July 2017 Archives

Thanks, But No Thanks Say Koreans


"Illegal THAAD, back to the U.S." read their signs. On March 18, 5000 people from across South Korea gathered to protest the forced deployment of the U.S.'s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system on a resistant populace.

The THAAD deployment in Seongiu County is not designed to protect South Korean citizens at all, says JJ Suh, professor of Politics and International Affairs at International Christian University in Japan. "This system is designed to work at higher altitudes, higher than 45 kilometers. But most North Korean missiles are short-range missiles that would fly below 45 kilometers." The THAAD system does, however, serve U.S. strategic interests in the region. It is clear from the locations of American missile defense systems all over the world, mainly in Eastern Europe and Asia, that their deployments are aimed at creating a network surrounding China and Russia.

Missile defense systems are dangerous precisely because they enable a preemptive nuclear strike, warn staff writers for ZoominKorea, by removing the enemy's ability to retaliate. Former U.S. President George W Bush walked away from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with the Soviet Union in 2002, after thirty years of relative stability guaranteed by mutually assured destruction.

Completion of an environmental impact assessment, "to strengthen public support for the missile system by shoring up its political legitimacy," fails to address the core concern of THAAD opponents: U.S. intervention in the affairs of a sovereign state.

A cease-fire in July 1953 left North and South "in a tense state of armed truce ever since, with open warfare just a hair-trigger away,"notes Colombia University's Charles Armstrong. Despite initial ambivalence about the missile defense system, and longed-for rapprochement with the northern half of an illegitimately partitioned country, South Korean President Moon Jae-In appears to have capitulated to U.S. interests.

Hella Organized Bay Area Koreans (HOBAK) demand that President Moon push for a Korean peace treaty and stop deployment of the THAAD missile defense system. 


Rally at South Korea Consulate San Francisco

Thursday July 27, 4 - 5 pm

3500 Clay Street

"The Korean War never ended," say event organizers. "This July 27th marks the 64th anniversary of the Korean Armistice, an agreement that stopped 'hostilities by armed forces'. 64 years later, the people of Korea and the Asia Pacific Region still face U.S. militarism and constant threats to their land and life.

"When Peace Comes, THAAD Goes!!"


Trumpcare Is a Death Plan

The Plan to deny medical care to millions of Affordable Care Act subscribers (17 million would become uninsured next year alone) and reinstitute barriers to the hard-to-insure has collapsed, for now, but the congress behind the genocide of expendable constituents promises to reassemble.

"The disastrous Trumpcare bill passed last week [May 4, 2017] by the House of Representatives was a vanity project for the billionaire president whose social agenda was no more than a campaign ploy to secure the vote of the Anglo-Saxon poor with populist tribal distractions," charges Fabiola Santiago at el Nuevo Herald.

"Their vote makes pregnancy a pre-existing condition, eliminates funding for birth control and makes access to health care more difficult for women. Their vote makes people suffering from serious conditions such as heart disease, cancer and HIV and AIDS unable to have insurance."

Access to health care is a human right. "Here, in the richest country on earth, this social contract is broken. The right to health is enshrined in international treaties and the constitutions of a large number of countries around the world," says Dr. Joia Mukherjee, Chief Medical Officer, Partners in Health, "but in the United States, basic rights like health care, education, and even the right to vote are under increasingly grave threats. Even as we speak, the federal government is selling each pillar of our social contract and our human rights to the highest bidder. . .

"Enough is enough. Health is a right -- not a commodity, not a privilege."
Climate scientist Ben Santer fights 'alternative facts'. He's not alone. The consequences of global warming denial affect every person on the planet. Santer advises that human actions must be part of the solution:

"You jump through hoops. You do due diligence. You go down every blind alley, every rabbit hole. Over time, the evidence for a discernible human influence on global climate becomes overwhelming. The evidence is internally and physically consistent. It's in climate measurements made from the ground, from weather balloons and from space -- measurements of dozens of different climate variables made by hundreds of different research groups around the world. You write more papers, examine more uncertainties and participate in more scientific assessments. You tell others what you've done, what you've learned and what the climatic "shape of things to come" might look like if we do nothing to reduce emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. You speak not only to your scientific peers but also to a wide variety of audiences, some of which are skeptical about you and everything you do. You enter the public arena and make yourself accountable.

Donald Trump is more hostile to modern science than any previous president, says history of science professor Robert N. Proctor. "We now live in a world where ignorance of a very dangerous sort is being deliberately manufactured, to protect certain kinds of unfettered corporate enterprise." 

We can't afford to wait years for a change in management. We must create a political situation where the Trump administration's program is repudiated, where Trump and Pence are driven from office.

"The Trump administration has promised vast changes to U.S. science and environmental policy," headlines the National Geographic. "The stakes are enormous." Writers Michael Greshko, Laura Parker, and Brian Clark Howard are tracking them as they happen. Their list is pretty damn comprehensive, and well worth a read.

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