of the American Indian Musuem.

We won’t have any big names unless country music is your cup of tea, but Al Gore will be giving the opening speech, which is good enough for me to show up. So for all you readers in the Baltimore/DC area, you can come out to hear Al Gore, watch some global warming videos, and get some live music. And it’s free. The event is at 7/7/7 at 10:30-9:30 at the welcome plaza of the American Indian Museum.

Filed under: Environment, Local Politics

When Will Iraq Be Able To Celebrate Independence Day?

When I hear the first fireworks explode on the Fourth I jump slightly. Then I remember it’s the fourth. Then I think about Iraq, and how an Iraqi wouldn’t jump at the sound of a small explosion, much less a larger one.

So when will the Iraqis get some of the freedoms that Americans enjoy? Like not having to worry about getting machined gunned down when troops bust into your home, or being blow up when at the grocery store. While us Americans remember the countries 230th birthday, I hope we remember those same people that want freedom from the bigger, oppressive force. Instead of more bloodshed why not give the Iraqis the freedom they want by letting them determine the future of their country, whoever they decided to work it out, by force, or by peaceful political means.

Filed under: American Politics, History, War & Peace