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User-submitted links and diaries of interest, from Little Green Footballs

Last Build Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2018 08:05:04 PST

Copyright: Copyright 2018 Little Green Footballs

Why We're Underestimating American Collapse

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 08:05:04 PST

Direct link to article... []

In the light of the modern St. Valentine's Day massacre in Parkland, Florida, the following paragraph from this article posted in January becomes all the more sad and disturbing:

America has had 11 school shootings in the last 23 days. That’s one every other day, more or less. That statistic is alarming enough — but it is just a number. Perspective asks us for comparison. So let me put that another way. America has had 11 school shootings in the last 23 days, which is more than anywhere else in the world, even Afghanistan or Iraq. In fact, the phenomenon of regular school shootings appears to be a unique feature of American collapse — it just doesn’t happen in any other country — and that is what I mean by “social pathologies of collapse”: a new, bizarre, terrible disease striking society.

But that's only one pathology mentioned in this sobering piece:

In many countries in the world — most of Asia and Africa — one can buy all the opioids one wants from any local pharmacy, without a prescription. You might suppose then that opioid abuse as a mass epidemic would be a global phenomenon. Yet we don’t see opioid epidemics anywhere but America — especially not ones so vicious and widespread they shrink life expectancy.


Extreme capitalism has blown apart American society so totally that people cannot even care for one another as much as they do in places like Pakistan and Nigeria. Social bonds, relationships themselves, have become unaffordable luxuries, more so than even in poor countries: this is yet another social pathology unique to American collapse.

...which leads to:

In no other country I can see do retirees who should have been able to save up enough to live on now living in their cars in order to find work just to go on eating before they die — not even in desperately poor ones, where at least families live together, share resources, and care for one another. This is another pathology of collapse that is unique to America — utter powerlessness to live with dignity.

And in conclusion:

And that is my last pathology: it is one of the soul, not one of the limbs, like the others above. Americans appear to be quite happy simply watching one another die, in all the ways above. They just don’t appear to be too disturbed, moved, or even affected by the four pathologies above: their kids killing each other, their social bonds collapsing, being powerless to live with dignity,or having to numb the pain of it all away.

When you see them laid out in such a plain, stark manner - and realize how they only seem to be getting worse - the warning is impossible to dismiss. But what can actually be done about it? We'd better figure it out, and fast. In the meantime, the rest of the world would be wise to take note and let America stay "exceptional" in this respect.

Donald Trump Is Mainstreaming Anti-Semitism and White Supremacy

Sun, 24 Jul 2016 14:02:00 PDT

Direct link to article... []

This article from earlier in July offers an excellent primer (complete with links to other sources) on Trump's mainstreaming and legitimizing of the previously unthinkable:

It should come as no surprise that Donald Trump tweeted an anti-Semitic image of Hillary Clinton over the weekend. Nor should it come as a surprise that the image originated in the putrid swamps of the online alt-right, a group of anti-Semites, white supremacists and others who gather to indulge their various obsessive hatreds.

That's because Trump, despite occasional tepid demurrals, has spent the last year making his campaign a safe space for these groups. A study published in Fortune back in March showed that 67.5 percent of the most influential tweeters of #WhiteGenocide – a hashtag favored by white supremacists – follow Trump. (By comparison, 17.7 percent followed Ted Cruz, and 5.7 percent followed Clinton.)

While candidates can't help who supports them, they can help how they respond. And Trump has responded with something between a secret handshake and a warm embrace. He regularly retweets white supremacists. He hesitated to denounce support from Klan leader David Duke. And he has accrued a substantial collection of his own racist quotes about Muslims, Mexicans and African-Americans. He favors racist policies, too – everything from his Muslim ban to his openness to internment.

Will this hurt the Trump campaign? That's hard to say. But it's also the wrong question. The better question is will this help mainstream the alt-right and all it stands for? And so far, the answer is a troubling yes.

The article also goes on to explain the significance of the ((( ))) phenomenon and also addresses a point that's been made on LGF for years:

And political journalists, who have cataloged the many incidents of racism and anti-Semitism in the Trump campaign, now face a tough choice. Because Trump is the nominee, there is going to be tremendous pressure to air "both sides" of these controversies in order to appear balanced. CNN, for instance, gave former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who it has hired as a commentator, airtime to call criticism of Trump's Star of David tweet "political correctness run amok."

If that's the kind of coverage that dominates this campaign season – rank anti-Semitism met with largely unquestioned "on the one hand, on the other" reporting – then the mainstreaming of prejudice will continue unabated over the next several months. And if that happens, win or lose, Trump's legacy will be secure: making America hate again.

I would strongly advise reading the whole thing, and forwarding it to anyone you know still "on the fence", afflicted with apathetic "both-siderism", or otherwise in denial about how dangerous Trump's campaign really is.

Male Escorts Are Making Crazy Money at the RNC

Thu, 21 Jul 2016 19:12:26 PDT

Direct link to article... []

So while most reports describe the GOP convention as an economic bust for Cleveland, there happens to be one fabulous exception:

Male prostitutes contacted by The Post said business is booming and Republican National Convention attendees -- most of them married -- are clamoring for their services.

"Business has been way better. I've seen 10 clients so far," one male escort said.

"Most of them were first-timers. You could tell they were nervous, but once they became more comfortable, they seemed to be having a good time."

Another escort said he had already earned $1,600 since Monday -- over six times the amount he usually makes.

"I normally only make $200 to $300, but I've been seeing lots of guys in hotels downtown," he said, noting the boom in business near the Quicken Loans Arena.

The clientele has included mostly married white men between the ages of 40 and 50, said another escort who's seen eight johns so far.

How Global Warming Can Make Cold Snaps Even Worse

Mon, 06 Jan 2014 12:13:15 PST

Direct link to article... []

[wingnut]durr hurr cold snap gorebull warming a hoax herp derp[/wingnut]

Oh wait...

Snow and ice are disappearing from the Arctic region at unprecedented rates, leaving behind relatively warmer open water, which is much less reflective to incoming sunlight than ice. That, among other factors, is causing the northern polar region of our planet to warm at a faster rate than the rest of the northern hemisphere. (And, just to state the obvious, global warming describes a global trend toward warmer temperatures, which doesn't preclude occasional cold-weather extremes.)

Since the difference in temperature between the Arctic and the mid-latitudes helps drive the jet stream (which, in turn, drives most US weather patterns), if that temperature difference decreases, it stands to reason that the jet stream's winds will slow down. Why does this matter?

Well, atmospheric theory predicts that a slower jet stream will produce wavier and more sluggish weather patterns, in turn leading to more frequent extreme weather. And, turns out, that's exactly what we've been seeing in recent years. Superstorm Sandy's uncharacteristic left hook into the New Jersey coast in 2012 was one such example of an extremely anomalous jet stream blocking pattern.

When these exceptionally wavy jet stream patterns occur mid-winter, it's a recipe for cold air to get sucked southwards. This week, that's happening in spectacular fashion.

More: How Global Warming Can Make Cold Snaps Even Worse - Quartz

Welcome to the New Google!

Mon, 22 Jul 2013 10:40:26 PDT

Direct link to article... []

More: Forecast the Facts

On July 11, Google introduced a major shift away from its "Don't Be Evil" corporate motto, hosting a fundraiser for Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), the most notorious climate-science denier in Congress. In this satirical video, Heavy Crude Video's Andy Cobb takes a hilarious look at the new Google. It may inspire you to finally make the switch to Bing.

Video here (one of the memes they've used is often posted here on LGF - see if you spot it as well :) )

(links to more info and articles about Google's funding of climate deniers can be found on the Forecast the Facts homepage)

Sea Slug's 'Disposable Penis' Surprises

Wed, 13 Feb 2013 08:57:16 PST

Direct link to article... []

The sex life of the sea slug is complicated even before detachable organs come into play.

Almost all of these creatures, which are also known as nudibranchs, are thought to be "simultaneous hermaphrodites". This means they have both male and female sexual organs and can use them both at the same time.

Bernard Picton, curator of marine invertebrates at the National Museums Northern Ireland, explained: "The genital apparatus is on the right hand side of the body. So two nudibranchs come together and one faces one way and one faces the other way, with the right hand side of their bodies touching.

"The penis from one fits into the female opening of the other one, and the penis from that one fits into the female opening of the first one, if you see what I mean.

"They are both donating sperm to the other one."

But the finding that one species has added another layer of complexity to copulation surprised the sea slug expert.
The act took between a few seconds and a few minutes, after which the creatures would push away and shed their penises, leaving them on the floor of the tank.

However, the researchers were surprised to discover that just 24-hours later, the sea slugs had regenerated their male organs and were able to mate again

More: Sea Slug's 'Disposable Penis' Surprises

Fun to speculate how society would have evolved were humans imbued with such...sexual versatility.

When Trees Die, People Die

Thu, 24 Jan 2013 08:28:35 PST

Direct link to article... []

The emerald ash borer has killed 100 million ash trees since arriving in North America over 10 years ago. Now, mortality rates for people living in affected communities are increasing as well:

The blight was first detected in June 2002, when the trees in Canton, Michigan, got sick. The culprit, the emerald ash borer, had arrived from overseas, and it rapidly spread -- a literal bug -- across state and national lines to Ohio, Minnesota, Ontario. It popped up in more distant, seemingly random locations as infested trees were unwittingly shipped beyond the Midwest.

Within four years of first becoming infested, the ash trees die -- over 100 million since the plague began. In some cases, their death has an immediate impact, as they fall on cars, houses, and people. In the long term, their disappearance means parks and neighborhoods, once tree-lined, are now bare.

Something else, less readily apparent, may have happened as well. When the U.S. Forest Service looked at mortality rates in counties affected by the emerald ash borer, they found increased mortality rates. Specifically, more people were dying of cardiovascular and lower respiratory tract illness -- the first and third most common causes of death in the U.S. As the infestation took over in each of these places, the connection to poor health strengthened.
In a literal sense, of course, the absence of trees would mean the near absence of oxygen -- on the most basic level, we cannot survive without them. We know, too, that trees act as a natural filter, cleaning the air from pollutants, with measurable effects in urban areas. The Forest Service put a 3.8 billion dollar value on the air pollution annually removed by urban trees. In Washington D.C., trees remove nitrogen dioxide to an extent equivalent to taking 274,000 cars off the traffic-packed beltway, saving an estimated $51 million in annual pollution-related health care costs.

More: When Trees Die, People Die - Lindsay Abrams - the Atlantic

Texas gas driller harasses homeowner, bloggers, and even buys a judge?

Thu, 17 Jan 2013 12:42:30 PST

Direct link to article... []

A Texas state judge is promoting his recent decisions favoring a gas driller in its dispute with a local landowner as part of his election campaign, a move some legal scholars say may violate state judicial ethics rules.

May violate? May? Read the whole thing. Judge Trey Loftin ruled in favor of gas driller Range Resources (one can't help but wonder how much they donated to his campaign) in every manner possible during this case, including forcing an environmental blogger to turn over private emails. And to top off this steaming ---- pile with a lovely rat poison pellet, Judge Trey Loftin is also a limbaugh fan:

Loftin, who is campaigning to keep his state judgeship in a county west of Dallas, also sent out materials with the image of talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who credited the judge's ruling in favor of driller Range Resources Corp. (RRC), based in Fort Worth, Texas, for getting the EPA to reverse course.

For more background on this extremely disturbing case, see the excellent compilation by DeSmogBlog:

Breaking: Obama EPA Shut Down Weatherford, TX Shale Gas Water Contamination Study

The Associated Press has a breaking investigative story out today revealing that the Obama Administration's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) censored a smoking gun scientific report in March 2012 that it had contracted out to a scientist who conducted field data on 32 water samples in Weatherford, TX.

That report, according to the AP, would have explicitly linked methane migration to hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") in Weatherford, a city with 25,000+ citizens located in the heart of the Barnett Shale geologic formation 30 minutes from Dallas.

So there you go. The fossil fuel lobby is so grotesquely powerful it can bully the EPA into censoring factual evidence all so they can continue to poison America's water with impunity. And their puppet judges who grovel about for rush limbaugh's approval are all too happy to help.

On a side note, while "Obama's EPA" is technically correct, let's not forget who's really behind this:

A similar dispute unfolded in west-central Wyoming in late 2011, when the EPA released an initial report that showed hydraulic fracturing could have contaminated groundwater. After industry and GOP leaders went on the attack, the agency said it had decided to do more testing. It has yet to announce a final conclusion.

So what's it going to take to fix this, thousands of people being killed Bhopal-style due to fracking-related water contamination?

Hurtling Toward the Climate Cliff

Tue, 11 Dec 2012 06:34:36 PST

Direct link to article... []Forecast the Facts just sent me this email, and I have to post it in its entirety:Someone finally said it. It seems like all anyone can talk about lately is the 'fiscal cliff,' a manufactured crisis that Congress could end in an instant. Meanwhile, no one has been talking about the real cliff we're hurtling towards: the threat of unabated fossil fuel pollution to our global climate.I guess Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) finally decided he'd heard enough. He decried his climate change-denying colleagues in a rousing speech on Wednesday, and you just have to see what he said: not the the first time Sen. Whitehouse has called out the fossil-fueled GOP's deliberate campaign of deception on the issue.The email goes on to say:Senator Whitehouse's words ring true: in the face of deafening climate silence, it's bizarre and sad to hear our leaders express concern for our children and grandchildren, then watch them ignore the climate crisis. John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and other prominent politicians want us to think the fiscal cliff is about saving future generations from economic ruin, but they never hesitate to push us ever closer to the climate cliff.Congress created the 'fiscal cliff' through a budgetary maneuver last year, and they can avoid it just as easily.By contrast, we have been hurtling toward the climate cliff for a long time now. Scientists have warned for decades that the rogue fossil fuel industry risks rendering the world hostile to human civilization. If we don't act immediately, as Senator Whitehouse said, the greatest cost will be on future generations, but the shame will be on us.Tell Congress to join Sen. Whitehouse and turn away from the climate cliffThe email from Forecast the Facts also included a link to the full text of Sen. Whitehouse's speech. I've pasted that transcript below (emphasis mine):Sheldon Calls Out Climate Deniers in Senate SpeechMr. President, last week I spoke about our nation's military and intelligence leaders acknowledging, along with our nation's scientific leaders, the clear evidence that carbon pollution is changing our climate.Unfortunately, there is confusion among many Americans regarding this scientific consensus, confusion caused by deliberate and coordinated attempts to mislead the American people.For more than two decades the climate denial movement has been well organized and funded by the fossil fuel industry and conservative ideologues and foundations. The mission of these paid-for deniers is to 'manufacture uncertainty,' to manufacture doubt, so the polluters can keep polluting.This isn't new. We've seen self-serving strategies like this one before: they questioned the merits of requiring seatbelts; they questioned CFCs causing the deterioration of the ozone layer; they questioned the toxic effects of lead exposure; and they questioned whether tobacco was bad for you—same strategy to manufacture doubt; often the same cast of characters.While the Congress of the United State has been distracted and deceived by these ploys, climate change marches on. Precious time is wasting. In the balance hang lives and jobs. This nonsense has gone on long enough.The public is being misled. Special interest dollars pull the strings of sophisticated campaigns to give the public the impression that there is a real scientific debate regarding whether or not climate change is happening. There isn't. The scientific debate is about how bad the changes will be.To manufacture the doubt, skeptics with little training in climate science are promoted as 'experts.' Front groups such as the Global Climate Coalition, Information Council for the Environment, Heartland Institute, Annapolis Center, and Cooler Heads Coalition are created or enlisted to pr[...]

UN Says Carbon Cuts Too Slow to Curb Dangerous Warming

Wed, 21 Nov 2012 12:36:39 PST

Direct link to article... []

And in the "regardless of what happens in the Middle East, humanity is screwed" department...

UN Says Carbon Cuts Too Slow to Curb Dangerous Warming

A report by the UN says global attempts to curb emissions of CO2 are falling well short of what is needed to stem dangerous climate change.

The UN's Environment Programme says greenhouse gases are 14% above where they need to be in 2020 for temperature rises this century to remain below 2C.

The authors say this target is still technically achievable.

But the opportunity is likely to be lost without swift action by governments, they argue.
The UNEP report follows on from a new analysis by the World Meteorological Organisation that says the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a record high in 2011. It suggests that CO2 has now reached concentrations of 390.9 parts per million, or 140% of the pre-industrial levels of 280ppm.

The impact of these gases has been significant, says the WMO, causing a 30% increase of the warming effect on the climate between 1990 and 2011.

At 14, It Was No 'Gift From God', Trust Me

Thu, 25 Oct 2012 08:30:15 PDT

Direct link to article... []Simply yet brilliantly written, and powerful beyond words:At 14, It Was No 'Gift From God', Trust MeMy father saw it as his mission to train me in my job as a woman – to sexually please men. I could go into details about the abuse, but that’s not the point of this post. (I spent my early 20s in intense therapy, up to three times a week, and I can say that PTSD is not a life-sentence.) At age 14 my father impregnated me...Perhaps my 'magical lady parts' hadn't yet learned the whole 'shut it down' trick; perhaps I lived in the real world and not in fantasy land. But in no world and at no time was that fetus a gift from God.Fortunately for me, my father was only crazy in one way. He liked to have sex with minor girls; he didn’t want them to give birth. He took me to the “abortionist”The writer goes on to provide a righteous, thorough smackdown of the whole "God meant it to happen" idiocy:Anyway, that God (should s/he exist) allows evil to happen is unquestionable. That does not make it his/her intent – if you accept that God created free will. If you don't accept free will then I guess that if I go out and castrate every guy with a glint in his eye that I don't like that would be God's gift as well. Bullpucky. As a parent, I allowed my children to climb on monkey bars. That my daughter fell and broke her arm was an accident – not my intent and certainly not my 'gift' to her. That my son didn't fall was also an accident – he actually didn't tend to climb as high at as young an age (he sledded into a fence post for a concussion instead). My actions and intent were the same in both cases - age appropriate supervision of risk-taking and dealing with the consequences of choices and random chance.And then she describes a phenomenon I myself have observed, especially from those who call themselves "conservatives:"I am astounded, far more than I should be, at the inability of some people to consider circumstances beyond their own experience. I wonder, should, God forbid, Mourdock's wife be impregnated through stranger rape, would he raise that child with love as God's gift to him? I certainly don't wish such a tragedy on the woman, but I wonder what it would take for Mr. Mourdock to consider seriously the pain that others live with on a daily basis.I guess "empathy" is something unconstitutional and socialist, if you remember the rightwing drooling freakout when Pres. Obama dared use the word. It certainly explains the present GOP attitudes toward women.I know that some rape survivors do choose to keep a child due to their own beliefs (or through lack of choice) and I can imagine that it would be possible for such women to take comfort in the thought that this was “God’s gift” to turn a horrible experience into something positive. I would never take that belief from them. I just wish the religious right would do me the favor of giving my experience and beliefs the same respect I give theirs.Seriously, read the whole thing, and consider sharing it as much as possible. It deserves to go viral, so perhaps just enough people who need to pay attention finally will.[...]

Arctic Expert Predicts Final Collapse of Sea Ice Within Four Years

Mon, 17 Sep 2012 06:11:32 PDT

Direct link to article... []

Wadhams has spent many years collecting ice thickness data from submarines passing below the arctic ocean. He predicted the imminent break-up of sea ice in summer months in 2007, when the previous lowest extent of 4.17 million square kilometres was set. This year, it has unexpectedly plunged a further 500,000 sq km to less than 3.5m sq km. "I have been predicting [the collapse of sea ice in summer months] for many years. The main cause is simply global warming: as the climate has warmed there has been less ice growth during the winter and more ice melt during the summer.
"This collapse, I predicted would occur in 2015-16 at which time the summer Arctic (August to September) would become ice-free. The final collapse towards that state is now happening and will probably be complete by those dates".

As brain-melting irony would have it, this news will have the very fossil fuel fools who got us into this mess claiming victory because yay, ice gone, now they can drill baby drill in the Arctic:

Wadhams says the implications are "terrible". "The positives are increased possibility of Arctic transport, increased access to Arctic offshore oil and gas resources. The main negative is an acceleration of global warming.

But not so fast, fossil fools - with Arctic ice gone, that region becomes much stormier as well, which doesn't bode well for your drilling rigs. Plus:

"As the sea ice retreats in summer the ocean warms up (to 7C in 2011) and this warms the seabed too. The continental shelves of the Arctic are composed of offshore permafrost, frozen sediment left over from the last ice age. As the water warms the permafrost melts and releases huge quantities of trapped methane, a very powerful greenhouse gas so this will give a big boost to global warming."

I should hope it goes without saying at this point that, as the human race bumbles toward oblivion, the last thing we need are the fossil fools and their GOP enablers in charge, pretty much doing this to our future.

Sandra Fluke: 'Legitimate Rape' -- Romney, Ryan's Records Offer Warning

Tue, 21 Aug 2012 08:03:12 PDT

Direct link to article... []

Why are we surprised by Rep. Todd Akin's appalling statement distinguishing which rapes are "legitimate"?
Disgusted? Of course. But surprised? We already had clear evidence of what Akin believes from his record. Just last year, he joined Paul Ryan and more than 200 other House Republicans in co-sponsoring legislation that would have narrowed which types of rape victims could benefit from financial assistance to access abortion services. The bill would have cut off victims who were drugged or threatened, some victims of incest, and victims of statutory rape—victims who, it appears, don't fall into Akin's definition of "legitimate" rape victims. As for the belief that women don't need access to abortion when 'legitimately raped' because their bodies will prevent a pregnancy, that's not just some feverish product of Akin's mind—it's a widely held belief in radical anti-choice circles across the country.

What's more surprising is that Akin, along with Mitt Romney and Ryan, think they can run away from their record and fool the women of this country by offering vague apologies and calculated statements in the wake of a controversy like this. Whether a woman has the ability to make her own health care choices—including in the case of rape—is not something that our elected officials should be changing their positions on to suit the political climate. These are fundamental ethical questions that no person of conscience changes position on lightly. Either you firmly believe in protecting women or you don't.
But the records tell a different story: All three have previously gone on record as supporting outlawing all abortions, including in the case of rape, and have taken actions to match.

* As Massachusetts governor, Romney vetoed a bill to guarantee victims of rape access to emergency contraception in hospital emergency rooms.

* Romney has repeatedly endorsed the 2004 and 2008 Republican Party platforms, and has specifically backed the platform's Human Life Amendment to ban abortion nationwide, which has no exceptions for rape and incest. A similar measure is set to be included in the 2012 platform, to be adopted next week.

* Romney has said that he now has the same positions that he had when he previously ran for president, and said that he would be 'delighted' to sign a bill to outlaw ALL abortions.

* In 2011, Ryan co-sponsored a bill that declared a fertilized egg that hasn't even resulted in a pregnancy to be the equivalent of a living person, with all of the rights of federal law. That bill criminalized all abortion with no exceptions for rape.
Although we shouldn't have been surprised by Akin's awful statement, we must be forewarned that if elected, Romney and Ryan will continue their extreme and dangerous record on women's health.

I have nothing to add except read the whole thing. And forward it to every voter you know.

Mitt #Romney Started Bain Capital With Money From Families Tied to Death Squads

Wed, 08 Aug 2012 12:58:21 PDT

Direct link to article... []

In 1983, Bill Bain asked Mitt Romney to launch Bain Capital, a private equity offshoot of the successful consulting firm Bain & Company. After some initial reluctance, Romney agreed. The new job came with a stipulation: Romney couldn't raise money from any current clients, Bain said, because if the private equity venture failed, he didn't want it taking the consulting firm down with it.

When Romney struggled to raise funds from other traditional sources, he and his partners started thinking outside the box. Bain executive Harry Strachan suggested that Romney meet with a group of Central American oligarchs who were looking for new investment vehicles as turmoil engulfed their region.
It was a lucrative trip. The Central Americans provided roughly $9 million -- 40 percent -- of Bain Capital's initial outside funding, the Los Angeles Times reported recently. And they became valued clients.
While they were on the lookout for investments in the United States, members of some of these prominent families -- including the Salaverria, Poma, de Sola and Dueñas clans -- were also at the time financing, either directly or through political parties, death squads in El Salvador. The ruling classes were deploying the death squads to beat back left-wing guerrillas and reformers during El Salvador's civil war.

So blood money's fine for Romney and Bain,
Since it resulted in financial gain.
Can someone please say it again
That supporting this creep is completely insane?

US Criticised on 2C Climate 'Flexibility' Call

Tue, 07 Aug 2012 07:34:03 PDT

Direct link to article... []

The EU and small island states have criticised the US for saying the target of keeping global warming below 2C should be removed from climate talks.

At the 2010 UN climate convention meeting, governments agreed to take "urgent action" to meet the target.

But last week the chief US climate negotiator Todd Stern said insisting on the target would lead to "deadlock".
"Suddenly abandoning our agreement to keep global warming below 2C is to give up the fight against climate change before it even begins," said Tony de Brum, Minister in Assistance for the Marshall Islands.

"'Flexibility' on our 2C limit would set the world on a path to irreversible, runaway climate change.

"For many low-lying island states, including my own, that is not a solution - it is a death sentence," he told BBC News.

Deep down, I'm sure Todd Stern knows this...but as he explains, he's up against the formidable forces of denier derp:

Mr Stern's speech at Dartmouth College last Thursday was barely reported, but clearly expounded the Obama administration's thinking on climate change issues both international and domestic.

Lamenting the decline in media coverage in the US, he suggested that many regarded it as an issue too hot for them to touch.

"Climate change has long been a partisan issue, but when you see a parade of conservative candidates publicly recanting the apostasy of having acknowledged that global warming is real, you know you've entered Wonderland," he said.

"This is not healthy. We can talk past each other, close our ears, put our heads in the sand, or join the local chapter of the Flat Earth Society, but here's the thing - the atmosphere doesn't care.

"Its temperature will continue its implacable rise, with all the consequences that entails, unless we act to stop it."

US Couple Dies From Heat Exhaustion

Wed, 11 Jul 2012 21:01:07 PDT

Direct link to article... []

Horrible and tragic:

When police arrived, they found the couple -- and their pet bird -- dead inside the home -- with all windows shut and doors locked.

"The temperature check by our crime scene unit showed it to be somewhere in the area of 108-to-109-degrees inside."

Sergeant Larry Nelson says the couple could have died days ago -- at the peak of the heat wave. The last time a family member had spoken to them, he says, was on July first -- when the temperature was a record-breaking 105-degrees.

"The officers standing outside, they could hear the air conditioner click on but the outside fan never came on, which indicates to us the air conditioning wasn't working."

Sergeant Nelson says the couple had two cars and a working telephone, but never called anyone or asked any neighbors for help.

"They never bothered anybody. It was just an elderly couple and they just kept to themselves."

Frightening, also, to consider how easily this could happen to anyone in a somewhat vulnerable condition - air conditioning stops working, person gets disoriented due to heat, can't think clearly, can't call for help...and when this type of heat wave becomes commonplace, how many more times will scenarios like this be repeated?

Severe Storms, Power Outages Lead to Food Crisis in West Virginia

Thu, 05 Jul 2012 21:22:23 PDT

Direct link to article... []

Thanks to the GOP's anti-climate-science, pro-Ayn-Rand billionaire bankrollers, expect this horrible scenario to exponentially grow in the next decade or two:

Food has spoiled, grocery shelves are empty and pantries are running low in West Virginia following widespread power outages.

People across the U.S. have turned to shelters in the wake of the disaster.

Ylonda Wilcox, legally blind and on food stamps, says her family of eight struggled to find food after a tree fell on her house.

Twenty-three year old Bleu tells an even more desperate story.

She had to go four days without food and water in the sweltering heat.

She describes the experience as "very hard."

State officials say that nearly every county in West Virginia is dealing with food shortages

Obviously, the best way to deal with this is by gutting social programs, blocking infrastructure spending, and forbidding the use of climate science in future planning.

Dear Conservative Friends, Hear My Plea: We Can Do Better

Sun, 01 Jul 2012 20:25:04 PDT

Direct link to article... []The following makes an excellent case for the morality of much-maligned social programs, and how - contrary to typical Tea Party rhetoric - those social programs honor the values of America's founding fathers. There's far too much good stuff for me to quote in one page, so please read the whole thing - I've pasted the first few paragraphs below:This evening, as I was trying to distract myself from the mundaneness of folding laundry and prepping dinner, I ran into some Facebook drama. I don't think any of us intends to get into trouble on Facebook, it just happens. Tonight, in the sea of emotions--errr--comments, I felt like I had to represent the facts and of course the topic had to be public aid.My first thought was, in a country that is supposed to stand for freedom, opportunity, and security for all, why would a human being want to see another human being starve? Why? I am very familiar with the SNAP program (food stamps). It runs at 98 percent efficiency. That means there is nearly no waste, no fraud, and almost total accountability. It is one of the most efficient government programs there is. And that level of efficiency tells us all one thing: The people using the program all need the program because they all qualify for the program. Think about that for a moment.One of the most noticeable things about the comments I encountered in that Facebook exchange was that people felt that anyone using a form of public aid was using their money. I found it interesting, from a sociological perspective, how possessive these people were of tax dollars that go into the general coffers when used towards social programs such as SNAP, Social Security, Medicare, etc. When referring to those programs I started reading things like: "I don't want MY MONEY..." even though all money goes into one giant funnel. Personally, I don't like working to support what I think are illegal wars that cost an estimated six trillion dollars. I would much rather pay taxes for healthcare and college or trade school for every one of my fellow citizens, but somehow public sentiment has changed to the point where that has a negative connotation, which flies in the face of the very foundation our Founding Fathers established for this country."All the property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore by other laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his Club towards the Support of it."~ Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father, American diplomat, statesman, and scientist; letter to Robert Morris, December 25, 1783Continue reading »[...]

Framing the Response to GOP Talking Points re the ACA in 140 Characters or Fewer

Sat, 30 Jun 2012 13:52:51 PDT

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We've been asked to provide some "tweetable" rebuttals to the Republican talking points about The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Here they are:

For those concerned about calling the penalty for failure to become self-insured a "tax," it's important to keep in mind whom we're tarketing with this message: moderates who sometimes think like conservatives and sometimes think like liberals.
For moderates who have already decided this is a "tax," that's okay, we're just putting the "tax" aspect into perspective (and into our own frame!): Public Protection Is Paid For By The Public.

We accept every other "tax" to pay for public services that protect us from potential catastrophe so we don't have to hire our own private contractors to stand guard on our property. It is now the same with healthcare, only better!

Read the whole thing

A Sign God Approves of Obama's Stand on Same-Sex Marriage?

Fri, 11 May 2012 07:32:32 PDT

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(image) It's even shaped like an O!

Best. Sign. Ever.

Mon, 19 Mar 2012 12:41:59 PDT

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Sandra Fluke: Slurs Won't Silence Women

Tue, 13 Mar 2012 10:48:18 PDT

Direct link to article... []Read the whole excellent thing. I'm having a terribly hard time choosing which parts to excerpt, but here goes:Thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, preventive care services, including contraception, will be covered by private insurance plans without co-pays or deductibles. If appropriately implemented, this important law will finally guarantee women access to contraception, regardless of the religious affiliation of their workplace or school.Note to wingnuts whining about "taxpayer" funds: private insurance plans, private insurance plans, private insurance plans. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.Because we spoke so loudly, opponents of reproductive health access demonized and smeared me and others on the public airwaves. These smears are obvious attempts to distract from meaningful policy discussions and to silence women's voices regarding their own health care.That's the GOP playbook for you. So glad it's turning into such an epic, epic fail.Many women cannot medically use the least expensive types of contraception. As a result, many women, especially those 18 to 34 who have the most trouble affording contraception, simply go without. They face any number of medical risks as well as unintended pregnancy -- all of which damage their productivity and the health of their families.Hint, hint, "durr hurr they should go to Walmart" types.But, despite the misinformation being spread, the regulation under discussion has absolutely nothing to do with government funding: It is all about the insurance policies provided by private employers and universities that are financed by individual workers, students and their families -- not taxpayers.I am talking about women who, despite paying their own premiums, cannot obtain coverage of contraception on their private insurance, even when their employer or university contributes nothing to that insurance.So pray tell why should the employers get the right to deny any coverage? They're not exercising their own freedom; just trampling on everyone else's.Restricting access to such a basic health care service, which 99% of sexually experienced American women have used and 62% of American women are using right now, is out of touch with public sentiment. In fact, more than 60% of Americans support this regulation and affordable access to contraception, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.Attacking me and women who use contraception by calling us prostitutes and worse cannot silence us.I am proud to stand with the millions of women and men who recognize that our government should legislate according to the reality of our lives -- not for ideology.Only one political party appreciates this, and it's the one who has the White House now. Please keep it that way in November, and vote out as many Congressional GOPers as possible.[...]