About Wanderings

Each week I will post my current syndicated newspaper column that focuses upon social issues, the media, pop culture and whatever might be interesting that week. During the week, I'll also post comments (a few words to a few paragraphs) about issues in the news. These are informal postings. Check out http://www.facebook.com/walterbrasch And, please go to http://www.greeleyandstone.com/ to learn about my latest book.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Are You Ready for Less Academics?

      by Walter Brasch

      Fewer people know the names of the recent Nobel laureates than the starting quarterbacks for Division I college teams. To find out why, I went to Green Valley College where the regional chief accreditor, unable to find a tailgate party, was grilling the president.

      “How’s your football team doing this season?” was the first question.
      “Our football team?” asked the president.
      “Yes, your football team. The most important part of any major college.”
      “We’re 1-and-5 and very proud of our team,” said a beaming president, noting the players had the fewest penalties of any team in the conference.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Shuffling Federal Paperwork

 by Walter Brasch

      The right-wing part of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, with John Boehner in the role of spineless lackey rather than courageous Speaker, has shut down much of the federal government.
      Eighty Republicans had signed a letter expressing their intent to shut down the government. It was a political act of defiance against government by people who themselves were government. The millionaire representatives have grabbed the media, which they publicly say they hate—except for one TV network and a few loud-mouth blowhards on radio—to proclaim their demands.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Environmental Justice: One Illegal Bid at a Time

    On April 21, the day before Earth Day, Tim DeChristopher was released from custody by the Department of Justice. He had served 21 months for having committed an act of civil disobedience against a government bureau that had violated the law.
    In his mid-20s, DeChristopher, who graduated from high school in Pittsburgh, was in Utah to work as a wilderness guide with at-risk and troubled youth.
    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), in the last month of the George W. Bush presidency (December 2008), decided to auction 149,000 acres of public land in southern Utah; most of the land was near national parks. Big Energy was there to scoop up what it could at bargain basement prices in order to drill for gas and oil. Environmentalists protested, and filed suits to block the sale, but didn’t have the money to outbid the gas and oil companies.

Jumping Aboard Fracking’s Fossil Fuel Carousel

    Two Pennsylvania legislators who have taken money from—and enthusiastically supported—the natural gas industry have teamed up to now praise coal.
    State Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Williamsport), chair of the Environmental Resource and Energy Committee, and Rep. Tim Solobay (D-Canonsburg, Pa.) are co-chairs of the newly-established Coal Caucus.
    It’s a strange move on their part, since both have praised natural gas as the economic future of Pennsylvania.