2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the BilgeBucket Gazette. Our first issue was on May 19, 2003 and we’ve been shoveling it to the public, just like the corporate media, ever since. We changed our format to a WordPress blog in 2011 so all of our earlier material was archived. We’ve been reposting many of those archived articles, headlines, photo-toons, BilgeBucket Lists and other content over the past twelve years. In honor of our 20th, and because we’re sick of the current state of affairs in the world, we’ll be reposting more items from 2003 through 2009 throughout this year.
The Republicans have long been anti-science and pro-corporation and it shows in their voting record, the fact that they put industry insiders in key posts in government agencies like the EPA and their incredibly stupid efforts at promoting conservation; Donald Trump’s recommendation at raking forests during the California wildfires a few years ago comes to mind. Which reminds us of Dubya’s promotion of his Healthy Forest Initiative which promotes the logging industry logging the hell out of forests. Hey, if there are no trees left, you can’t have wildfires, right? This article comes from our July 17, 2003 issue.
Bush Proposes New Healthy Forest Initiative
In response to the devastating wildfires in the western United States, President Bush has come up with a new Healthy Forest Initiative designed to reduce future forest fires.
“The idea behind this plan is that we thin the forests so that there are maybe ten or twelve trees per square mile. Maybe even less. That way, if a fire does start, no trees will burn. Forests can’t burn if there are no trees around. See, it’s a healthy forest. It’s a win-win for everyone. It’s a win for the economy. The logging industry will need more lumer . . . lumerber . . . log guys to cut down the trees. More workers will be needed to build the roads for the log guys. This will open up new areas of housing development and enable people to build houses safely in the forest without having to worry about losing their house in case of a fire.”
Mike Scoggins from the Sierra Club then asked, “What about all the wildlife that will be displaced by the thinned forest, new roads and new housing? Where are they going to go?”
President Bush shook his head and said, “People! That’s what zoos are for. All the animals can stay in zoos where we can manage them better. I’m tight with God and it’s his plan that all plants and animals obey their masters! Us!”
Bush then added, “Supporting this initiative is the American thing to do! You Sierra Club lima beans obviously must be for the terrorists!”
Homeland Security agents then rushed Scoggins and lead him away to a detention area for questioning and a good pummeling.
We’re environmentalists and science enthusiasts here at the Bucket and we’ve harped time and time again about how we need to the put Earth’s health first in economical decisions because there is no other planet we know of that supports life. Capitalist economies have protected the destructive fossil fuel and mining industries and now with climate change wreaking havoc on our planet’s ecosystems the lives of every living creature in is peril.
There’s an excellent video posted recently on YouTube by BigThink featuring astronaut Ron Garan that states this case beautifully. “We need to move from thinking economy, society, planet to planet, society, economy. That’s when we’re going to continue our evolutionary process,” Garan concludes.
In this season of peace on Earth, watch the video and reflect on how fragile our planet is and how important it is that we protect it.
We’ve already seen how repressive islamic theocracies are. Take the Taliban in Afghanistan. Women are treated like they were in ancient times; like second class citizens. Basic human rights are pretty much limited to straight islamic men. The clerics run the country with an iron fist. Do we really want to turn our nation into a christian version of Afghanistan? Do we really want the American Taliban on the Supreme Court to dictate every aspect of our private lives? We thought the right wing wanted government out of our lives?Recent polls have indicated that Americans have little confidence in the current Supreme Court after their latest decisions.
The Supreme Court should not be political, but if these christian nationalists persist then the constitution much be changed so that the justices should be elected by popular vote. Therefore they should not have life time appointments – maybe just a six year term like Senators. The Democrats need to step up to the plate and check these zealot’s power while they still have some power. Maybe they need to channel their inner FDR and stack the court. The freedom loving American people will not accept an American version of the Taliban ruling over every aspect of their personal lives. We don’t want America to be a Holy Corporate Empire. This is the 21st century. Like we’ve said before many times, Americans need to connect to a 21st century database, not a 1st century database.
While many Americans need desperate relief from the disastrous effects of the on-going coronavirus pandemic, what do the Senate Republicans do? They hold confirmation hearing for their super religious handmaiden justice candidate, Amy Coney Barrett. In the first week of hearings, Ms. Barrett certainly did nothing to allay Democrats’ fears about her abolishing abortion rights, LGBTQ rights, voting rights, delaying the election, eliminating Obamacare and blocking any kind of legislation for regulating climate change. She repeated didn’t answer Democrats’ questions pertaining to these subjects. Propagandists over at Fox Propaganda Network openly proclaimed that her notebook was blank, meaning she was so sharp she didn’t need notes. Well, when you don’t answer any of the Democratic Senators’ questions, we guess you don’t need any notes. As far as we’re concerned, her brain was as blank as her notebook and her sanctimonious, holier-than-thou stare.
But there is little the Democrats can do. Ms. Barrett’s confirmation is pretty much a done deal and it will probably put her on the bench right before Election Day. Gee, how convenient! And Republicans keep stating over and over that they’re worried about Joe Biden packing the court if he gets elected when that’s exactly what they’ve done for the past twenty years. Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000 and yet George W. Bush got to pick two conservative justices (Roberts and Alito). Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in 2016 and yet Donald Trump got to pick three conservative judges (Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and now Barrett), not to mention Mitch McConnell refusing to hold confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland, who should rightfully be occupying a seat on the Court. So that’s five conservative judges where there should have been five left leaning or moderate judges; all stolen by Republican shenanigans the past twenty years.
We’ve got a lot of problems with Ms. Barrett’s confirmation and the main reason is because she is obviously very religious and will no doubt let her religious brain washing influence her decision making. Confession time: Editor-in-chief Dex Rexter was raised catholic (and is happily far removed from that ‘cult’, as he calls it) and knows very well the holier-than-thou type that Ms. Barrett obviously is. When Ms. Barrett refused to answer questions and gave the world her blank stare, this is a typical reaction of everyone who was raised catholic and is questioned about their beliefs. All christians are taught to have the victim mentality, meaning that whenever they are questioned about their beliefs or faith, they envision themselves as martyrs; St. Sebastian tied up, pierced with arrows or St. Joan of Arc being burned at the stake. The questions don’t matter because in her brain washed mind, she is doing God’s work and everyone who rightfully questions underlying motives are just heathens slinging their arrows and swinging their torches. This God Delusion (see Richard Dawkins), is enormously dangerous for sane, logical, rational people with education based on scientific facts and reasoning. We’ve mentioned this before; the people who wrote the bible knew nothing compared to what we modern day humans know. The biblical 1st century database is minute compared to the colossal 21st century database chock full of scientific facts and data. Why anyone would still let dogma written before the 19th century influence their lives is beyond comprehension. The only behavioral rule people need to follow isthe law of reciprocity or the golden rule, which pre-dates the foundations of judasim, chrisitianity and islam. The ten commandments are just the golden rule stated ten times.
So there you have it. The modern day handmaiden Amy Coney Barrett will stomp all over Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy and more than likely mark the return of back alley abortions, make it tougher for people to afford healthcare, ignore and vilify scientific consensus and make it difficult for any person who is different (translation: anyone who isn’t a straight christian) to get a break in America. Of course, if she is confirmed before election day, she may even rule, with her fellow religious, conservative zealots on the bench, that Donald Trump will somehow get to stay President even though he and all his Republican sycophants are getting slammed in the polls and could be in for a blood bath on election day. Like we’ve said before; get ready for the Holy Corporate Empire, folks.
The crisis is real and Australia is in danger of losing not only its unique land wildlife but also its diverse sea life as well. The Great Barrier Reef is also in tremendous peril. The leaders of the world need to stop being greedy and consumed by materialism and the pursuit of capitalistic wealth. Like we’ve said over and over here, there is no planet B!If the living plants and creatures on this world die, we die! Since humans have commandeered this planet, it’s our responsibility as its ‘smartest’ species to make sure all life survives. Capitalism is killing life on this planet. It’s time for our leaders to pull their greedy fricking heads out of their greedy fricking asses and pass laws, a.k.a regulations, against polluting industries throughout the world.
But she’s not the first advocate for climate change. Jimmy Carter actually talked the talk and walked the walk back in the 1970s but thanks to conservative patron saint Ronald Reagan, the nascent green energy movement was ridiculed and quashed before it even got started. Of course, many other intelligent people have stepped to the forefront over the last forty years pushing for alternative energy, only to be ignored and vilified by the powerful oil, gas and coal industries and their Republican (and some Democrats) lackeys in Congress.
A few posts ago we noted how so many modern-day conservatives were against conservation, thus making themselves colossal hypocrites. But it’s much more complex than that, of course. It’s the collective, monstrous egos of our planet’s most intelligent (allegedly) species, homo sapiens, that have done the most damage. When you put it in that context, each and every human being on the planet is responsible for the demise of life on Earth. We are all to blame and if we’re to rectify the problem, we need to all get on the same page.We all need a giant philosophical paradigm shift and that starts with the realization that unregulated capitalism is killing the planet and all the life on it.
But how and why did having money become the most important thing in our world? Because we’re humans, goddamn it! We’re superior creatures! What are we humans supposed to do with our time? Go hiking in the wilderness, relax and enjoy life? Boring!!! We must grow, grow, grow! Bigger, bigger, bigger! We’re taught from day one that we must utilize our superior brains every second of the day or else we’re failures. We can’t just sit around doing nothing. Or can we? If you ask any sane person what their idea of paradise is, they’ll usually respond some idyllic tropical island like Tahiti or some mountain retreat with little to no development and lots of nature or some small remote village where people live simply. So, why are we constantly destroying nature and building ugly concrete and steel structures and athletic stadiums which only last for twenty years? Because we can; as a monument to human ingenuity and greed.
But just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should. Would it really be so bad to just not build a new multiplex shopping center? Would it be so bad to adopt a simpler lifestyle and enjoy nature and the great outdoors? Would it be so bad to tear down some of our ubiquitous, ugly strip malls and skyscrapers and plant urban forests and farms? Plant an urban garden where that stupid parking lot is. Have a nature reserve where that stupid golf course is. If we combine this with a global effort of birth control and contraception, we can get things under control again. We need fewer humans, not more humans on this planet. Humans, especially ones from industrial, consumptive nations are at the forefront of environmental devastation. We’ve created so much waste that we’re exporting it to third world countries with poor waste management systems. If third world countries become like first world countries, then our planet is truly doomed and we can all kiss our materialistic asses goodbye. We need to dial our greed back from 11. We need to curb our consumption and learn to be content with fewer material possessions and simpler lifestyles. This is the only planet we know of that supports life. We need to put the welfare of our planet before our own wealth, because without the planet, how can we enjoy the wealth?We need to stop worshipping the greedy, egotistical and avaricious and start respecting and caring for nature and our environment. Those paradises we yearn for are right under our feet; we just don’t recognize them because of all the concrete, asphalt and steel.
Part of the problem is that capitalism has taken over the globe. In order for capitalism to succeed, it needs rampant consumption by consumers. Of course, these leads to a rampant increase in junk, garbage and debris. With lax environmental laws, people can just dump their stuff anywhere. Our planet is being inundated with plastics, electronic waste and garbage of all types. So in other words, unregulated capitalism is killing our planet.
Like we’ve commented before, what makes this so aggravating is that so many conservatives are somehow against conservation. How can that be? They didn’t use to be. Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt supported some of our most powerful environmental laws. Richard Nixon established the EPA and signed the Endangered Species Act into law. By the very definition of the word, they should be all for conserving resources, wildlife and nature. Modern day conservative Republicans, led by the Trump administration, are nothing but hypocrites when it comes to the environment.
There are many good environmental sites out there. The Kiwireport has a pictorial of shocking pictures of environmental destruction covering the globe. Warning: some pictures are extremely disturbing, especially if you love wildlife and nature. We’ve used a few in our photo-toon below. We urge people to wake up and support fully conservation efforts in your region. Like the environmentalists say: think globally, act locally. The health and welfare of Earth, the only planet we know of that supports life, depends on it.
If you’ve read any post or articles on this site, you know that we’re atheists. Our world view is solidly connected to a 21st century database of logic, reason and scientific knowledge obtained by thorough scientific methods and inquiry. Adherents to religion on the other hand, seem solidly connected to 1st century, 6th century or x century databases that may have made sense in those antiquated times, but given our advanced knowledge of the universe surrounding us, are now woefully obsolete.
Proponents of religion also claim that only they have the answers to life’s questions. Inevitably it boils to certain individuals in the upper echelons of the religious organizations who want to completely control their adherents or sheeple. History has many examples of bloody wars between adherents of one ‘faith’ disagreeing with followers of another leaving nothing but death and scorched earth behind. Many religions state that God made man in his image and that God created the Earth with man as ruler over all other animals. This directly conflicts with scientific evidence uncovered in the last three hundred years which concludes that man created God (or Odin or Zeus or Iron Man. . .pick you favorite fictitious deity) in his image and has used God and capitalism to commandeer and take control of the planet for fun and profit. Even the authoritarian dictator Napoleon commented that “Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.” That’s why there are so many wolves in sheep’s clothing out there making a killing off of the gullible sheeple. There’s also a link between religion and vaccine refusal. So people are dying unnecessarily because the religious leaders are telling their flock to trust prayer (basically thinking good thoughts) over science.
We’ve talked before that the best spaceship is our own planet. We need to stop being greedy materialists and live within our means. In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “Simplify, Simplify”. We need to listen to modern day scientists. They know what they’re talking about. We need to attenuate our consumption and more importantly reduce the human population using the ethical means of birth control and contraception. By doing this, we can lessen our carbon footprint, decrease our pollution and in general, return the planet to a healthy equilibrium. Ridding ourselves of the antiquated dogmas of religion and embracing environmental science will also go a long way to preserving all life on planet Earth.
So why are the Republicans throwing hissy fits and temper tantrums over AOC and her bold environmental plan? Because the Republicans are lackeys for the fossil fuel industries: coal, oil, gas and mining. These corporations, who don’t give a rat’s patoot about the environment only want to continue their profitable ride on the gravy train. Their industries have been undisputed kings of the world since the late 19th century. They’ve got money and power and they’ll be damned if they’re going to lose their empire to clean renewable energy. That’s why the appointment of former fossil fuel industry lobbyist Andrew Wheeler as head of the EPA has been greeted so favorably by the smokestack and tailpipe suckers; he’s one of them. It’s like putting the fox in charge of the hen house. In short; the chickens(us) are doomed. Hence, all the attacks on AOC and the Green New Deal.
We have no doubt that the kingpins of pollution and environmental destruction will promote Trump as a noble capitalist on a quixotic quest to rid the world of these horrible, energy efficient, evil, killer windmills and their dastardly queen, AOC. It fits right in with the insane, right wing narrative that Trump is somehow making America great again. Perhaps a movie is forthcoming? We present below what that blockbuster may look like.
Don Quixote Trump: The fossil fuel companies send noble capitalist and stable genius Donald Trump on a quest to save their dying, inefficient industries. Trump, together with his EPA stooge Sancho Scienza (played by Andrew Wheeler) and God (played by Mike Pence) battle the Evil Windmill Queen (played by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) and try to destroy her vast, horrible, energy efficient windmill army. Rated R for Regressive.