"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." --Bishop Desmond Tutu

Friday, October 29, 2010

And another thing...

Here's a good set of reasons to show up at the polls on Tuesday... So moronic jackwagon teabaggers don't get elected.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Don't worry, you're not alone

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:

  • 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.
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.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What if...

If we stopped paying attention to this

and this
and this
and this
and especially this

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.

Facts are stubborn things

For 650,000 years, the CO2 levels in Earth's atmosphere have remained below 300ppm.  That's a long time...  and now?  Where are CO2 levels?  How about 390ppm.

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.

Judo CHOP!!!

Jerry Brown kicks Meg Whitman in the nuts...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dems shrink deficit

Here's a story you won't hear from the horse-race-obsessed MSM.  The Democrats shrank the deficit in 2010 by nearly $122 billion.  Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, GOPers.
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!

Remembering Feingold and the War - Wikileaks Exposes the Horror of Iraq

There is more than enough guilt to go around here, but the revelations on Wikileaks about the US and UK prosecution of the war in Iraq are horrifying.  How Bush and his cronies along with the bulk of the Democratic party currently in power (with Senator Russ Feingold a critical exception) dragged our nation, our flag and our lives through the blood and mud of Iraq is revolting.
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

For Sale: 2010 Midterm Election, cheap!

The GOP are busy this election cycle.  Busy buying the election from us all.  But I guess that's just the FreeMarket(tm) in action.

7 of the top 10 big spenders in politics this cycle are supporting the GOP in one way or another.  And the biggest non-party contributor to the noise?  The US Chamber of Horrors Commerce with a whopping $21.1 million spend so far.  Of that $21.1 million spend, $13.2 million went towards attack ads against Democrats (of a total of $15 million in attack ad spending of which $0 went to attack Rethuglicans).  A mere $2.5 million went to support candidates.

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 Senslessbrainer Sensenbrenner).  I can't imagine what 2012 is going to be like.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dumber than a bag of hammers

Is Christine O'Donnell the stupidest person to run for public office ever? And among the GOP, she faces some seriously stiff competition. She makes Sarahcuda (aka The Quitter) seem like a Rhodes Scholar by comparison.  And that's no mean feat.

She is unable to name a single Democratic Senator. Not one. I'm not kidding.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A brief history of stimulus

'Nuff said.

Defense Cuts in the UK

The British government (a Conservative government, BTW) is poised to cut defense spending 8% over the next 4 years. That's amazing!  British Conservatives have the ability to launch cuts in their defense spending.  What would that look like in America, you ask?  Let's do the math.

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
This would represent a savings of $102 billion over the course of 4 years.  That's not chump change.  That would keep social security, medicare AND every other social program known to man afloat forever.

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!

Another "Dirty Little Secret" for America

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 CulturePoisoning 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

Now with Bubble Action!

Remember this iconic image from 1969?

Well, the 21st century has a new take on the "flowers in the rifles" meme.  Bubbles.  Yes, that's right.  Bubbles.

The large police officer on the receiving end of this stream of bubbles told the young woman, "If the bubble touches me, you're going to be arrested for assault.."  Yes, folks, the hulking police officer was going to arrest her for assault with a bubble.  Seriously.  What a joke...  Welcome to the new world order!