Apr 212014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and feeling a bit groggy after wrapping myself around a generous portion of chili beef, rice and veggies casserole, topped with melted cheese.  I got some bad news last night.  The group controlling the prison Activities area on Tuesday maxed out their guest list, so I was bumped from my CoDA.  Once I have my volunteer card, that will no longer happen.  Please don’t expect much tomorrow.  I have a Urologist appointment.  I’m not sick.  I have to go in to fill the cup and get an exam, because he changed my meds in February.  The process will kill half the day.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:52 (average 4:53).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: In this delightful satirical look at a corporate PSA, some energy executives tell us what they are REALLY thinking. YAY!

Just FYI, this uses language that is not safe for work. Also, as I mentioned in the first sentence, this is actually satire, not a real company. Real companies would just keep pretending none of this is true.

So in case you didn’t see the other sentences, I’d like to make clear that this is satire. Also, satire warning.

 

Dang!! Australia has imported Republicans!! :-(

From Daily Kos: Dana Perino on Fox News’ The Five:

 

Without getting into the infinite list of times that Faux Noise, the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, has done exactly what they are accusing Obama of doing, calling him a jerk is just the only argument they can make, because he’s right. Perhaps they might like some cheese with their whine.

From NY Times: The health care law may be Republicans’ favorite weapon against Democrats this year, but there is another issue roiling their party and shaping the establishment-versus-grass-roots divide ahead of the 2016 presidential primaries: the Common Core.

A once little-known set of national educational standards introduced in 44 states and the District of Columbia with the overwhelming support of Republican governors, the Common Core has incited intense resistance on the right and prompted some in the party to reverse field and join colleagues who believe it will lead to a federal takeover of schools.

Conservatives denounce it as “Obamacore,” in what has become a surefire applause line for potential presidential hopefuls.

Without Common Core, children in Republican controlled states will get to learn Dinosaur Riding 101, Racism 102, Homophobia 103, Misogyny 104, TEAbuggery 105, and little more.

Cartoon:

0421Cartoon

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Apr 182014
 

One of the best words that could be used to describe the Oil Industry is greedy.  I think they see that the carbon paradigm must come to an end, but they are determined to squeeze every last bit of profit from earth, no matter now much damage they do in the process.  Now they want to drill the Arctic, an area particularly hazardous for drilling, and especially sensitive to environmental damage.

0418ArcticDrillingFour years ago this week, BP’s Deepwater Horizon drill platform exploded. Eleven workers died that day. Their bodies were never found. Over the next 87 days, 210 million gallons of oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico. It fouled fishing grounds, ravaged the coastline, and shut down tourism. The world got an ugly look at some of the terrible hidden costs of fossil fuels. Spill-related health problems plague the people and the wildlife of the Gulf to this very day.

I personally hoped that we, as a nation, would quickly learn from this tragedy and move swiftly to prevent a repeat disaster in our most vulnerable coastal environments. So it boggles the mind that Shell Oil is still determined to drill in one of the most fragile and remote ecosystems on Earth: the Arctic Ocean — the last bastion of America’s polar bears, endangered bowhead whales and other rare wildlife. For Native Alaskans who live along the coast, this ocean has been the source of their food security and a way of life since time immemorial.

It’s sheer madness to drill in the Arctic — in treacherous conditions of gale-force winds, 20-foot seas, sub-zero temperatures, shifting currents — and for eight months of the year — solid pack ice. If the oil industry was utterly unprepared for a blowout in the balmy Gulf of Mexico, how in the world can we trust them in a treacherous environment like the Arctic? Nobody knows how to clean up oil there, even during the open water season. And once the ice and long Arctic night close in, there’d be zero hope of plugging a blow-out or containing a spill

Those harsh conditions also guarantee human and mechanical error. During a disastrous 2012 attempt at Arctic drilling, Shell Oil experienced fires, leaks, slipped anchors, emergency gear that was "crushed like a beer car," and a 30-mile iceberg that sent its ships fleeing.

A just-released Coast Guard report says Shell’s reckless and failed attempt to tow its Arctic Ocean drill rig in 2012 was riddled with poor planning and judgment — and involved numerous potential violations of the law… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Huffington Post>

Click through for more.

 

I can almost envision Sarah Palin, aka Drill Baby Dingbat, old and gray forty years from now, saying “I can still see the spills from my front porch.  Drill Baby Drill!”

Just say NO to Big Oil!

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Apr 082014
 

The clock is ticking on climate change, and most of the world wants to do something about it.  In spite of the Republican meme denying climate change, because that party is in thrall to fossil fuel profiteers.  The reality is not hard to understand.  Either we reduce the amount of carbon we are putting into the atmosphere, or we face some ugly consequences, as the leaked UN preliminary report makes clear.

0408ClimateWorld powers are running out of time to slash their use of high-polluting fossil fuels and stay below agreed limits on global warming, a draft U.N. study to be approved this week shows.

Government officials and top climate scientists will meet in Berlin from April 7-12 to review the 29-page draft that also estimates the needed shift to low-carbon energies would cost between two and six percent of world output by 2050.

It says nations will have to impose drastic curbs on their still rising greenhouse gas emissions to keep a promise made by almost 200 countries in 2010 to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial times.

Temperatures have already risen by about 0.8 C (1.4F) since 1900 and are set to breach the 2 C ceiling on current trends in coming decades, U.N. reports show.

"The window is shutting very rapidly on the 2 degrees target," said Johan Rockstrom, head of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and an expert on risks to the planet from heatwaves, floods, droughts and rising seas…

Inserted from <Reuters>

Click through for more including the maddening role the US plays in this disaster.  This may be the biggest reason that Keystone XL must not be allowed to be completed.  .My recommendations are to end all fossil fuel subsidies, institute a carbon tax, and subsidize green energy, green energy R & D, and conservation.

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Mar 262014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and feeling quite tired after research and running errands, but not too much so to give a Republican a parade.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:36 (average 4:45).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: George Carlin (R.I.P.) was famous for being hilarious but also for being in-your-face honest about the state of humanity and the planet. His version of the lyrics for "America the Beautiful" are pretty halting.

0326carlin

Sadly, this is way too true.

From Daily Kos: Pretty much any traditional media outlet has been starting every discussion about the upcoming election as a done deal:  the House will remain in Rethuglican’s greedy, dangerous, corporate-owned claws and the Senate may be lost to these miscreants as well, because that’s just what happens in an election year after the opposition party has won the White House.

Bull shit.

Plain and simple.  And, yes, this is a rant.

Click through for a most excellent rant. Amen!!

From NY Times: The Obama administration is preparing to unveil a legislative proposal for a far-reaching overhaul of the National Security Agency’s once-secret bulk phone records program in a way that — if approved by Congress — would end the aspect that has most alarmed privacy advocates since its existence was leaked last year, according to senior administration officials.

Under the proposal, they said, the N.S.A. would end its systematic collection of data about Americans’ calling habits. The bulk records would stay in the hands of phone companies, which would not be required to retain the data for any longer than they normally would. And the N.S.A. could obtain specific records only with permission from a judge, using a new kind of court order.

People are far too quick to blame Obama for doing his duty by enforcing the secret law Congress passed, which is his job as chief executive. He has wanted too long, however, to do the right thing. Now I bet the very members of Congress, who have publically blamed Obama for spying on Americans, will sabotage the proposed measures to end that practice.

Cartoon:

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A national shame and tragedy.

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Mar 182014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and this will be the only article, because I spent the day working on volunteer training.  I may stay scarce, because I have errands to run tomorrow, and both an appointment and grocery delivery on Wednesday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:59 (average 5:33).   To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: “Out of work? Nowhere to live? Nowhere to go? Nothing to eat?” the online ad reads. “Come to Fukushima.”

That grim posting targeting the destitute, by a company seeking laborers for the ravaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, is one of the starkest indications yet of an increasingly troubled search for workers willing to carry out the hazardous decommissioning at the site.

The plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, known as Tepco, has been shifting its attention away, leaving the complex cleanup to an often badly managed, poorly trained, demoralized and sometimes unskilled work force that has made some dangerous missteps. At the same time, the company is pouring its resources into another plant, Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, that it hopes to restart this year as part of the government’s push to return to nuclear energy three years after the world’s second-worst nuclear disaster.

Given the level of disregard Tepco is showing for their workers, the environment, and those of us to whom the Japan Current will bring the contamination from mistakes, I’m surprised that they aren’t a US energy company. I guess Japan has Republicans too. :-(

From Alternet: Purchases of American products generally come with a sales tax, and often an excise tax, and possibly state and local add-on taxes. A consumer can avoid all this by limiting purchases to  food and prescription drugs, or by shopping  online. There’s one more way — by visiting a nearby financial exchange and buying a million dollars worth of derivatives.

There is currently no U.S. tax on the purchase of stocks, derivatives, and other financial instruments. The rest of us pay up to a 10 percent sales tax on the necessities of daily life. A tiny  financial transaction tax  of perhaps a tenth of a percent on the trading of financial securities would begin to correct this inequity, while generating billions of dollars of revenue.

There are at least  five good reasons  why our country is ready for such a  financial transaction tax (FTT) .

This is obscene, but Republican welfare for the super-rich always is. Click through for the excellent list of reasons.

From Crooks and Liars: Crimeans voted overwhelmingly Sunday to join former political master Russia as tensions soared in the east of the splintered ex-Soviet nation, the epicentre of the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War.

Partial results with more than half the ballots counted showed 95.5 percent of voters were in favour of leaving Ukraine, in the most radical redrawing of Europe’s map since Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia.

I can certainly understand the desire of Crimeans to rejoin Russia, since Crimea is a Russian area, included in Ukraine when Ukraine was still part of the Soviet Union. If that’s what Crimeans want, an inter4nationally supervised referendum should be organized to facilitate that end. A referendum conducted under Russian guns is no more valid that one in a Red state, where Republicans control e-voting machines with no paper trail. Therefore, I continue in opposition to the Republican militarism of Vladimir Putin (R-RU).

Cartoon:

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Subsequent unconstitutional decisions have rendered this one all but moot.

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Mar 152014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, having fully enjoyed my day off yesterday,  My paid helper-friend, after having missed several appointments came unexpectedly and did the heavier work that, otherwise, I would have had to do today.  After just one day away, I feel out of touch with the political world, and I feel I have some catching up to do.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:19 (average 6:23).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Here’s a visual that I hope gets more people to think about these three words: Redistribute. The. Wealth.

The Distribution of Wealth in the U.S

This picture really is worth a thousand words.  Here are my three words: Amen!  Amen!!  Amen!!!

From Think Progress: On Thursday, Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg announced plans to invest more of the nation’s $840 billion sovereign wealth fund in renewable energy in an effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions as the country struggles to meet its 2020 climate goals.

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, built in large part on investment from the country’s oil and gas reserves, currently only invests a small fraction of money in green technology. The fund invests in listed equities, bonds and real estate, about 10 percent of which is made up of coal, oil and gas investments. The fund is also evaluating whether to exit these investments, as over the last 10 years nuclear weapons producers, companies in-breach of human rights, and tobacco companies have all been excluded.

Kudos to Norway. The US should redeploy welfare payments to oil, gas, and coal companies to investment in renewable green energy!

From Raw Story: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has thrown his support behind legislation that Republicans could use to force President Barack Obama to crack down on legal marijuana in states like Colorado and Washington.

Speaking to Fox News on Thursday, the libertarian-leaning senator said he supported the Enforce the Law Act, which has been approved by the House. The legislation would allow Congress to sue the president for failing to faithfully execute laws.

Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named after Idiot was happy to join his misanthropic father in pretending to favor legalization, but only as long as it was actually illegal. He’s just one more goose-stepping Republican hypocrite.

Cartoon:

0315Cartoon

This led to the US overthrow of democratic government in Iran and installation of a dictatorship under the Shah,

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Mar 122014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and I’m feeling most unhappy, because my bad leg acted up, and I could not go for my volunteer meeting in prison, because I cannot handle the stairs today.  The one plus is that I’m here to write for you.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:02 (average 7:12).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: We all know the rainforest is being destroyed. Heck, the entire planet’s in distress! But is there really anything we can do about it? Actually, yes.

 

I can’t speak for or against the credibility of "rainforest certified", so I leave that to those of you who are in the know, but I love this ad for them.

From Daily Kos: The extent to which Arizona governor Jan Brewer’s office worked with legislators to tweak the language of "religious liberty" bill SB 1062 shows, according to Arizona governor Jan Brewer’s office, nothing at all. To the rest of us it’s another reminder of just how close Arizona’s newest legislative fiasco came to becoming a state reality.

Documents obtained by Capitol Media Services show gubernatorial counsel Joe Sciarrotta and adviser Michael Hunter met with staffers from the Center for Arizona Policy as early as January about the legislation. The documents, mainly e-mail exchanges before and after meetings, show the alterations made in the legislation at the behest of the Brewer advisers. [...]

“But the intent of the meetings, the purpose of the meetings, was to thoroughly vet the language, address their concerns, and make changes in the language pursuant to their concerns,” [CAP President Cathi Herrod] said. She said her organization addressed every concern raised by Hunter and Sciarrotta with the idea that this year’s version would not meet the same fate as a similar bill Brewer vetoed last year.

There it is. The Brewerstan Death Angel, vetoed this bill only because the Republican Party could not get away with it. Her claim to object to the content was a lie, because it was content that she had helped to formulate.

From NY Times: Democrats have for too long been passive in the face of the vast amounts of corporate money, most of it secret, that are being spent to evict them from office and dismantle their policies. By far the largest voice in many of this year’s political races, for example, has been that of the Koch brothers, who have spent tens of millions of dollars peddling phony stories about the impact of health care reform, all in order to put Republicans in control of the Senate after the November elections.

Now Democrats are starting to fight back, deciding they should at least try to counter the tycoons with some low-cost speech of their own. Democrats may never have the same resources at their disposal — no party should — but they can use their political pulpits to stand up for a few basic principles, including the importance of widespread health-insurance coverage, environmental protection and safety-net programs.

Corporations are NOT people!! Money is NOT speech!! Therefore, we must use people to trump corporations and speech to trump money!!

Cartoon:

0312Cartoon

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