Wednesday, November 03, 2010
“As for the Republicans—how can one regard seriously a frightened, greedy, nostalgic huddle of tradesmen and lucky idlers who shut their eyes to history and science, steel their emotions against decent human sympathy, cling to sordid and provincial ideals exalting sheer acquisitiveness and condoning artificial hardship for the non-materially-shrewd, dwell smugly and sentimentally in a distorted dream-cosmos of outmoded phrases and principles and attitudes based on the bygone agricultural-handicraft world, and revel in (consciously or unconsciously) mendacious assumptions (such as the notion that real liberty is synonymous with the single detail of unrestricted economic license or that a rational planning of resource-distribution would contravene some vague and mystical ‘American heritage’…) utterly contrary to fact and without the slightest foundation in human experience? Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead.”
Monday, November 01, 2010
The nation is set to swing back to a party that, for the 8 years preceding 2008, managed to run up enourmous debt, get us into two unwinnable wars and divide the nation into haves and have-nots the likes of which we haven't seen since the 1890s. And yet, in our ADHD frenzy, because Obama and the Democrats weren't able to solve these nearly insoluble problems in 2 years, we're on the verge of handing the wheel back to the party that trashed the nation in the first place. WTF???
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
A majority of Americans would flunk a Climate Science test if forced to take one. This is not surprising considering the volume of anti-information out there about climate change. But a new study published by Yale University lays bare the extent that this propaganda campaign has succeeded in obfuscating the realities of global climate change for Americans.
The study found that 63 percent of Americans believe that global warming is happening, but many do not understand why. In this assessment, only 8 percent of Americans have knowledge equivalent to an A or B, 40 percent would receive a C or D, and 52 percent would get an F. The study also found important gaps in knowledge and common misconceptions about climate change and the earth system. These misconceptions lead some people to doubt that global warming is happening or that human activities are a major contributor, to misunderstand the causes and therefore the solutions, and to be unaware of the risks. Thus many Americans lack some of the knowledge needed for informed decision-making in a democratic society. For example, only:Fully 52% of Americans would fail a test of climate science facts. Frankly, I'm not surprised. And I guarantee that this number is not evenly distributed. Given you start with a core base of 26% of the population who identify themselves as "Republicans" who are likely to all fail, it's not surprising that the balance would come from the remaining 74% of the population.
- 57% know that the greenhouse effect refers to gases in the atmosphere that trap heat;
- 50% of Americans understand that global warming is caused mostly by human activities;
- 45% understand that carbon dioxide traps heat from the Earth’s surface;
- 25% have ever heard of coral bleaching or ocean acidification.
Meanwhile, large majorities incorrectly think that the hole in the ozone layer and aerosol spray cans contribute to global warming, leading many to incorrectly conclude that banning aerosol spray cans or stopping rockets from punching holes in the ozone layer are viable solutions.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
would the world stop spinning on it's axis? Would the moon crash into the Earth? Would the vey fabric of space and time unravel? Probably not. But we all get a little dumber when we elevate these people to celebrity status for doing nothing.
And there's no sign that it's going to reverse anytime soon. Basically, we're fucked.
This data, provided by NASA, indicates without a shadow of a doubt that humans are having a strong impact on the CO2 levels in the atmosphere. There is no point in denying or arguing about it.
The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years.Denying the impact of humans on the atmosphere is like denying that the Earth is round or that we live in a Heliocentric universe.
Monday, October 25, 2010
For the 2010 fiscal year that ended on September 30, the government had a budget shortfall of 1.294 trillion dollars, down 122 billion dollars from the previous year's record-setting high.
Revenue rose and spending fell amid recovery from recession and as President Barack Obama's Democratic administration wound down some of the emergency measures taken to restore growth.Suck on that, Rethuglicans!
Key figures in the British Army and Government must have been privy to this information. They held their tongues and presumably sidestepped any ethical niggles. The Americans were in command and you don't get to lick the arse of the world's only superpower and then turn round and kick it. That, you understand, is the pact, the unbreakable deal behind our special relationship.The British and the United States conspired to keep quiet the ongoing criminal conspiracy of our ongoing occupation of Iraq. Is it any wonder that the Iraqi's want us gone?
But Russ saw this coming. He knew that the invasion of subsequent occupation that would be required to control Iraq in the vacuum created by the elimination of Saddam would have horrible consequences for our nation.
I wonder if some staunch supporters of the Iraq war will now think again about the purpose and execution of that illegal and vainglorious expedition. The sanctions and war killed, maimed and destroyed more civilians than Saddam did, even during the most diabolical periods of his rule. Blair, Bush and their armies have never had to face proper, international judicial interrogations. Now imagine good Muslims worldwide, who know all about universal rights, but can see that there is no universal accountability, that Third World despots are made to pay while others earn millions writing autobiographies and lecturing the world on good leadership and governance.I wonder...
Friday, October 22, 2010
This is where we are kids, and it's only going to get worse. Just wait until the 2012 Presidential election cycle. I've already set my phone to block calls from all but 18 trusted phone numbers (we were getting 3 robo-calls every night!), and we live in a non-contested Congressional district (WI-5, home of
Thursday, October 21, 2010
She is unable to name a single Democratic Senator. Not one. I'm not kidding.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
America currently spends $510 billion on defense. If we were to assume a straight-line decrease of 2%/year cumulative, that would look something like this:
- Year 1: $10.2 billion cut
- Year 2: $20.4 billion cut
- Year 3: $30.6 billion cut
- Year 4: $40.8 billion cut
But of course that will never happen... Corporate welfare queens, especially those in the defense industry would never let something like that get through. Remember, kids, we live in the age of the Military-Industrial complex!
It's hard to come to terms with the ignorance and stupidity of the American public. So many times have I heard it said "trust in the voters, they'll know what to do." But time and again, people are convinced by the blathering spew coming from our right-wing media that America is doomed because of the debt / the deficit / the terrorists / the Communists / the Negroes / etc. / etc. / etc.
Well, another editorial attempts to spit into that wind and sums things up quite nicely.
The dirty little secret is that most Americans don't really know what they think about the issues that so animate the political conversation in Washington, and what they think they know about them is often wrong.
Most Americans still think that the bailouts of the banks, the auto companies and American International Group will wind up costing taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. In fact, the latest guess is that the government will come out even on the deal, and may even turn a profit.
Shocking, isn't it. American's aren't blessed with native intelligence, certainly not intelligence sufficient enough to grapple with the complex nature of today's problems. In fact, it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure this one out. The constant inundation of falsehoods from the right-wing noisemakers ensures that American's cannot separate the wheat from the chaff. That, combined with the continued decline in our nation's educational achievements point to the fact that we are heading straight for Idiocracy.
The years passed, mankind became stupider at a frightening rate. Some had high hopes that genetic engineering would correct this trend in evolution, but sadly the greatest minds and resources where focused on conquering hair loss and prolonging erections.Perhaps it's time to rethink this whole media deregulation thing...
Review: Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson, and the Rise of Washington's Scandal Culture
Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson, and the Rise of Washington's Scandal Culture by Mark Feldstein
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If you want to see the antecedents of the Bush crime family, look no further than the pages of this book. Tracing a line from Nixon in the 1940s and the Alger Hiss case through to the corruption of ex-military officers parroting the talking points of the Pentagon on Faux News, this book covers the history of the corrupting influence of that virulent strain of political slime that is Conservatism. The dirty tricks, the bribery, scandal, backstabbing and even murder (almost).
A wonderfully researched and very well written history of the relationship between the press and politicians, it reads like a thriller. It is quite the page-turner and you'll have trouble putting it down.
View all my reviews
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Well, the 21st century has a new take on the "flowers in the rifles" meme. Bubbles. Yes, that's right. Bubbles.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
DOJ and the FBI identified six investigations, generally involving allegations of voter registration fraud on the part of ACORN employees, all of which were closed without action due to insufficient evidence and lack of evidence.Remember, in Wingnuttia facts are secondary to perceptions and politics!
Monday, June 14, 2010
every time we do this
Not just BP and the lax oversight of the government agency that was supposed to keep the greedy bastards at BP and the other carbon extractors honest, but all of us who vote for politicians who take money from these pricks and then vote to preserve the status quo. We are all responsible. Each and every one of us who allow this to happen.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
- He will end the high-speed train program between Milwaukee, Madison and Minneapolis
- He want's an RTA but doesn't want to pay for it
- Promote global climate change denial
- Cut, cut, cut
Friday, February 19, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
"But, unlike Jamaicans and Bajans and Guadeloupeans, et al., after experiencingLet me suggest another alternative. Haiti owes much of it's poverty to exactly the opposite of what Kirkorian asserts: a long-standing racist approach to the 2nd oldest republic in the western hemisphere. In our arrogance we think we're the only people with a history to remember. We think that our revolution and our position in the world grants us special status to judge the lives of others.
the worst of tropical colonial slavery, the Haitians didn't stick around long
enough to benefit from it. (Haiti became independent in 1804.). And by benefit I
mean develop a local culture significantly shaped by the more-advanced
civilization of the colonizers. Sure, their creole language is influenced by
French, but they never became black Frenchmen, like the Martiniquais, or
'Afro-Saxons,' like the Barbadians. Where a similar creolization took place in
Africa, you saw a similar thing — the Cape Coloureds, who are basically black
Afrikaaners, and even the Swahili peoples of the east African coast, who are
Arabized blacks. A major indicator of how superficial is the overlay of French
culture in Haiti is the strength of paganism, in the form of voodoo — the French
just weren't around long enough to suppress it, to the detriment of Haitians."
Haiti has a history and a story of her own. And it's a story written, more often than not, in the blood of her people.
Between 1849 and 1913, US Navy ships entered Haitian waters 24 times to "protectThe French did more to fuck up the world than any other colonial power (with the possible exception of the Belgians who destroyed the Congo). To assert that Haiti was somehow better off under the rule of the French is racist, imperialist and just fucking stupid.
American lives and property." Haiti's independence was scarcely given even "token recognition," Schmidt observes in his standard history, and there was little consideration for the rights of its people. They are "an inferior
people," unable "to maintain the degree of civilization left them by the French or to develop any capacity of self government entitling them to international respect and confidence," Assistant Secretary of State William Phillips wrote, recommending the policy of invasion and US military government that President Woodrow Wilson soon adopted. Few words need be wasted on the civilization left to 90 percent of the population by the French, who, as an ex-slave related, "hung up men with heads downward, drowned them in sacks, crucified them on planks, buried them alive, crushed them in mortars..., forced them to eat shit,
... cast them alive to be devoured by worms, or onto anthills, or lashed them to
stakes in the swamp to be devoured by mosquitos, ...threw them into boiling cauldrons of cane syrup" -- when not "flaying them with the lash" to extract the
wealth that helped give France its entry ticket to the rich men's club.
Note: For a decent short history of the Haitian revolution, read this.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Something happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about," Robertson said Tuesday.Are you fucking kidding me you wretched sack of bloody bile? The bodies aren't even cold yet and you're blaming the fucking victims of this horrible natural disaster for their plight??? Doesn't Hati have enough troubles without you whoring for the cameras you steaming pile of pig feces? How do you sleep at night?
"They were under the heel of the French, you know Napoleon the third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said 'We will serve you if you will get us free from the prince.' True story. And so the devil said, 'Ok it’s a deal.' And they kicked the French out. The Haitians revolted and got something themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after another," Robertson said.
Haiti earthquake: How to help
The U.S. State Department Operations Center said Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti should call
For those interesting in helping immediately, simply text "HAITI" to "90999" and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill.
Not even close. The authors of these books are trying to scare Americans into fearing all things Islamic (as if we needed any help with that). Remember, these are the same people who demonized the Soviet Union even as it became abundantly clear in the 1980s that the USSR was a hollow shell ready to collapse in on itself.
By 2050, Europe will be unrecognizable. Instead of romantic cafes, Paris's Boulevard Saint-Germain will be lined with halal butcheries and hookah bars; the street signs in Berlin will be written in Turkish. School-children from Oslo to Naples will read Quranic verses in class, and women will be veiled.
Clichés are not the only reason why the foundations of the Eurabia literature are shaky. By relying chiefly on anecdotes rather than data, these books misrepresent the complex evolving picture of Islam in Europe. They also eliminate social and economic conditions, including discrimination, from the picture.In fact, these books basically lie about the demographics!
Give me a break...
Beyond all the sloppy anecdotal evidence, the Eurabia literature relies on two major false assumptions. The first is demographic. The literature holds that Europe will be Islamic at the end of the century "at the very latest," with Muslim majorities in some European countries "in the foreseeable future," in the words of Bernard Lewis in his 2007 pamphlet, "Europe and Islam." That's because "native populations are aging and fading and being supplanted remorselessly by a young Muslim demographic," Steyn explains in America Alone (2006). "Europe will be semi-Islamic in its politico-cultural character within a generation."
If these books insist so much on the future, it is because current figures are unimpressive. According to the higher range of estimates by the U.S. National Intelligence Council (NIC), there are already as many as 18 million Muslims in Western Europe, or 4.5 percent of the population. The percentage is even lower for the 27-country European Union as a whole. The future will certainly see an increase, but it's hard to imagine that Europe will even reach the 10 percent mark (except in some countries or cities). For one thing, as the same NIC study indicates and demographers agree, fertility rates among Muslims are sharply declining as children of immigrants gradually conform to prevailing social and economic norms. Nor is immigration still a major source of newly minted European Muslims. Only about 500,000 people a year come legally to Europe from Muslim-majority countries, with an even smaller number coming illegally -- meaning that the annual influx is a fraction of a percent of the European population.