pattern language, politics, theology

Barack On Nuclear Energy

In point of fact, I have no idea what Barack will do in terms of nuclear energy. In my compendium of things he will do as President, there are many references to the problems of nuclear proliferation, disarmament and the location and control of loose nuclear materials. But not one to nuclear energy as a positive option for the future.

There were a few nods to nuclear energy during the campaign but nothing to suggest a strong commitment.

I feel this is one issue on which we the people (or more correctly, those of us who are in full sympathy with Obama for America) have a real chance to sway an issue. I also feel there are strong arguments on both sides.

To show that there is a case to be made from a liberal to left perspective, I direct your attention to the Left Manifesto for Nuclear Energy.

Among other things I learned that in the US we already have over 100 reactors chugging away.

I recall Barack having said that the proof will lie in the safety and that this will rely on our being able to store waste better or learn to minimize it so radically that it is not a major smoking gun.

Well, the issue is out there, clearly.

Theologically, I am inclined to think if something is available that can help us, it is our job to perfect it. That would speak well for a judicious approach which cedes to the partisans of nuclear energy at least a place at the table when we are deciding what to do to build a world beyond oil and the oil economy.


Obama Health Care Signal: Not This Time

Remember Harry and Louise? The lobbyists dream team to submarine health care reform? The Obama team is saying Not This Time. In essence, the gamble is that the same grass roots support that propelled the Obama victory at the polls will help push through the reforms the health lobby does not want to see.

Even before taking office or introducing concrete policy proposals, the administration-in-waiting is moving to build public support around the broad notion that the U.S. health system needs an overhaul. To Washington veterans, the approach may seem backward, or even naive, but Obama is betting that the energetic, technology-savvy supporters who fueled his candidacy will act as a potent counterbalance to the traditionally powerful special interests that have defeated similar reform efforts.



Is Barack A Neocon?

Before you recoil in horror, consider this piece by Jacob Heilbrunn, already published, but set to appear in the Jan. 12 issue of The American Conservative.

… the notion that Obama will seek to roll back the American empire is a pipedream. It wasn’t McCain but Obama who declared on the campaign trail that America has to “lead the world in battling immediate evils and promoting the ultimate good.”


Despite my effort to raise the issue of nonviolence, it is clear that there will be none of that in an administration committed to enlarging the military. Still, the degree to which diplomacy will be soft rather than the same old Clinton-Bush seat-of-the-pants military engagement is germane. And ultimately the entire effect of the Obama administration will be judged on whether there was change or not. And the issue that will tell the tale is whether Barack turned out to be a neocon or turned away from that exceptionalist, prideful and ultimately self-destructive course.


Could Saltsman & Limbaugh Destroy GOP?

Let’s see. The Soviet Union faded fast, although it had all the symptoms of decay for many years until it fell of its own weight.

Now the GOP. Certainly Hannity helped them lose the election. And now Chip Saltsman and Rush Limbaugh are doing their best to carve out a mini-minority of nativist Americans. And the symptoms of self-destruction were there for decades.

Is another fast fade in view?



Barack’s Food Agenda: Organic, Regional

Some think Barack will make eating healthier.

Add it all up, and Obama looks like the first foodie president since Thomas Jefferson. For more recent comparisons, one could look at President Bush, who is a fitness buff but who aligned himself with large agricultural companies like Cargill and Monsanto that some advocates for sustainable agriculture and organic food fight against.

President Bill Clinton certainly seemed to love food, but in his White House years, his tastes ran more toward Big Macs than grass-fed beef. Only after his presidency, and serious health problems, did he turn his attention to issues of obesity and diet.

The Obamas are a different kind of first family, said David Kamp, who traced the history of the modern gourmet-food movement in his book, “The United States of Arugula” (Broadway, 2006). “This time we have a Democrat in office that seems to live the dream and speak the language of both food progressivism and personal fitness,” Kamp said.


I would say that the issue is how many things can Barack do at once.

Here is the agenda at

1. Revitalizing the Economy
2. Ending the War in Iraq
3. Providing Health Care for All
4. Protecting America
5. Renewing American Global Leadership


For deep digging on what Barack is likely to do ASAP as President here are 194 Things Barack Intends To Do As President. SOURCE

118. Obama will help organic farmers afford to certify their crops and reform crop insurance to not penalize organic farmers. He also will promote regional food systems.