Letters to the Editor

Vulnerable dot

October 15, 2010


To the editor:

On Valentine’s Day 1990, a camera on the spacecraft Voyager I was turned back toward Earth in a daring attempt to photograph our plant. The result was an amazing photograph showing a pale blue dot in an immense sea of blackness. That pale blue dot is planet Earth! Home to all the peoples of the Earth, our only sort of air, water and food!

Sadly the ability of our Earth to continue to support all of its inhabitants is rapidly decreasing. The fault lies in the greed and folly of its human inhabitants. Population has tripled since many of us were born. At the same time, our pure water supplies and our fertile croplands have decreased. Habitat for wild creatures has been destroyed. The air we breathe is often polluted. To make matters even worse, humans continue to waste and destroy precious resources carelessly and in seemingly endless wars.

It is rather clear from the photograph of the pale blue dot that there will be no relief shipments to Earth any time soon. We have to mend our destructive and wasteful practices ourselves. Since Americans have been major contributors to these problems, we must be major contributors to finding solutions.

The next election could be vital. Please vote for those who are able to understand the world situation and U.S. contributions to the many problems and who are willing to work for some of the changes we so desperately need. Remember the pale blue dot in the blackness of space!


Liberty_One 7 years, 1 month ago

In the past socialists claimed their way was the best to achieve great economic progress. Central planning was the only way to bring great prosperity to everyone. When socialism failed to create this prosperity they just changed the goal and renamed themselves environmentalists. Now socialism is needed to create poverty because our prosperity is ruining the Earth.

Also, since the population increase is listed among the "destructive and wasteful practices" for which the "fault lies in the greed and folly of its human inhabitants," it follows that there must be too many people. You first, Doris.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

Wow, that is a truly amazing collection of strawmen in such a short post.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

"Remember how any idea to make things better must be some utopian dreamworld? "

No, it's only utopian dreamworlds that I label as such.

Jimo 7 years, 1 month ago

How embarrassing that the nations where human achievement, comfort and prosperity happen to occur in the greatest levels are in so many "socialist" economies. Rather than 'failing to create prosperity,' your statement either demonstrates your ignorance of conditions or your hope that readers are so parochial in their experience to buy your propaganda.

Sorry, but while you may think passing into law Republican proposals for health insurance reform is the Advent of Socialism, the fact is that real Socialism is hardly the hell on Earth your ideology insists it must be. You don't have to believe me. The proof is available to anyone at only the cost of international airfare. Sure, Finland is far away (and a bit expensive for visitors) but hey Canada is only a few hours away. Maybe you should take a weekend, visit a fine Canadian city like Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal or even a rustic spot like PEI or Lake Winnipeg, and do a survey of random Canadians and ask them to detail for you the living hell of socialist imprisonment.

Your position has always been that: however tempting socialist achievements might be, they require the surrender of liberty and so aren't worth it. That's a defendable position - even an honorable one - although a matter of personal opinion. Now, you've backed yourself into an indefensible position where the facts dispute your claims. Sorry, while it may be that America is the best place on Earth to be a billionaire (if you ignore tiny Monaco), it's not for being in the upper middle class or the working class, let alone poor. On measure after measure, life's good in many proud socialist nations. I at least don't have to lie to convince myself of the merits of a market economy.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

Actually, Canada, which I also liked quite a bit, is not a socialist government.

The health insurance industry is socialized - as a sort of Medicare for all, system.

Other than that, it functions much as ours does, as far as I know.

It seemed like a great place when we visited - if it didn't get so **** cold, we would have seriously considered moving there. We talked with a couple who were both practicing physicians who had practiced in both countries, and their overall take was as yours - if you have lots of money, you can do very well in America - if not, you can do better in Canada.

Jimo 7 years, 1 month ago

"Canada, which I also liked quite a bit, is not a socialist government."


Canadian health care isn't similar to Medicare - it is the total control of the entire health industry by government. Indeed, until the Canadian Supreme Court struck it down, it was illegal to even pay for health care with your own money. I think we can call this socialism. (Although the fact that so much of the remaining economy embraces a strong market orientation makes a strong counter-argument to 'slippery slope' claims that government involvement in industries poorly comprised for taking advantage of market principles, e.g., health care, lead inevitably to government involvement in industries well characterized for working with market principles.)

In fact, there's no definition of socialist or for that matter capitalist. They're all systems that employ market economics to varying degrees in varying markets and industries. Indeed, the right-wing in our country has put so much effort into convincing everyone that capitalism equals only laissez-faire markets that the words no longer carry their traditional meanings. You don't notice the change until you're confronted with such patron saints of the laissez-faire world such as Hayek, who supported "socialized" medicine, and Friedman, who favored "socialized" negative income tax (guaranteed minimum income) for the working poor, and Reagan, who adopted "socialized" tax increases including one to shore up "socialized" Social Security, tax rates somewhat higher than we have today.

But try having a sane conversation about that nuance with a Tea Partier - or one of the clowns on here.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

I thought the Canadian system was in fact socialized insurance rather than socialized care, as in England - is that not true?

Interesting stuff about Hayek, etc. Any sources? I might be interested in looking that up - I personally have thought socialized care might be the simplest and best way to do it, and also considered the idea of subsidizing a minimum income.

parrothead8 7 years, 1 month ago

You wouldn't? Our last two Republican presidents beg to differ with you.

Jimo 7 years, 1 month ago

And thanks for the contentless reply. You're not required to comment if you have nothing to say.

notajayhawk 7 years, 1 month ago

Next time you visit one of your socialist paradises, Jimo, try getting off the tour bus and seeing the way the real people live. You might make yourself look marginally less foolish.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

When my wife and I visited Canada, we met and spoke with a number of "real people", some at length.

Overall, they seemed happy, intelligent, very friendly and welcoming, and under much less stress than many Americans.

Jimo 7 years, 1 month ago

I didn't travel as a tourist. I lived abroad for a year in college and in two countries for four years for work - all in proud socialist countries, countries with higher growth rates than the U.S., lower unemployment rates than the U.S., better standards of living for the upper middle class, the working class, and the poor than the U.S. Are there poorer socialist countries? Sure, just like there are poorer countries devoted to laissez-faire mutations of market economics.

You're just miffed because you're unused to being confronted by facts - facts that don't fit the childish fairytales you wish existed.

labmonkey 7 years, 1 month ago

If you actually look at population projections, the world's population will increase to about 9.1 billion by 2050, then fall off to half of current levels by 2150 due to low birthrates.

gccs14r 7 years, 1 month ago

Not gonna happen. Not in any kind of orderly fashion, anyway. We're going to run out of fresh water and cheap power long before then, at which point large swaths of civilization will collapse completely and there will be deaths in the billions. The only question is whether the planet will remain habitable for most organisms after the crash of humanity. There is no doubt that the planet will recover from our desecration of it, it's just a question of whether it will take millenia or thousands of millenia.

labmonkey 7 years, 1 month ago

You've been watching too much Soylent Green.

kenos 7 years, 1 month ago

The dimming dot I see belongs to the people who think like Doris. The dimmer it gets, the better I feel.

notajayhawk 7 years, 1 month ago

"On Valentine’s Day 1990, a camera on the spacecraft Voyager I was turned back toward Earth in a daring attempt to photograph our plant."

Did your "plant" it was trying to photograph have leaves with seven lobes, perchance?

bearded_gnome 7 years, 1 month ago

On Valentine’s Day 1990, a camera on the spacecraft Voyager I was turned back toward Earth in a daring attempt to photograph our plant. The result was an

---my question exactly, that "plant" was wacky tobaccy?"

humans: Bad! Bad! so Bad! a "virus" upon the earth.
Doris, "there's no 'there' there" [pun on german meaning of her last nae]. but then of course she opposes war, thus we all should either be speaking german hier, or japanese.
if we unilaterally decide "no war" somebody else still willing to be beligerant will win by default.

yes, we have a potable water crisis growing right now. however, for example, environnuts/greenie wheenies are in fact making it worse across the western states.
if we decided to apply technology in the way we did to put a man on the moon, we can solve the water crisis. plus, if hydrogen cells become a power source of any significance, then we've just created a potable water source.

Doris forgets that the primary cause of famine throughout history has actually been actions of governments.

and now, Louie and Marie antoinette Obama want to actually raise the cost of energy and thus increase the cost of food and food preparation.
break into the royal graneries and seize the flour now!!!!

independant1 7 years, 1 month ago

1990 was the end in alarmist letters written when I was much younger. Therefore we shouldn't be here having this debate.

rtwngr 7 years, 1 month ago

"Major Tom to ground control....."

Thank you LJW for a good laugh for today. I thought this was a serious letter for a moment. Then I got to the punch line and laughed until my sides hurt. Hats off to whoever penned this spoof down there at the LJW. Maybe they could do a whole book like this. I'd buy it. I love good comedy. Thanks again.

mr_right_wing 7 years, 1 month ago


Isn't there a tree or two in your yard that could use some hugging??

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