It's Tuesday afternoon, figuratively and literally. This is the last week of Florida's Legislative Session- providing they passed a budget by the time you read this. Hard to believe 60 days have come and gone already. It's the first time I really tried to pay attention to what they were doing and I must say, it was no easy task.
The craziness of it kind of muddles the mind. Bills have to go to committees where amendments can be added. It has to be read three times before being put up for a vote, unless it gets attached to another bill. So you just never know what's going to happen until it does. It'll take a little time I suppose to sort things out.
(The Press Journal highlighted how fast things change there in their editorial today): http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2009/apr/28/election-bills-simply-03/
When I said we're facing hard times and politicians don't always tend to do what's right during hard times, I was hoping I would be wrong but alas, no such luck.
I've already gone over loosening growth and environmental regulations while we're swamped with homes for sale and face water shortages so won't go over that again.
But some other examples of the other madness I see is cutting funding by 15% for Florida Virtual School which means less classes can be offered while the demand for classes is on the rise. That one class being cut costing $510 online could be the difference of a kid keeping up or graduating or being held back for an extra year at a cost of $7,000.
Attaching funding for Florida Forever to the offshore drilling bill is another. The House passed the drilling bill (as close as a mile- which both Reps. Mayfield and Poppell voted yea) when tourism is such a big part of our economy and we'll be doing it when we won't even be getting a premium for it. (But at least as of now the Senate says they won't pass it. Do you think our Reps are sorry they voted yea now?)
Then there's the budget cuts to the criminal justice system which has them saying they'll have to release all sorts of prisoners early, yet they refused to hear the "Second Chance Act for Children in Prison". That would have given children 15 and under at the time of their crime, who received long adult sentences consideration for release after eight years, under strict conditions. Like if they were an accessory to a crime committed by an adult, rather than playing a major role, among other things.
I could go on but there's really no point.
Would you like a recession proof job? Become a lobbyist. Lobbying is a $200 million-a-year business and they outnumber Florida’s 160 legislators by 12-to-1. According to a Brevard County lobbyist, not one of his clients have scaled back due to the economy. And we wonder why our voices aren't heard.
"When it comes to dwindling resources, petroleum may get all the press, but many experts believe that water is the bigger story." A link to the rest of the article and a nice list of tips for conserving water:
An interesting article in Scientific American "Top 10 Myths about Sustainability". If you look at Myth #9 he talks about population and its importance, but unfortunately takes a defeatist attitude on it. I believe we can reverse the trend with education and the tools necessary for family planning without taking away a woman's right to plan her family size as she sees fit.
Is there sustainability without a sustainable population?
"The biggest threat to global stability is the potential for food crises in poor countries to cause government collapse". Another more serious but very interesting article in Scientific American: "Could Food Shortages Bring Down Civilization?
Lester Brown, the writer of that article and author of several books is the president of the Earth Policy Institute which is "dedicated to building an environmentally sustainable economy- an eco-economy".
Can we have a sustainable economy without a sustainable population? Lester doesn't think so and neither do I.
Want to pass something valuable on to your children and grandchildren? Pass the knowledge of making compost, growing and preserving food. A basic knowledge of natural remedies IMO, would also be valuable.
For those who didn't like my immigration blogs, you may like my second favorite magazine: "Yes! Magazine, supporting you in creating a more just, sustainable and compassionate world"
Yes, I veer sharply from their immigration stance because there is no justice for those who don't have access to basic necessities- food and water. As there is no sustainability (for long) without a sustainable population, no matter how good we get at the three R’s or conservation. And compassion is one thing but it doesn't provide necessities. If the United States goes broke, there will be no room for compassion for others.
When are you gonna come down, When are you going to land?
You can't plant me in your penthouse, I'm going back to my plow,
Back to the howling old owl...