- Kathryn Patterson
The New Great Distraction: North Korea
Both of my kids discuss what happens at school with me, and lately that discussion includes fears about North Korea. It turns out that kids at school are worried about North Korea bombing us, here in metro Atlanta. Mind you, it's 11,352.31 km (7,054 miles) between Atlanta and Pyongyang, and the North Korean military doesn't own any missiles capable of traveling that distance. But why let logic calm your fear? I know why the kids worry about North Korea; their parents worry about North Korea and talk about it either with the kids or in front of the kids. So the question becomes, why are the parents worried about North Korea? Seriously, the U.S. is one of the only super-powers in the world, and North Korea isn't even in the running. Yes, they have a strong military, but the country isn't large enough to be a threat. So why are we focusing on North Korea as if it's the next U.S.S.R.? Because if we focus and obsess over North Korea, we won't be discussing the domestic problems facing Americans. For example, did you know that Exxon Mobile's Pegasus pipeline burst a pipe on March 29, flooding a neighborhood in Mayflower, Arkansas? I did an informal survey of about a dozen people that I know, and no one heard of this. No. One. This lack of information stems from the fact that Exxon Mobile is running a campaign to censor the media and keep this particular screw-up out of the news while politicians debate the Keystone Pipeline. Exxon managed to convince the FAA to declare the area a no-fly zone, meaning that you need permission to fly over the oil spill. Exxon also continues to feed the community misleading information. In this news release, Exxon claims that "No oil has reached Lake Conway." But in the video below, we see Exxon pumping water from a contaminated pond into the lake during a storm, supposedly to keep the cove from flooding more houses and the highway. Look carefully, you will see the water shooting over the boom on the lake. Video streaming by Ustream So far, Exxon admits to recovering over 19,000 barrels of oil and water. That's just under 800,000 gallons, and they aren't done yet. You can read more information this situation through citizen journalists here and here. The other domestic problems that those in power want us to forget? How about the billions of dollars that oil companies received from the federal government in tax subsidies? Considering the price of oil these days, $90-100 per barrel, the oil companies practically print their own money on a daily basis. So why does the government continue to subsidize them? Also, the powers that be want you to ignore the continuing police brutality in New York; this time a 19-year-old had his face smash against pavement for "resisting arrest" even though the police already had him on the ground. If you want to learn about previous reports, read the article "Top 5 Worst NYPD Brutality Moments" from 2008. The list doesn't include at least three incidents that happened since 2008, or the behavior of the police during the Occupy Wall Street movement. There are even more "hidden" problem here in the U.S. that the powers that be want you to ignore, from the slow change of several large cities into police states to the PTSD that continues to ravage our armed forces to the problem of errors in drone strikes. Or the miniature cell towers that the police use to track people and illegally record phone calls. The question is, do you really want to see what's going on? Or do you prefer to live in ignorance?