Oct 182014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 180, and this is my only article.  Street noise last night was far worse than normal, as street sweepers took advantage of the rain and the neighborhood became an ambulance zone.  I finally slept for around four hours, cutting into my research and writing time, and I need to sleep more.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:06 (average 4:56).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Tales:

From The New Yorker: There is a deep-seated fear among some Americans that an Ebola outbreak could make the country turn to science.

In interviews conducted across the nation, leading anti-science activists expressed their concern that the American people, wracked with anxiety over the possible spread of the virus, might desperately look to science to save the day.

“It’s a very human reaction,” said Harland Dorrinson, a prominent anti-science activist from Springfield, Missouri. “If you put them under enough stress, perfectly rational people will panic and start believing in science.”

Additionally, he worries about a “slippery slope” situation, “in which a belief in science leads to a belief in math, which in turn fosters a dangerous dependence on facts.”

Andy has explained why Republicans want to substitute a travel ban dealing with the problem.

From Daily Kos: The Arkansas Supreme Court confirmed the decision of an appeals court Wednesday and overturned the state’s strict voter ID law on a 7-0 vote. Since the grounds for reversal related solely to a violation of the Arkansas Constitution, chances are the decision will not be subject to review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

That’s one more state that will be harder for Republicans to steal.

From Upworthy: \They Were Shooting A Beautiful Video From Space. Then They Sped It Up. Just WOW.

 

I’ll second that. WOW!

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Oct 122014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 174.  It’s late evening, and I’m usually not watching this late, but a it’s been one of those days that everything gets done but not at it’s normal time.  That’s partly because od volunteer work, and partly because I took tine out to watch the Oregon Ducks Californicate UCLA.  Tomorrow is a Holy Day in the Church of the Ellipsoid orb, and my Broncos service will be televised here at 10:00 AM.  May the holy Orb bless them with stinger missiles.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:44 (average 4:23).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: This is a special Upworthy series about encouraging action on climate change. Made Possible by Planet Victory. Read more.

Just wait till 4:10 to find out why this amazing footage is so very scary. (Hint: climate change.)

 

You can’t argue with that, except the Republicans so anyway.  They claim, lamely, that they’re not scientists.

From Daily Kos: Walmart is an environmental disaster, despite its claim to be moving toward renewable energy. But Walmart’s majority stockholders, the Walton family, are going above and beyond, actively working against rooftop solar power, according to a new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

The Waltons’ anti-solar efforts fall into two categories. Since 2010, they’ve given at least $4.5 million in donations to organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council [ALEC] and Americans for Prosperity [Koch] that are trying to weaken clean energy policies at the state level. These donations are part of a widespread corporate attack on policies that allow homeowners to use rooftop solar panels not just to power their own houses, but to sell excess solar power to utility companies. These utility companies might not be against solar power, but they’re definitely against losing business to household-level solar.

Thou shalt not Wal-Fart!

From NY Times: More than half of the general election advertising aired by outside groups in the battle for control of Congress has come from organizations that disclose little or nothing about their donors, a flood of secret money that is now at the center of a debate over the line between free speech and corruption.

The advertising, which has overwhelmingly benefited Republican candidates, is largely paid for by nonprofit groups and trade associations, some of which are established with the purpose of shielding wealthy individuals and corporations that contribute.

What is now happening is exactly want the Fascist Five Injustices at SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) said would NOT happen when they illegally legislated that even foreign Corporate money may drown out human speech. Get Out the VOTE!!

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Oct 062014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 168.  I planned to slee3p late, but did not realize that the Portland marathon started at 7 AM two block from my home.  The runners didn’t make much noise, as they passed under my window, but the hour of accompanying drums was a deal breaker for sleep.  I’m waiting for services in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb to begin.  Tomorrow I have a routine CT scan that will take most of the day so there will probably be only a Personal Update on Tuesday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:26 (average 5:50).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

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Short Takes:

From Upworthy: 35,000 walrus just came ashore in northwest Alaska. Yes, 35,000. With three zeros. That’s an unprecedented number, and it’s all due to a lack of sea ice. The images are almost too unreal to believe.

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They call this the "brink of catastrophe". I’d say catastrophe is here. Click through for more pics.

From Daily Kos:

Eclectablog first brought us the story of the lows to which Republicans will go to this election season: sending out a mailer telling voters to call a Democratic candidate’s dying mother to complain about Obamacare. Michigan’s traditional media has picked up the story.

The mailers, which were paid for by the Michigan Republican Party, urge voters to call John Fisher, a candidate for the 61st state House District, and "Tell him hard-working Michiganders are being hurt by Obamacare and the health care policies (Democrats) support."

Fisher’s campaign acknowledged it had no issue with past Republican mailers that told voters to call him at his personal number, but the candidate said Republicans took it too far by directing citizens to call Fisher at his mother’s number. The number is registered under Fisher’s name, but is a direct line to his mother’s room at Tendercare Portage, where Isabel Kramb is currently receiving hospice care for congestive heart failure, said Fisher’s campaign manager David Topping. […]

"To direct people to call a suffering woman who deserves peace and comfort is beyond the pale," Fisher said in a prepared statement. "Their lack of ethics and contempt for personal privacy is just another reason for people to question what–or better, who–the Republican Party stands for, so that they can make a wise decision at the ballot box on Nov. 4."

Of the sliding scale of negativity, we have distasteful, sleazy, outrageous, evil, and lowest of all, Republican.

From Buzzfeed: When the light turns green and the person in front of you doesn’t go.

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This is just one of 26 Hillary Clinton reactions to everyday situations. Click through for the other 25.

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Sep 282014
 

Go ahead, take a big whiff.  You can smell the criminal greed all the way from Drill Baby Dingbat’s front porch.  The entire oil industry has proven over and over again that they are ill prepared to deal with the effects of their negligent incompetence, so what do they do?  They are lobbying hard for permission to be even more negligent.

0928ShellOil companies hoping to find crude under Arctic waters north of Alaska are imploring the Obama administration to ensure new rules governing drilling in the region don’t force them to stash emergency equipment nearby or block them from using chemical dispersants to clean up any spills.

The pleas for flexibility were delivered by Shell Oil Co. and ConocoPhillips in private meetings earlier this month with the Office of Management and Budget, which is reviewing an Interior Department proposal that would set standards governing oil development in the remote Arctic frontier.

The actual proposal is under wraps during the government’s interagency review, but regulators have signaled their desire for companies operating in the region to have equipment on hand to combat a blown-out well, possibly including containment systems, cap-and-flow devices that provide a path for crude out of a damaged well in a destabilized formation and rigs that can drill a relief well.

But according to just-released documents from separate Sept. 10 and Sept. 18 meetings with OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, both Shell and ConocoPhillips want more freedom to respond to emergencies… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Alaska Dispatch News>

What they actually want is not more freedom to respond to emergencies.  They want more freedom NOT to respond to emergencies.  This becomes both more apparent and more horrific in light of the background information provided by Rachel Maddow.

Readers, who cannot watch clips from MSNBC, can see this on YouTube.

What do you think?  When you smell Shell, does it stink?

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Sep 072014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 139.  What a rude awakening!  I took a cat nap after breakfast and did not wake up until after supper. :-(  Fortunately, I did my research before breakfast, so all I have to do is compose.  Tomorrow is a Holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb, and the mighty Broncos will be honored with the first Sunday night meditation.  They hope to dine on small horse, but last time they tried, the small horses’ Luck was amazing.  This time, it’s our pasture.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:55 (average 5:20).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: A special Upworthy partnership with the UN Climate Summit 2014. Made possible by Unilever Project Sunlight. Read more.

When you see photographs of the Earth from far away, the implications may not immediately be clear. This puts it all into perspective.

 

Amen!

From Daily Kos: Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach—the same birther guy who thought it was a good idea to get President Obama’s birth certificate before considering a challenge to putting him on the ballot in 2012—is trying to help incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Roberts win reelection by refusing to allow the former Democratic candidate to remove his name from the ballot…

…Taylor, however, says he spoke with the head of the state’s elections division who told him that he’d done everything he needed to do in order to withdraw. Taylor’s withdrawal boosts the independent campaign of Greg Orman, who has a very good chance of unseating Roberts in November’s election.

Assuming Taylor is telling the truth—and given Kobach’s history as a bigoted right-wing lunatic I’d trust him over Kobach any day of the week—then Kobach is going to have a hard time explaining what appears to be a nakedly partisan move.

There is no crime Republicans will not commit to steal an election they cannot win legally. Get out the vote!!

From Think Progress: Canada leads the world in forest degradation, according to a new mapping project.

The project, put together by World Resources Institute, Greenpeace and multiple other groups, uses interactive maps to display forest degradation and destruction around the world between 2000 and 2013. According to WRI, more than 104 million hectares (about 401,546 square miles) — a chunk of land the group notes is three times the size of Germany — of the world’s remaining large, undisturbed forests, or Intact Forest Landscapes, were degraded in the last 13 years. The Northern boreal region of Canada, Russia and Alaska had some of the largest area of degraded forests, with the Amazon having the second-largest and the Congo basin the third.

In Canada’s tar sands region, forest fires and industrial development have destroyed or degraded almost two million acres of boreal forest since 2000, according to Peter Lee, Director of Global Forest Watch Canada. Lee told ThinkProgress in an email that Canada’s main driver of forest destruction is an “increased frequency and extent of forest fires” driven by climate change. These fires are likely converting areas that were once heavily forested into shrublands. Logging and road-building are the second-biggest causes of forest destruction and degradation, Lee said, and “massive increases in the pace and scale of energy developments, especially non-conventional oil and gas developments in northern Alberta’s tar sands region and also in north-eastern British Columbia with the shale plays,” is the third.

I almost always have reason to compare Canada favorably to the US the, but in this case Harper and his Harlots are outdoing us. They must have taken a course in Koch … never mind.

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I have mixed feelings about the pageant.  Because I grew up in Atlantic City, it was the source of several pleasant childhood memories adolescent fantasies.  I understand that it tends to objectify women, but at the same time, it provided more scholarship money to women than any other organization in the country.  For me, it engendered respect for the beauty within women, not just without.

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Aug 302014
 

I have long supported the idea of a carbon tax because it is the most direct way for corporate polluters cover the cost they are now pushing onto taxpayers.  In several nations, the carbon tax ix making inroads.  Chile, for one, is making excellent progress since throwing off the murderous Pinochet dictatorship, established by Nixon, Kissinger, and the US Republican Party in 1971.

0830chile_glacierIt’s a big year for fighting climate change in Chile. A carbon tax is set to go before its House of Representatives next week, as part of a larger tax reform package that includes measures intended to fight air pollution and climate change. Chile would become the first country in South America to institute a carbon tax, and the second in Latin America after Mexico, which imposed its carbon tax in January.

A carbon tax is what it sounds like. The government charges emitters of carbon pollution for every metric ton they release into the atmosphere. Carbon taxes are gaining popularity as a way to massively cut the amount of carbon dioxide put into the atmosphere, while creating jobs, raising incomes, and cutting deficits in countries where they’re implemented. British Columbia, Canada has had a carbon tax since 2008 and has seen success cutting energy use and carbon emissions, and giving revenue from the tax back to low-income families to offset higher energy prices.

Chile’s initial tax will be $5 per ton of CO2, and Mexico’s taxes fuels at different rates, averaging out to about $3.50 per ton. Those are both pretty low, but once a carbon tax is in place, it can be raised. British Columbia’s started at C$10 per ton in 2008, ramping up over the years to C$30 in 2012. A study in California found that even a $200-a-ton carbon price would actually help businesses and create jobs in the state, though it’s far higher than anything that has been tried yet.

There is currently no carbon tax in the United States, and any attempt to pass one would be extremely difficult, thanks in part to a pledge from the Koch-backed organization Americans For Prosperity that requires signers to “oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.” A third of the U.S. House of Representatives and a quarter of Senators have signed the pledge… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Think Progress>

In 2008, Obama supported a Carbon Tax, while both Clinton and the Republican Party supported Cap and Trade.  In a misbegotten early attempt to foster bipartisanship, Obama switched to Cap and Trade, and the Republican Party disowned it immediately, calling it Cap and Tax and a Socialist, Kenyan conspiracy.  Now Republicans just support polluters, because that what the Koch Brothers want.  So we get to suck pollution, while Republican politicians suck … never mind.

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Aug 052014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 106.  It’s been a busy day.  I cleaned up a three day mess.  It was huge,  I got a haircut.  It was hot, but the barber shop is only three blocks away,  I had a big bowl of Gehenna chili.  You know, when someone in the surrounding area lights a match, the fireball can be quite dramatic.  And, of course, I researched.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:10 (average 4:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: I’ll keep the commentary low, because the event speaks for itself. So much for the religious tradition the Republican party prides itself on and uses as the basis to deny so many rights. A recent bill introduced in the house suggests a resolution honoring the Pope "for his inspirational statements and actions" as well as his goals to ameliorate inequality and promote solidarity.

What do the Republicans think about this? According to reports from The Hill, it looks like they aren’t too happy.

Only 19 of the 221 co-sponsors are Republicans. The dearth of GOP members on the measure could be attributable to assertions that the pope is “too liberal,” according to a Republican backer of the legislation.

The source noted that Francis last year denounced “trickle-down economics.”

Some Republicans believe the pope is “sounding like [President] Obama. [The pope] talks about equality — he actually used the term ‘trickle-down economics,’ which is politically charged,” the GOP official said.

There is a simple enough explanation for why the Pope sounds so like Obama to Republicans that they object. Pope Francis and Obama are both Christians. Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians are NOT Christians.

From NY Times: The nation’s largest environmental group is earning money from an oil well on land it controls in Texas, despite pledging a decade ago not to permit new oil and gas drilling on land supposedly set aside for conservation.

That revelation is contained in a forthcoming book about climate change by the writer and activist Naomi Klein, and the essential facts of the case were confirmed last week by the Nature Conservancy, the environmental group in question.

The Nature Conservancy — which says it helps protect about 20 million acres in the United States — argues that it has had no choice in the case of the well. Under the terms of a lease it signed years ago with an oil and gas company and later came to regret, the group says it had to permit the drilling of the well in 2007.

But the lease contains termination clauses, and Ms. Klein argues in the book that the Nature Conservancy could most likely have stopped the 2007 drilling. The group has earned millions of dollars over the years from gas and oil production on the property, though the 2007 well was not especially lucrative.

Unless there is more about this issue that I do not know, I would suggest that there are better environmental groups to support than they are.

From TPM: An Evanston, Ill. man fatally shot himself Sunday night while showing off a shotgun he thought wasn’t loaded to a group of friends, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Police were called to an Evanston home for an accidental shooting. They found Eric Zyzanski on the floor with a shotgun wound to the head, lying next to the shotgun.

He was taken to the hospital and died about two hours later, according to police.

According to witnesses, Zyzanski was in his apartment with friends, where he took out a shotgun and "began showing it off."

His friends told him to put the gun away, so he proceeded to take two or three rounds out of the gun, according to police. He then pointed the gun at his cheek, said the gun was empty and pulled the trigger, witnesses said.

Bye Bye Gunny Boo Boo!! Any needless loss of life is tragic and regrettable, but at least that Republican Ammosexual won’t be voting in November.

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