Scott Parkin is a Senior Campaigner with Rainforest Action Network and organizes with Rising Tide North America. He has worked on a variety of campaigns around climate change, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, mountaintop removal, labor issues and anti-corporate globalization. Originally from Texas, he now lives in San Francisco.
wo weeks ago, a polar vortex hit my home state of Texas. The heating Arctic pushed cold air far south and temperatures plummeted below freezing. In a state that has been hit by hurricanes, drought and wildfires, the climate crisis coming home to roost in one of the most pro-oil and gas states in the country is nothing out of the ordinary. Despite decades of dealing with the aftermath of these climate disasters, the notoriously libertarian state fails at providing for the needs of its residents over and over. But a polar vortex hitting Texas was completely new and it’s leadership even more unprepared for the disaster.
Gas and coal-fired power plants lacking winterization had their facilities freeze and shut down. In a state of 29 million, this led to over four and a half million people without power in frigid weather. Residents living in homes built for the tropics shivered in the dark. Some froze to death. The next phase of the disaster had more than twelve million Texans lose their water or put under “boil advisories,” (which means you have to boil your tap water before you drink it.) More than 130 of the state’s 254 counties were experiencing water outages or potential contamination, and more than 250,000 residents had not had water service for three days, according to state data. Some still don’t have water. Continue reading “Cowboy Capitalism, Big Oil’s Spin Machine and Mutual Aid”
In this episode, we talk about left politics in country music with Prof. Mark Allan Jackson. Country music has a huge popular following and has been closely associated with Republican and socially conservative political forces. Politicians like George Wallace, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan have all appealed to country’s fans to build their political bases. But country music has also had a populist left appeal as well. From Nashville to Bakersfield, CA, country musicians have espoused progressive political positions as well in lyrics and activism.
We’re rejoined by repeat Green and Red repeat-offenders Debbie Russell (@debmocracy) and Clayton Lust (@claytonlust), in Austin and Houston, respectively, to discuss the “Katrina-scale” crisis happening throughout Texas at the moment.
Among the many utterly ridiculous claims made by the Texas GOP and “energy” industry, is that they couldn’t have foreseen a “Black Swan” event like the winter storms in Texas (because the 2011 Super Bowl Stormhttps://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/05/us/05storm.html was so long ago) and it would have been too expensive to weatherize the infrastructure–natural gas, coal, oil, because wind, the scapegoat for Texas politicos right now makes up barely 10 percent of the power grid. So below is some data on just how much the major energy companies in Texas raked in. I guess when you’re making $9-12 billion a year, you can’t afford to plan for a rain, or snowy, day. Maybe a GoFundMe page is in order?
Five Dead. Lighting-fast trial. Dems rely on Republicans to “have spine.” No witnesses called. GOP on the ropes but given new life.
Donald Trump incited a violent crowd to storm the capitol, with dozens of police injured and five people killed. Large majorities of Americans believed he was responsible for the assault and the damages. He was quickly impeached and now he’s been, predictably, acquitted by Senate Republicans who really didn’t even need to try to make up any good reasons for their vote.
Everyone has seen this played out before, several times. Trump commits some heinous deed and gets off the hook. Liberals and the Left ramp up their outrage and hatred of Trump, and he doubles down, ultimately to the point of inspiring people to violently attack the Capitol and the “blue lives” they claim to cherish.
And he’s getting that–lots of it. Since the episode blew up last week, I’ve seen countless social media posts about it, from some of the biggest names in the lefty media pundit celebrity world, and articles about it in various media internationally. I’m glad. People who criticize Israel have been the targets of smear campaigns for too long (I have my own personal experience with that–from the allegedly radical Pacifica Network no less). So, Nathan Robinson is a worthy victim–as Herman and Chomsky wrote about long ago….no doubt. Continue reading “Worthy Victims? Two Professors Fired in Texas…..mostly crickets”
President Neil Matkin doesn’t care about health, safety, or free speech at Collin College
Audra Heaslip and Suzanne Jones are well-established and highly-regarded professors at Collin College…..for the time being. Both were fired this past week by Collin’s President, Neil Matkin, for expressing their concerns about the college’s (non)response to COVID, as well as for their union activities. It’s a textbook case of retaliation and Matkin and the College administrators aren’t really trying to hide it. If Heaslip and Jones can be terminated and possibly lose their jobs, their careers, their security, paychecks, healthcare, then everyone in the academic world is at risk—a tenured professor at celebrity university, or an instructor at a community college, or a K-12 teacher anywhere in America…….. Continue reading “Professors Fired for COVID Concerns”