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John Eby: Flooding attributable to global warming, too

Published 11:17pm Wednesday, July 6, 2011

This summer marks the 40th anniversary of America’s disastrous war on drugs.

ebyDid you know that Americans consume $65 billion annually in illegal drugs.

That’s a bigger business than professional sports and Hollywood combined.

I also enjoyed a letter in Time magazine from Jim Lovell in Seattle reacting to the July 4 cover story on the Constitution by Managing Editor Richard Stengel who, in a previous life directed the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Jim states: “The real constitutional story lies in Supreme Court decisions that expand corporate influence while insulating corporations from public and governmental attempts to restrain abuses. Those decisions pave the way toward a society of inequality, in which elections are merely window dressing for the control of government by moneyed interests. The Constitution will survive disputes over war powers, debt, health care and immigration, but unless voters regain some influence over the electoral process, our democracy will become a sham.”

Very timely, because I had just read about Elizabeth Warren to see what Wall Street’s been up to.

July 21 the new consumer-protection agency from last year’s reforms is supposed to set up shop to give little guys a chance against the too-big-to-fail financial conglomerates which melted our economy in 2008 and stuck us with the bill.

Last July President Obama signed a sweeping bill to overhaul with regulation and supervision the greedy banks.

Flash forward a year and Obama is fending off the usual suspects, Republicans backed by Wall Street deep pockets and lobbyists intent on nothing happening. According to Time’s account, “It’s not clear Obama will be able to appoint anyone to run it.”

At one time it was thought that someone would be Warren, 62, the Harvard Law professor and former Sunday school teacher from Oklahoma who suggested the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau when she wasn’t cracking up Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show.” The right doesn’t want her appointed because they blame her for being unfairly demonized. Will Obama fight for her? Who knows?

Former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm has even had her name floated.

Meanwhile, most of America seems to have been distracted by turning into a mob to await video verdict vindication in the Casey Anthony murder trial, as though the untruthful Orlando mom would be put to death when we still don’t know the circumstances of Caylee’s death, but we do know that fair and balanced Fox commentator Geraldo Rivera called her a “slut” on national television.

I agree with former Vice President Al Gore that the “climate crisis is a struggle for the soul of America. Most politicians and the media, sadly, fall into two categories: those who cheerlead for the deniers, and those who cower before them.”

Of course, Gore might be influenced by the “thousand-year” flood in his home city of Nashville, Tenn.

Getting less attention is that is has rained almost constantly for a year in Colombia. “It is not uncommon for the nightly newscast to resemble a nature hike through the Book of Revelation,” Gore writes in “Climate of Denial,” a sobering 10-page piece in the July 7 Rolling Stone.

Did you know the weather costs the United States $485 billion each year, according to a study led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research?

The Souris River displaced a third of the residents of Minot, N.D., breaking a 130-year-old record.

Quips, quotes and qulunkers: “You can’t get your picture taken with a block M.”

— Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon, who told the alumni magazine he is considering creating a a costumed Wolverine mascot to roam Ann Arbor sidelines. “Our history and our tradition (are) great for those of us who were there to experience it, or remember it, but there’s a generation coming up, and you’ve got to connect with them and keep them excited.” Sports Illustrated assures anyone who thinks a warm and fuzzy critter might make the Wolverines appear soft “should remember that they essentially already are” after losing seven straight to Ohio State, three in a row to Michigan State and winning just one of its last six bowl games. U of M

hasn’t occupied the top 25 since 2007, while my alma mater, Central Michigan, finished No. 23 more recently — two years ago.

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Other anniversaries: Twitter, five. Princess Diana, 50. Buddy Holly, 75.

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