Boston Marathon Bombing, Tax Day, P3 in El Salvador, etc.

The LaGeo geothermal energy plant in Ahuachapán, El Salvador
The LaGeo geothermal energy plant in Ahuachapán, El Salvador

(1) Boston Marathon Bombing:  We at Dollars & Sense are shocked and saddened by yesterday’s bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, not far from our office.  As we wait to find out more about what happened and who is responsible, we are reminded of the immediate aftermath of 9/11.  Now as then, we want to mourn those killed, comfort the survivors, and condemn the attacks, but also to brace against scapegoating, fear-mongering, and exploitation of the tragedy.

The joint 9/11 statement from the Dollars & Sense collective, September 11: A Discussion, published in our Nov/Dec 2001 issue, still resonates (and was prescient about what would happen after the 9/11 attacks).

Left sportswriter Dave Zirin has a moving piece at his Nation blog, Edge of Sports, about the bombings:  The Boston Marathon: All My Tears, All My Love.

Lest we forget or minimize the potential for scapegoating here, the Tumblr site Public Shaming has a parade of screenshots of Tweets in which people blame (in nastier terms) Muslims, North Korea, gay people (really: “That’s what Boston gets for being so goddamn gay!”), Obama, and various conspiracies, within minutes of the bombings. (Don’t look at this if you don’t want to be bummed about nasty scapegoating.)

From Glenn Greenwald, a perceptive analysis:  The Boston bombing produces familiar and revealing reactions. I especially liked Gary Younge’s tweet, which Greenwald quotes: “I’m up for us ‘All Being Bostonian’s Today’. But then can we all be Yemenis tomorrow and Pakistanis the day after? That’s how empathy works.” This reminds me of Chris Tilly’s point in the D&S 9/11 discussion.

I’ll post more bombing-related stuff if I see it (tips welcome–post a comment here).

(2) Tax Day:  Yesterday was, in addition to Marathon Day and Patriots Day here in Boston, Tax Day across the United States.  A couple of links:

Joseph Stiglitz‘s piece in the New York Times, A Tax System Stacked Against the 99 Percent (from the guy who arguably came up with the 99%/1% slogan).  Familiar material–ridiculous that it still has to be repeated.

Huffington Post reports that Grover Norquist thinks that Chained CPI Violates Taxpayer Protection Pledge (and White House spokesman Jay Carney appears to have admitted that it amounts to a middle-class tax hike).

Tax Evaders Video Game:  Report at the Real News Network, which also has a series on tax havens.

(3) Palm Springs Post Real Estate Report:  A piece in the Palm Springs Post covers some of the territory covered in our current cover story (including the subtitle we used on the cover):  Meet your new landlord, Wall Street.

(4) P3 in El Salvador:  The author of our current cover story, Darwin BondGraham, wrote the cover story in our Nov/Dec issue, Highway Robbery, about public-private partnerships (“P3”) in U.S. infrastructure projects. Our current issue has a piece I have just posted to the website by Hilary Goodfriend, P3 Push in El Salvador, about how the U.S. government is pushing P3 on El Salvador, but Salvadorans are pushing back.

The “possibly irrelevant image” at the top of this blog post is of a geothermal plant in El Salvador that is threatened with public-privatization. I absolutely love that photo, which the photographer, Fernando Marroquin, graciously gave us permission to use. It makes me fantasize that the clean-energy power plants of the future–hopefully owned by the people still–will look like clean and tidy miniature golf courses. I want to Photoshop in a friendly gnome or hobbit peeking out from behind one of those manicured shrubs.

That’s it for now.

–Chris Sturr


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