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This week: Amending Rall; Tar Sands Protest; and Gambling: A Predatory Industry

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Amending Rall

Among other things, Ted Rall rails against "'Made in USA' labels on missiles shot into the Gaza strip from U.S.-made helicopter gunships sold to Israel" ["9/11: What We Didn't Learn," September 8, 2011].

A somewhat less biased presentation might have been made if Rall had also mentioned the more than 20,000 Gazan-manufactured rockets launched by Hamas and Islamic Jihad into Israeli population centers.

Morris Leibowitz, M.D.
Leeds

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Tar Sands Protest

Over 1,500 peaceful protesters were arrested recently outside the White House in an effort to convince President Obama to veto legislation for Exxon Mobil's Keystone XL pipeline project.

One of the reasons the protests have now turned global is not only that the tar sands are found below the boreal forest which represents one quarter of the world's remaining intact forest, but that the extraction techniques are expected to dramatically worsen the emission of greenhouse gas pollution. Worldwide, there is no form of extraction and processing which impacts more destructively on forests, wildlife, clean air and fresh drinking water.

This type of mining technique, which until recently was considered too costly and destructive, turns large tracts of pristine forest into a wasteland of open pit mines and toxic lagoons.

Concerns have arisen about the dangers presented by highly toxic leaks [that will be] caused by erosion in the pipeline as it travels 2,000 miles from Alberta, Canada to Texas, crossing major watersheds for agriculture and fresh drinking water in the U.S.

The U.S. needs to be a leader in environmental policy by moving away from oil, by encouraging conservation and investing in technologies like hybrid cars, solar and wind. Cutting the $21 billion in U.S. tax breaks that Exxon Mobil and other oil companies receive would be a good start.

Amelia Shea
Peterborough, N.H.

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Gambling: A Predatory Industry

This intelligent, well-written piece ["The House Always Wins," September 8, 2011] makes clear how tenacious predatory financial interests are in getting their way. It is easy to forget that [casino] profits, by the boatload, will be shipped out to Malaysia and the other places where those relentless gambling interests who have hunted down Massachusetts like wolfhounds actually are headquartered.

Unlike the public relations professionals, folks like me do not get any income from speaking out on this issue. I am self-employed; part of what I do in my work life is in the field of child welfare, and even the gambling we now have has left children homeless.

It is a total fiction that this proposal would enrich Massachusetts. Millions if not billions would be shipped out of state in profits made by absentee owners who don't care about our state.

Deborah Sirotkin Butler
via Internet

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It [the casino controversy] ain't over. The legislation itself is another gravely flawed proposal. Your expose is well written and reveals some of the major problems.

The Boston Globe has finally caught up with the Valley Advocate and is editorializing against expanding predatory gambling with this special interest racetrack welfare bill.

Senator Rosenberg, this is a really bad piece of work...sad and embarrassing. I hope you will extricate yourself from this proposal.

Kathleen Conley Norbut
via Internet

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