Corporations have a duty, under law, to maximize profits for their shareholders. In order to do that a Corporate “Person” must move to a country, any country, that offers a greater tax haven than here in the US of A. So, unless we re-write the laws and eliminate the free-trade agreements that make it more profitable to move out of the country, these Corporate People are just doing what the law (that they helped write) makes them do.
Monthly Archives: August 2014
Sundae Roast: August 31, 2014
When I was a teacher, I got a class of 8th grade Hispanic students to average over 90% on their tests, including the school’s test on the U.S. Constitution. They gained 2.5 years in reading level in 1 year. You’d think I would have been asked to share how I did it with other teachers. But, no. I became a pariah to the administration.
Public schools are a heirarchy, and those in a heirarchy survive by appeasing those in power above them. I failed at that, and am no longer a public school teacher.
We don’t want the best and brightest to become teachers – they get run out of the field, usually within 5 years. We want those who are willing to jump through innumerable hoops and do whatever their boss tells them to do, because we want to indoctrinate our children to think and behave the same way.
COOK AT 325 UNTIL DONE
Saturday, August 30, 2014
You don’t need a whole lot of work days to do the bidding of the ruling class. In an oligarchy, such as the US, the ruling class tells the elected representatives what measures to pass, and which ones to obstruct. In return for doing their bidding, the ruling class provides the elected representatives with enough cash and campaign ads to insure their reelection. Historically, such governmental systems eventually succumb to collapse, through rampant corruption, armed insurrection, or both. In either event, some of the ruling class flee the country with their ill gotten gains.
It may well take the next Ice Age to level the playing field – for people to realize we cannot heap 99% of our collective wealth on 1% of the people and expect to survive as a species.
OPEN THREAD, UNTIL SOMETHING ELSE COMES ALONG
Music Night, August 29, 2014
One of my most cherished LPs in the late 60s was Projections from The Blues Project.
The hunky guy in the middle is Danny Kalb, the lead guitar (second from the left is Al Kooper). After the band broke up Kalb went through rough personal days and never got the recognition he deserved. In 1969 he recorded one album with Stefan Grossman and that LP, Crosscurrents, was a favorite in my vinyl collection. Something jostled in my memory this week and I discovered that Crosscurrents was available on CD–I’m looking at it right now, still in its wrapper waiting to go home with me.
I finally got to see The Blues Project in concert in the early 80s during their reunion tour. Some of their voices had aged badly but their musical chops were still excellent. This video is from an acoustic set of Danny Kalb’s. I think it’s worth a listen with some tasty work at the three-minute mark.
The Watering Hole; Friday August 29 2014; Rocky Mountain High
John Denver summed it up:
So. No politics today; no current events. Not after a drive into the Colorado Front Range a couple of days back. Nice way for three folks of similar mind and spirit to spend an afternoon — 10,000 ft ‘up there’; hunting for mushrooms; no crowds; no noise; cool temps; occasional distant thunder; forests and meadows; silence; mushrooms. If ’tis true that a picture is worth a thousand words, then below is my 7000 word “essay” designed to both define and share at least a small part of that Rocky Mountain High we encountered in this, the last full week of August, 2014.
A final note: the King Bolete and Bear Claw mushrooms were delicious, and the Chanterelles and the Puffballs were pretty decent as well! Oh, and the scenery, the silence, the cool breezes, the scented air, . . . well, you know. Didn’t miss that other world at all. Y’all know the one I mean.
The Watering Hole; Thursday August 28 2014; The Real “America” Revisited
I’ve decided to be brief today and instead allow someone else to, sotospeak, “guest post” today’s Watering Hole. Why? Because it’s become increasingly obvious over the last two or three decades that Wingnuttistanians — especially the interbred hyper-Christian and “Tea Party” elements thereof — have adopted the mission of misreading and misrepresenting the intent and ideas of the American Founders in nearly every context. It seems timely, therefore, to allow a legitimate voice the privilege of restating original doctrines and, in the process, clarifying and/or refuting various modern contorted interpretations — all in his own words.
So: following are a few dozen refreshing thoughts and ideas on a wide variety of topics including, in no particular order, government, law, war, foreign affairs, God, religion, Christianity, we the people, the Constitution — allathat and more — in words written by none other than America’s own Thomas Jefferson (specific attributions noted when available). Enjoy.
“Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.”
“No society can make a perpetual Constitution . . . The earth belongs always to the living generation.”
“The most effective means of preventing tyranny is to illuminate, as far as practicable, the minds of the people at large, and more especially to give them knowledge of those facts.”
“The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure.” (to Lafayette, 1823)
“Constant apprehension of war has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force with an overgrown executive will not long be a safe companion to liberty.”
“Habeas Corpus secures every man here, alien or citizen, against everything which is not law, whatever shape it may assume.” (1798)
“The country is headed toward a single and splendid government of an aristocracy founded on banking institutions and monied corporations, and if this tendency continues it will be the end of freedom and democracy, the few will be ruling and riding over the plundered plowman and the beggar.”
“I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.”
“I hold it that, a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.”
“Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights.”
“Law is often the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.” (To I. Tiffany, 1819)
“Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none.”
“The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be . . . The People cannot be safe without information. When the press is free, and every man is able to read, all is safe.”
“No one nation has a right to sit in judgment over another.”
“We wish not to meddle with the internal affairs of any country, nor with the general affairs of Europe.”
“I am for free commerce with all nations, political connection with none, and little or no diplomatic establishment.”
“We have produced proofs, from the most enlightened and approved writers on the subject, that a neutral nation must, in all things relating to the war, observe an exact impartiality towards the parties.”
“The insulated state in which nature has placed the American continent should so far avail it that no spark of war kindled in the other quarters of the globe should be wafted across the wide oceans which separate us from them. At such a distance from Europe and with such an ocean between us, we hope to meddle little in its quarrels or combinations. Its peace and its commerce are what we shall court.
“The essential principles of our Government . . . form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty and safety.” ~(From First Inaugural Address, Jan. 1 1801)
“If there is one principle more deeply rooted in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest.”
“It is the old practice of despots to use a part of the people to keep the rest in order.”
“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”
“What a stupendous, what an incomprehensible machine is man! Who can endure toil, famine, stripes, imprisonment & death itself in vindication of his own liberty, and the next moment . . . inflict on his fellow men a bondage, one hour of which is fraught with more misery than ages of that which he rose in rebellion to oppose.”
“Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.” (From “Notes on Virginia,” 1782)
“A groundwork of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstitions, fanaticisms and fabrications.” (Assessment of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)
“I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition [Christianity] one redeeming feature. They are all alike, founded upon fables and mythologies” (In a Letter to Dr. Woods)
“Our Revolution commenced on more favorable ground [than the foundation of the Ten Commandments]. It presented us an album on which we were free to write what we pleased. We had no occasion to search into musty records, to hunt up royal parchments, or to investigate the laws and institutions of a semi-barbarous ancestry. We appealed to those of nature, and found them engraved on our hearts.” (In a Letter to Major John Cartwright, June 5, 1824)
“In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”
“I have sworn eternal warfare against all forms of superstition over the minds of men.” (Words engraved on Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC)
Context of the Jefferson “quotation” carved into the Jefferson Memorial (From a Letter to Benjamin Rush, 1800):
“DEAR SIR, . . . I promised you a letter on Christianity, which I have not forgotten. I do not know that it would reconcile the genus irritabile vatum [the angry poets] who are all in arms against me. Their hostility is on too interesting ground to be softened.
“The delusion . . . on the [First Amendment] clause of the Constitution, which, while it secured the freedom of the press, covered also the freedom of religion, had given to the clergy a very favorite hope of obtaining an establishment of a particular form of Christianity through the United States; and as every sect believes its own form the true one, every one perhaps hoped for his own, but especially the Episcopalians and Congregationalists.
“The returning good sense of our country threatens abortion to their hopes, and they [the preachers] believe that any portion of power confided to me [such as being elected President], will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly: for I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough too in their opinion.”
“A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt. . . . If the game runs sometimes against us at home, we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake.” (1798, after the passage of the Sedition Act)
“The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding . . .”
“Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage to reason, than that of blindfolded fear . . .” (In a letter to his nephew, Peter Carr)
“The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.”
“If my neighbor believes in twenty gods or no gods, it does not pick my pocket or break my leg and therefore it’s no harm to me.”
“Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”
“Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the ‘wall of separation between church and state,’ therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.”
“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”
“It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.”
“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.”
“No generation can contract debts greater than may be paid during the course of its own existence.”
“The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.”
To Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin, Monticello, October 16, 1815:
“I grieve for France; although it cannot be denied that by the afflictions with which she wantonly and wickedly overwhelmed other nations, she has merited severe reprisals. For it is no excuse to lay the enormities to the wretch who led to them, and who has been the author of more misery and suffering to the world, than any being who ever lived before him.
“After destroying the liberties of his country, he has exhausted all its resources, physical and moral, to indulge his own maniac ambition, his own tyrannical and overbearing spirit. His sufferings cannot be too great. But theirs I sincerely deplore, and what is to be their term?
“The will of the allies? There is no more moderation, forbearance, or even honesty in theirs, than in that of Bonaparte. They have proved that their object, like his, is plunder. They, like him, are shuffling nations together, or into their own hands, as if all were right which they feel a power to do.”
“Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like the evil spirits at the dawn of day.” (In a letter to Pierre S. du Pont de Nemours, 24 April 1816)
“Dissent is the highest form of patriotism. “The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.”
“If once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.”
“Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms (of government) those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”
“I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government in a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.” (To George Logan, 1816)
“. . . freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus; and trial by juries impartially selected. These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us, and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation.”
“[T]he mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.”
“It is not only vain, but wicked, in a legislature to frame laws in opposition to the laws of nature, and to arm them with the terrors of death. This is truly creating crimes in order to punish them.” ~Thomas Jefferson in a Note on the Crimes Bill, 1779
That’s the sum total of my diminutive collection of Jeffersonian thoughts and writings. It is, I’m sure, little more than a nibble from the entire of the T.J. Pie, but even such a small smidge comes close to totally refuting a huge percentage of today’s Wingnuttistanian Politic, the vast bulk of which is NOT oriented toward Jeffersonian Constitutional Democracy, toward the well-being of the individual, toward prosperity for all, but rather is offered in the interest of money and power only. All of which seems to make it perfectly clear that Thomas Jefferson was neither a Corporatist, an Oligarch, or a Fascist, and therefore he would NOT be, today, a participant in the GOP/Republican/Tea Party, the AFM (American Fascist Movement). How sad for them, but how grand for those who actually believe in the worth of we the People!
A final thought: reading and pondering Jefferson’s own words always reminds me of something JFK said in the address he gave at the White House Dinner and Reception honoring Nobel Prize winners in April, 1962:
“I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the white House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”
BOYCOTT BURGER KING
The Watering Hole, Wednesday, August 27, 2014.
Turn out the lights, the party’s over.
Over a hundred years ago, we fought a civil war, in part so that a government of the people, by the people and for the people might not perish.
But perish it has. All in the Name of Christ.
Remember the Christian coalition? Conservative Christians banded together to elect candidates a the local, school board level, to state offices, to federal positions, to President Reagan. Strangely enough, the economic goals of the Christian Coalition coincided exactly with the economic goals of the very rich. But the economics of selfishness wasn’t the motivating factor in getting out the Christian vote, instead, the masses were motivated by prejudice – against gays, for they were raised to think of sex along the lines of the Puritans – you know, the pious folks who burned young women at the stake upon the mere accusation of witchcraft. They were also motivated by a much nobler cause – to protect the life of the defenseless innocent, in this case, a fertilized egg.
People motivated by blind faith have little use for logic or reasoned argument. They also have no tolerance for facts that contractic their faith. They make the perfect army for those in power to keep, and enhance their power.
And so it has come to pass, that we have democratically elected representatives that have unquestionably done the bidding of the very, very few. According to a recent study, the United States is now run by an oligarchy.
We have a militarized police force across the country. Why? To uphold law and order? No – to put down civil unrest. Protest a police killing of an unarmed black kid – get arrested. Protest an unjust war – a war built upon lies – and get arrested. Do anything to upset the status quo of the very, very rich, and you’ll likely get arrested.
We, the people, outnumber the oligarchy. They survive by convincing enough people to support them – and by giving those people the power and means to support them. For some, it is as simple as giving them a newscasting spot. For others, it might mean drawing up congressional districts to make it impossible to vote them out of office. Others hold the power to count votes, and to restrict who gets to vote. Still others hold positions of judgships with lifetime tenure and virtually no accountability. Some are teachers, some are preachers.
But now, since 9/11 the most feared are the militarized police. Think about this – since 9/11 the government has had the power, and has gained the means, to monitor each and every one of our electronic communications. The government knows who we are, and what we think, say and do. Think of all your friends on Facepook, Twitter, etc. And think of their friends, and their friends friends, etc. What you have is the potential for McCarthy communist witch hunts, multiplied exponentially.
The country is run by an oligarchy. That this news was allowed to become public means but one thing: the ruling class believes that there is absolutely nothing we can do about it.
The balance of power lies with the oligarchy for now. Chiefly because things haven’t gotten bad enough for what used to be the middle class. It’s a fine line the oligarchy has to walk, between gathering more and more wealth and power unto itself, and making conditions so bad the masses rise up in revolt as they have done in the Middle East recently. So far, they’ve done a brilliant job here in the U.S. uprisings are small and disorganized. Their most potent threat, Occupy Wall Street fizzled from its own incompetence.
But the past foretells the future. At some point, a charismatic leader will arise, one whom the oligarchy cannot control, one who will destroy the current power structures. There are but two archetypes: Hitler and Ghandi.
A Hitler will rise from the evengelical crowd. A Ghandi will arise from obscurity.
We are all dead. The rest of the world can only hope that the conflagration is contained to the United States. I think it will be….if we can find another Ghandi.
ENJOY WHERE YOU ARE IN THE HERE AND NOW.
The Watering Hole, Tuesday August 26, 2014 – Environmental News and Food Politics
Since it is harvest time, going to focus on food politics for this post.
First, how about a smart phone app that can determine whether the product you are buying leans Democratic or Republican. You get to vote in the food aisle every time you shop.
Next up – drought and bottled water. Did you know that most of the stuff comes from drought prone states?
Last – a staggering number of Americans will succumb to Type 2 Diabetes and many of them are people of color without good access to fresh veggies or good information about diet and nutrition. It doesn’t hurt that they are inundated with advertising pointing to bad food choices. Think about how many McDonald’s commercials have people of color featured. These commercials are not about being inclusive or progressive. They are predatory. When was the last time you saw a black person touting the benefits of arugula?
Fritos, Egg McMuffins, Whoppers, …supersize me!
The Watering Hole, Monday, August 25th, 2014: Introducing…
…well, he hasn’t got a name yet, but here’s our new little guy. Sorry, the pictures are a tad grainy/blurry because we used Wayne’s computer’s camera.
Please help us come up with a name for this little guy. So far all I’ve come up with is “Joker”, because he pantsed Wayne the other night, pulling Wayne’s sweats down in his efforts to climb up Wayne’s leg. He’s amazingly self-possessed, and the rebuffs from the other cats don’t seem to faze him for more than a moment. For the most part, the others seem to be starting to accept his presence, if not his friendly/playful overtures. However, our two older boys are usually out most of the time during this nice weather, so their encounters are infrequent. Importantly, though, Troi has gone from hissing/growling anytime the kitten is near, to allowing him to sleep actually touching her on the couch, and to eat from the same plate. The other night he was sleeping with his nose up against one of Troi’s paws. Not bad progress for less than a week.
This is our daily open thread–please feel free to comment on cat names or whatever subject is on your mind today.
Sunday Roast: Harvest Time
Photos by Zooey
I don’t know why I like combines, but I just think they’re awesome — especially when they’re harvesting a steep hillside. I didn’t get any good shots of combines on hillsides, because I didn’t remember to toss the tripod in the car. *sad face*
I took these photos outside of Moscow, Idaho, earlier this month. Typically, the entire month of August is spent getting the wheat harvested.
Another awesome thing about combines is the annual Combine Demolition Derby at the Lewis County Fair in Nezperce, Idaho. I’m not a fan of the demolition derby, but switch out the cars for combines, and I am transfixed!
This is our daily open thread — Fall is coming!
The Watering Hole, Saturday, August 23, 2014: This Week In Crazy – Race Wars, Gay Recruitment, and Ebola
Courtesy of Right Wing Watch we learn that your precious tax dollars are paying the salaries of certifiably insane Congress Critters Hell bent on scaring the crap out of anybody within earshot, that some of those children from Central American countries in turmoil really may have come from Venezuela to be trained as warriors because, you know, the Revolutionary War, and that President Obama is simultaneously starting a race war and turning children gay. Oh, and those Central American kids have Ebola. Must’ve gone to Western Africa before heading back to Venezuela for their warrior training. And that’s just this week.
If it were just people like Tamara Scott, an Iowa state-level Republican official and conservative activist, I’d say it was a cry for attention. Scott thinks among the tens of thousands of migrant children from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador are warrior children, trained in Venezuela by Hezbollah, or Hamas, maybe both, who knows? After all, there were 12-year-olds fighting in our American Revolution. Except, of course, that was before there was such a thing as the modern childhood, an early 20th-century invention. Before that, once kids were old enough (four, five, maybe six years old), they started working for the family. Or they went to live with someone else and learn a trade. But they were put to work, maybe in the fields picking food, maybe on farms feeding livestock. There was no public education system, where kids were sent to learn to read and write and, most importantly though conservatives ignore it, to socialize, to learn to get along with other people. So it should surprise no one that there were 12-year-old children fighting in the Revolutionary War. What does that have to do with today? It’s hard for me to believe that someone who isn’t paranoid would believe this “chain of logic.” She may want attention, but what she needs is help.
If it were just people like Larry Klayman, a misanthrope who thinks the President and Attorney General of the United States are both trying to start a race war and to bring reparations to black people, I’d say someone was off his meds again. Klayman, like many voices we hear on the Conservative fringes of Society, has a problem with facts. His problem seems to be a severe allergy to them, to the point where he just doesn’t use them to make a point. In a WorldNutDaily column (from which I’ll quote but to which I won’t link), he wrote:
First, it has become clear that Obama’s economic policies and eventual legislation, such as the disastrous Obamacare, have been designed to favor blacks over whites, and to in effect have whitey pay reparations to blacks for the insidious years of racial discrimination. Obama’s intention is to melt down the gold in America and redistribute it to his people.
Second, Obama ignores racially motivated crimes against whites, some of which is manifest in the rising anti-Semitism and anti-Christian bigotry here and worldwide. It is an undisputed fact that hate crimes against Jews far exceed those against blacks.
I’m disputing that. I base that on the summaries of the last two annual FBI Hate Crimes Reports. In 2011, racial motivations were behind 46.9% of all hate crimes, while religious bias was behind only 19.8%. Lest you think this might have changed significantly the next year, in 2012 racial motivation accounted for 48.3% while religious bias only 19%. And while these are overall numbers addressing race and religious persuasion in general, it’s hard to believe if you dug down deep within those numbers, that “hate crimes against Jews far exceed those against blacks.” But that would have to mean that virtually all hate crimes of religious bias were against Jews, and only a small proportion of racially motivated hate crimes were against blacks for Klayman’s statement to be remotely true.
If it was just the Tea Party of Louisiana calling for repeal of Common Core because it turns students gay, I’d say it was bigots and homophobes at work again. Don’t think they believe their claim wasn’t baseless. They had proof. They had a link to “Broken World News“, a parody website whose About page features the warning, “Disclaimer: If you believe any of the shit you read here you are a freaking moron.” Spokesman Bob Reid that he was trying to “bring attention of the Common Core issue to those who maybe aren’t paying attention,” which I guess includes not paying attention to the links he was providing. I suppose I could give the Tea Party of Louisiana the benefit of the doubt and assume that they aren’t bigots and homophobes, just freaking morons.
And if it was just Republicans in Congress, such as Phil Gingrey, Michele Bachmann, and Todd Rokita, claiming that the children fleeing violence in Central America were carrying the Ebola virus with them, I’d chalk it up to simple medical ignorance, even on the part of the one Georgia certified to be a medical doctor. (Hint: His name rhymes with Still Dinghy.) If they bothered to listen to the Centers For Disease Control (whose work they pay for through their taxes), they’d know that the only known location where people contracted Ebola has been Africa. And if they listen to Immigration and Naturalization Service, they’d know that none of these children have tested positive for Ebola. Not one single child. And that’s a problem.
The problem is it isn’t just these people, it’s a whole bunch of low-intellect, low-information people who listen to and believe them. And then those people start complaining their government is trying to start a race war, turns kids gay, and infect the country with Ebola. And then they go out in November and vote for the politicians who tell them all of that is true. Frankly, I’m surprised our Democracy has lasted as long as it has.
This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss race wars, gay recruitment, Ebola, or anything else that strikes your fancy and gets your conspiratorial nut going.
The Watering Hole Friday August 22, 2014 – Music Night
Schools and colleges are opening up again. Back to school music.
The Watering Hole; Friday August 22 2014; “Superior Inferiority”
About a dozen years back (plus or minus one or two), and after watching the Dubya Bush administration make one mess after the other, I decided to sum up my impressions of the clearly failing human experience via a poem — a Shakespearean-style sonnet, to be exact. It turned out thus:
Paradox of Humankind:
Brash vanity ordains that Mankind be
Superior to all other life on Earth,
And curious source of this Mythology
Derives from Bible’s unintended mirth.
Thus bold is he who advocates the case
Of Genesis errant, where metaphor,
As whimsical devise, cannot replace
Realities which each confirm the Core
Of Life: that every living form appeals
To Duty greater than itself alone.
A single moment’s intellect reveals
One Truth, as if inscribed in tempered stone:
Each bird and beast, each flowered weed, each tree
Expounds on Man’s Inferiority!
My conclusion was obvious: humans are absolutely and positively INFERIOR to every other life form that exists, probably even to such brilliances as light and the empty space it illuminates. In any case, every now and then “the course of human events” causes me to reflect once again, then to explore the thesis of “Superior Inferiority” that inevitably seems to define the human species.
Following is the latest exploration. The large photos are my own; the small ones are captures, over the years, from various internet sites and are, far as I know, unattributed. Still, comparison does seem to tell a tale, to support said thesis. Am I wrong? Y’all be the judge.
* * * *
Natural Black Fly on Natural White Flower:
Unnatural White Whatever on Unnatural Black Void?
Unnatural White Void on Natural Black Whatever?
Natural Black on Natural Green!!
Tan Bugger and Black Bugger on a Yellow Background?
How about a Tan Bug on a Black and Yellow Background?
Next up, the Natural Void: Solar, anyone?
I’ll tell you how the Sun rose / A Ribbon at a time
Lawmakers, Homeowners Fight Rules Saying Solar Is Too Ugly To Install
Rooftop Solar is Ugly??
NO WAY!! Rooftops Themselves are Ugly!!
Solar Solar Solar!
Maybe it’s Frogs that are Ugly?
Nah. Frogs are NOT Ugly, esp. when compared to their Human Counterpoints, e.g. ex-POTUSes.
OK, that’s enough. Hell with it. Humans are clearly superior at being inferior to everything else in the Universe.
The Prosecution Rests.
The Watering Hole; Thursday August 21 2014; ACD
Brief post today, but one with a link to a lengthy and excellent paper on ACD, i.e. Anthropogenic Climate Disruption, aka climate change, human-caused. The article is genuinely THE most comprehensive and detailed discussion I’ve seen to date concerning the science of ACD, the projected consequences of ACD, and the current impacts of ACD on various planetary life species, including our own. Each and all segments are documented with numerous quotes, links and cross references as they explore every repercussion attributable to ACD, including even the (American) denier/skeptic ‘movement.’ The work is courtesy of author Dahr Jamail; it’s published on Truthout.org, and is titled: “Peak Water,” Methane Blowholes and Ice-Free Arctic Cruises: The Climate Crisis Deepens.
ACD is, without any doubt the most serious and dangerous “contribution” (?) of/by the human species to the earth’s biosphere, and may well prove (soon) to be the irreversible cause of the planet’s next mass extinction event. As Jamail summarizes,
Massive climactic shifts (cooling or warming) were the signatures of the five worst mass extinction events of the planet, and each are believed to have been triggered by either asteroid impacts or volcanism.
Given the massive injection of carbon dioxide gasses into the atmosphere by humans and the fact that large amounts of methane are already being released in the Arctic which many scientists believe is already a runaway feedback loop that will add several more degrees warming to the planet, the current mass extinction event may closely resemble the Permian-Triassic extinction that happened about 251 million years ago.
During that extinction event, earth’s worst, 95 percent of all species were killed off.
ACD is, indeed, a topic worthy of national and global discussion to be followed IMMEDIATELY by appropriate ACTIONS, and now is surely as good a time as we’ll ever have to begin.
The Watering Hole, 8/20/14: Do you know how fast you’re going?
A short while back, astrophysicist and Cosmos star Neil deGrasse Tyson was pulled over by a State Trooper while on his way to a speaking engagement. The Trooper obviously didn’t recognize the famous scientist.
We here at The Zoo obtained the audio from the Trooper’s dash camera shortly before it was taken off-line. Here, then, is the exchange between an astrophysicist and a State Trooper on the subject of speeding.
Trooper: Do you know how fast you were going?
NdGT: Relative to what?
Trooper: Relative to…..Einstein.
NdGT: Ah, well, yes. It’s fascinating you should day that. You see, Einstein was a mathematician, but his theories revolutionized the study of physics and astrophysics. Using his theories on relativity and time and motion we are finally able to answer that question.
Trooper: What question?
NdGT: How fast was I going. That is what you asked, right?
NdGT: Ok. Now, to give you some grasp of how fast I was going, you’ve got to imagine we’re on one of those Octopus rides in a carnival. You know, the ride where there are several arms extending outward from a central hub. The hub spins around, and the end of the arms go round and round the hub. But that’s not all. At the end of each arm there are seats that spin round and round, so at times you’re hurling through space heading right towards the hub, and a moment later you’re being flung out and away from the hub. And at the point where you’re nearest the hub, you feel like you’re not moving at all.
NdGT: Stay with me, here. Now, the hub is our Sun, and the Earth is at the end of one of those arms, moving around the Sun at 66,000 miles per hour. But that’s not all, because the Earth spins around on its axis, like the seats on the carnival ride. In this case, a person on the equator would be spinning through space at about 1,000 miles per hour. But we have two problems. First, we’re approaching noon. That means we’re heading closest to that center hub, or, in this case, the Sun. That also means that, relative to the sun, we appear to be slowing down. And we’re also not at the equator. You see, the farther north or south you go from the equator, the slower you’re moving through space as the Earth continues to spin on its axis. For example, did you know that if you were standing exactly on the North Pole, you wouldn’t be moving at all, as far as the spin on the earth’s axis?
Trooper: I wouldn’t?
NdGT: Exactly! You’d be standing still. Well, not totally still. Although you wouldn’t feel like you’re moving, you would be doing a slow 360 degree spin. It would take you 24 hours just to be facing the same direction you were when you started. But even that’s a misperception. Because you would always be facing South, relative to the Earth, but relative to the Sun, or an astronaut in space, you’d be spinning in place. Are you with me so far?
Trooper: So far. We’re at the North Pole, right?
NdGT: No, we’re in Alabama. But that’s not all.
Trooper: It isn’t.
NdGT: No! and that’s the beauty of it all! You see, while we’re spinning round and round on our axis at 1,000 miles per hour, and spinning round and round the Sun at 66,000 miles per hour, the sun is whirling through space as it goes around and around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy at 483,000 miles per hour!
Trooper: No way!
NdGT: Way! and that’s not all! Our galaxy is moving away from the center of the Universe, the site of the Big Bang, at an amazing 1.3 million miles per hour! So, to answer your question, all I have to do is add 1.3 million, plus 438,000, plus 66,000, plus 1,000, adjusted down for latitude to approximately 800, plus 55 and the answer is…1,849,805 miles per hour, give or take.
Trooper: You don’t say. I had you clocked at 55. Wait, where’d the 55 come from?
NdGT: Oh, that’s the speed I had set on my cruise control.
OPEN THREAD TIME
The Watering Hole Tuesday August 19, 2014 -Environmental News and Food Politics
So to be theoretically opposed to factory farms because of what they might do falls on deaf ears, but when people in Ohio have been advised this month on multiple occasions to stop drinking their tap water, the culprit suddenly becomes legitimate.
I guess it will be that way with global warming too. When rich Republicans find their beachfront property under water it will be time to do something, won’t it?
The Watering Hole, Monday, August 18th, 2014: Sick Day
I am so sick of everything that I’m just going to throw up a few thoughts and see who’s coming down with the same thing.
I can’t even find the words to describe how sick I am of “Christians” (who, if Christ were real, would have been disowned by him) who are doing their damnedest to take over this country, whining about ‘religious persecution.’ The same zealous whackjobs go crazy fearmongering about ‘teh gay agenda’, when their own ‘Christian-nation/one-nation-under-their god’ agenda is infinitely more far-reaching. An excerpt from Right Wing Watch:
“Christian-nation activist David Lane is engaged in a multi-year, multi-state project to get conservative evangelical pastors more involved in electing right-wing candidates, and he is intent on making sure that the GOP nominates a 2016 presidential candidate to the Religious Right’s liking.”
When pastors of any religious stripe start getting “involved in electing right-wing candidates”, their church’s tax-exempt status should be revoked, period. They’ve been on thin ice for years, let them operate on just tithing and other donations from their parishioners.
I’ve been sick forever, it seems, of the sheer stupidity of the vast majority of Americans, but the last few years the ignorance has reached new heights? depths? From the now-common mundane ignorance of people who cannot speak or write proper English, to the simplistic denials of the worldwide disaster of global climate change, too many Americans are smugly proud of their lack of knowledge. When ‘leaders’ in government happily announce “I’m no scientist” when talking about human female biology/birth control, or climate change, or evolution, the premise of the movie “Idiocracy” doesn’t seem quite so far-fetched anymore. Just add some holy-rollers/snake oil salesmen to Idiocracy so it’s a tad more realistic.
I’m sick of the police and other law enforcement entities playing into the teabagger/libertarians’ narrative with the militarization of police forces across the country. There are groups out there who are insanely itching to get into a firefight with the “gummint” and consider ANY law enforcement to be the “gummint.” Cops, you are NOT helping when you treat civilians as an enemy – I’m looking at YOU, FERGUSON.
And I am sick to death of the blatant outright racism that has been revived by the election of President Barack Obama. But not just the racism itself, it’s the acceptance, even embracing, of racism that makes me so sick. I don’t know if President Obama anticipated just how much racist backlash would result from his election – I know I certainly didn’t. Just take one or two examples regarding the insanity that is happening in Ferguson, Missouri:
Ever-clueless Representative Steven King:
“”This idea of no racial profiling,” King said, “I’ve seen the video. It looks to me like you don’t need to bother with that particular factor because they all appear to be of a single origin, I should say, a continental origin might be the way to phrase that.”
“I just reject race-based politics, identity politics” King concluded. “I think we’re all God’s children. We all should be held to the same standards and the same level of behavior.”
Tea-Partier radio-show host Jesse Lee Peterson:
““I’ve said from day one that Michael Brown is a thug,” Peterson explained before asserting that he must be a criminal by nothing[sic] “the fact that he was running from the cops, period, because good folks do not run from police officers, they follow their instructions.”
He added, “I just think that it’s a shame that, in America today, that criminals are given the benefit of the doubt – especially black criminals because white criminals are not – but black criminals are given the benefit of the doubt and the police officers are the suspects. I don’t know what has happened to my country.”
According to Wikipedia, “On September 21, 2005, Peterson penned a column for WorldNetDaily, in which he suggested the majority of the African-American people stranded in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina were “welfare-pampered”, “lazy” and “immoral” and “Peterson has also thanked “God and white people” for slavery—adding that if it weren’t for the slave trade, blacks might have never made it to the United States—and described traveling on slave ships as akin to “being on a crowded airplane” That is one ‘brother’ who really hates his own race. How can he possibly think that way?
I can’t help but think that, had Hillary Clinton won the Democratic Primary and the Presidency in 2008, we would not be seeing all of this out-in-the-open, ‘can-you-top-this’ undisguised racism. I blame President Obama for a lot of things, but I can’t honestly blame him for being elected and thereby opening the floodgates of racial prejudice.
This is our daily open thread–what’s on your mind today?
The Watering Hole, Saturday, August 16, 2014: Alabama and the Ten Commandments – Again
Tim Guffey, a commissioner in Jackson County, Alabama, who can best be remembered from me mentioning his name three seconds ago, has proposed doing what got current Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore removed from his office about a decade ago. For reasons defying both logic and common sense, Alabamans not only let the highest judicial officer in their state be elected by the people, they proved this was a bad idea by re-electing Roy Moore as their Chief Justice. Roy Moore got himself in trouble when he installed a monument to the religious aspects of the Ten Commandments on the public property housing the court house and refused to remove it when a federal judge ordered him to do so. Now a county commissioner wants to do the same thing, except he claims the Ten Commandments are a “historical document” and that without them, there would have been no Declaration of Independence or U.S. Constitution (the real historical documents beside which he wants to place the religious one.) Here’s the primary flaw in that argument: There’s absolutely no historical evidence that the story of Moses and the Ten Commandments is remotely true. So it can’t be an historical document.
What evidence exists, outside the religious texts within which they were included, that the events described about Moses and how he came to be in possession of these tablets are true? None! It’s just a story. If you want to believe it literally happened that way, do you also believe that Jonah was swallowed by a great fish and survived inside it for three days only to be spit out onto dry land to live and complain some more? Of course, you have to start with a belief in a god to believe such a story could possibly be true (apart from the lines God had in the story), just as you would have to have a belief in a god to believe that Moses watched the Finger of God write the Ten Commandments into stone slabs on the mountain wall, or however it happened in
Cecile B. DeMille’s movies the Bible. Which means it’s impossible to think of the Ten Commandments in something other than a religious context. Speaking seriously (I know my readers), have you actually read the Ten Commandments? Do you know what the very first one roughly translated into English (how convenient) reads? “I am the Lord thy God. Thou shall have no other gods before me.” Would you seriously argue that whatever else it says, it can have anything other than a religious context?
And while it may have influenced some of our nation’s Founders (BTW, Snopes does a great job of destroying some Conservative Christian beliefs as the myths they are about quotes from the Founding Fathers, and of our government buildings. Oh, and John Adams did say, “This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.”), that does not justify giving it such a place of prominence on the public property of the citizens of a secular nation, which we are. Benjamin Franklin was well-known for being a womanizer, which was used to great advantage in gaining support for our nation in its early history. Should we be putting monuments to his libido on public property? Of course not. It doesn’t matter what influenced these men personally, because it wouldn’t work for everybody. And when as a public servant you try to claim that a religious story should be treated equally with historical fact by the taxpayers, you cross a serious line against which Thomas Jefferson, one of your heroes, warned should never be done. Religious fundamentalism, whether it’s in the Middle East or Jackson County, Alabama, is never a good thing for a people who value freedom.
This is our daily open thread. Discuss whatever you wish to discuss.
Music Night: Literal Version
“Mullet with headlights!”
Yeah, top that. 😉
The Watering Hole; Friday August 15 2014; Give Me An Inch, I’ll Take A Mile (maybe several)
It’s an axiom that’s as old as politics: give a political hack an inch and s/he’ll try take a mile. Sarah Palin, anyone? Steve King? Ted Cruz? Rand Paul? The hack list is, literally miles long, and it can wear one out just pondering it.
Personally, I prefer that other world, the natural world ‘out there’ where in any crevice no matter how small or in any expanse no matter how large or how distant, there exists sufficient allure to captivate the soul and mind of the poet, the artist, the scientist, or even simply the curious. Consider, for example, the following small handful of photographs. Each is simply a fleeting moment’s capture of a split second of time, the content of a single point of ‘space’ ranging in size from a square inch or less to untold tens of thousands of miles. To some, photographs of the natural world are more than simply a graphic record; they are, in fact, a bit of poetry ohne worte, or poetry without words, and perhaps in that sense they stand as evidence that John Keats was absolutely correct when he noted that The poetry of earth is never dead.
Without further ado, a few moments of time, of space that happened to wander by in just the last few days.
Interesting to note that the amount of time captured in those five photos combined totals less than one second. The amount of captured ‘space’, meanwhile, ranges from a square inch or less in each of the flower/bug photos to the full moon’s visible surface area of a bit more than 8.5 million square miles. As for distance of the subject from the lens at the time the shutter was tripped, it ranges from two inches to 250,000 miles. Ah, the virtues of technology!
OK. Finally, and last but not least, a single (pictorial) summation of the entire of the Natural World’s opinion of the typical human’s anti-nature and pro-stupid mystique, all on full display within a square inch or two of the REAL world:
There you have it: one happy bug both summing up and ‘saluting’ — with total perfection — the nefariousness of the bulk of the earth’s human species. I suspect if he could put it all into words, he might express his thoughts and direct his worthy criticisms in much the same fashion as did William Wordsworth in his masterwork entitled Ode on Intimations of Immortality:
The Rainbow comes and goes,
And lovely is the Rose,
The Moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare;
Waters on a starry night
Are beautiful and fair;
The sunshine is a glorious birth;
But yet I know, where’er I go,
That there hath past away a glory from the earth.
The problem, of course, is that these days there are only a relatively small handful of humans with the ability to understand, much less feel any sense of lament. And sadly, not a damn one of them seems to be in much of a position to turn the tide away from destruction, away from greed, away from politics. Maybe if ‘they’ simply paused and took a look around? Nah. As John Ruskin so eloquently summed up the human condition a century or more ago,
“Hundreds of people can talk for one who can think,
but thousands can think for one who can SEE.”
Personally, I think I prefer the company of bugs, and flowers, mountains, the moon, and everything else ‘out there’ to politicians, and industrialists, and rich dudes, and stup . . . well, y’know.
The Watering Hole; Thursday August 14 2014; Edward Abbey: “Be True To The Earth”
Edward Abbey (1927-1989) was, at least in my experience, the first genuine and outspoken environmentalist I ever had the pleasure of discovering. I was a college student in Arizona in the early sixties when the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River above the Grand Canyon was under construction. Popular opinion on the matter was pretty much unanimous in the state that the dam was going to be an immense benefit in virtually every imaginable fashion. Edward Abbey, on the other hand, was the near singular voice of opposition. He opposed the project because of the damage it was doing and would continue to do to the terrain and the ecology that had long defined Glen Canyon. He thought the dam and its future impact(s) were nothing other than environmental atrocities of undefinable magnitude. It took several years before I finally came to agree with him — mainly, I suppose, because his grand little masterpiece Desert Solitaire wasn’t published until 1968, and it wasn’t until the early seventies that I finally snagged a copy and read it for the first time (but not the last by any stretch).
Following are a dozen or so Edward Abbey quotes, most of which I snagged and recorded during that first read of Desert Solitaire. Each of them amply demonstrates his passion for the natural world as well as his distaste for humans and what they are (and have long been) doing to it.
“Wilderness. The Word itself is music. Wilderness, wilderness . . . We scarcely know what we mean by the term, though the sound of it draws all whose nerves and emotions have not yet been irreparably stunned, deadened, numbed by the caterwauling of commerce, the sweating scramble for profit and domination. . . . [for] the love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth, the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only home we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need — if only we had the eyes to see. Original sin, the true original sin, is the blind destruction for the sake of greed of this natural paradise which lies all around us — if only we were worthy of it.”
“If a man’s imagination were not so weak, so easily tired, if his capacity for wonder not so limited, he would abandon forever such fantasies of the supernal. He would learn to perceive in water, leaves and silence more than sufficient of the absolute and marvelous, more than enough to console him for the loss of the ancient dreams.”
“God? … who the hell is He? . . . Why confuse the issue by dragging in a superfluous entity? Occam’s razor. Beyond atheism, nontheism. I am not an atheist but an eartheist. Be true to the earth.”
“Men come and go, cities rise and fall, whole civilizations appear and disappear — the earth remains, slightly modified. The earth remains, and the heartbreaking beauty where there are no hearts to break. Turning Plato and Hegel on their heads I sometimes choose to think, no doubt perversely, that man is a dream, though an illusion, and only rock is real. Rock and sun.”
“I discovered that I was not opposed to mankind but only to man-centeredness, anthropocentricity, the opinion that the world exists solely for the sake of man; not to science, which means simply knowledge, but to science misapplied, to the worship of technique and technology, and to that perversion of science properly called scientism; and not to civilization but to culture.”
“[W]hen a man must be afraid to drink freely from his country’s rivers and streams that country is no longer fit to live in. Time then, to move on, to find another country or — in the name of Jefferson — to make another country. ‘The tree of liberty is nourished by the blood of tyrants.'”
“The developers . . . the politicians, businessmen, bankers, administrators, engineers … cannot see that growth for the sake of growth is a cancerous madness … They would never understand that an economic system which can only expand or expire must be false to all that is human.”
“No wonder the Authorities are so anxious to smother the wilderness under asphalt and reservoirs. They know what they’re doing; their lives depend on it, and all their rotten institutions.”
“The rancher strings barbed wire across the range, drills wells and bulldozes stock ponds everywhere, drives off the elk and antelope and bighorn sheep, poisons coyotes and prairie dogs, shoots eagle and bear and cougar on sight, supplants the native bluestem and grama grass with tumbleweed, cow shit, cheat grass, snakeweed, anthills, poverty weed, mud and dust and flies–and then leans back and smiles broadly at the Tee Vee cameras and tells us how much he loves the West.”
“The sheepmen complain that coyotes eat some of their lambs. This is true but do they eat enough? … enough lambs to keep the coyotes sleek, healthy and well fed? That is my concern.”
“They [the animals] do not sweat and whine about their condition, They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins . . . “
Next up, a quick peek at the other side of the Abbey coin, the side upon which is displayed the abject stupidity, the vapid cloak of hatred and fear worn by far too many “sportsmen” these days. The following quotes were included in a recent communication by the Center For Biological Diversity (Tucson AZ) which, in the Center’s words, is “targeted every day by the rabid haters of predator species. It’s hard to even express how poisonous these sentiments are . . .” Here is their list of “the 10 worst anti-wolf quotes” their organizers have received in recent weeks.
10. “Wolves are wildlife terrorists.” — Ron Gillett of the Central Idaho Anti-Wolf Coalition
9. “Shoot, shovel and shut up!” — Zachery H. via Facebook
8. “They need to send these Mexican wolves back to Mexico!” — Unknown, screamed at our Southwest Conservation Advocate
7. “We think they should be shot on sight.” — Marcia Armstrong, chair of the Siskiyou County, Calif., Board of Supervisors
6. “Whatever liberal idiots did this to us should be tarred and feathered. Dead wolves are good wolves.” — Wiley S. via Facebook
5. “Last week Hondurans, this week wolves.” — Michael A. in response to a story about the expansion of the Mexican gray wolf habitat
4. “I LOVE wolves. I try to smoke a pack a day.” — Jason D. via Facebook
3. “I’d put the tanned hide right on the wall nest [sic] to my bobcat, coyote, skunk, red fox, gray fox, beaver, deer, alligator, prairie dog, brown trout and field mouse.” — Ty B. via email
2. “Your wake-up call just got a donation from me… to the National Rifle Assocation [sic]” — Joe C. via email
1. “The introduction of Canadian wolves into the Northwest was a criminal conspiracy by a bunch of pot-smoking, wine-sucking, vegetarian lawyers to end blood sports and ranching on public land… I want to see these people in prison for the rest of their lives.” — Montana gubernatorial candidate Bob Fanning
And a bonus: “I hope the plane goes down.” — Doug S. responding to a story about orphaned Alaskan wolf pups being adopted by the Minnesota Zoo.
Personally, I find myself in total and complete agreement with Edward Abbey’s 1968 summation of each and all such idiots. He wrote, in Desert Solitaire,
“Whenever I see a photograph of some sportsman grinning over his kill, I am always impressed by the striking moral and aesthetic superiority of the dead animal to the live one.”
Amen and yea verily.
“Be true to the earth.”
The Watering Hole, Wednesday, August 13, 2014: forty-two.
(Warning – mature language)
The rise in religious fanaticism around the globe has taken its toll on the Almighty. So much so that God has gone into psychotherapy, according to Harvey (not his real name), a rare medium who claims to have listened in on a session:
THERAPIST: So, tell me, Lord, vat ist der problem?
GOD: Well, it all began when I created the universe.
THERAPIST: Go on….
GOD: Well, I didn’t really create. I just spoke, and shit happened.
THERAPIST: Vat do you mean, “shit happened”?
GOD: You know, light and dark, earth, sky, water, sun and moon, stars and shit.
THERAPIST: So dat vas a bad thing?
GOD: Hell no. I looked around, and it was all good.
THERAPIST: Unt den vat happened?
GOD: Well, then I got to creating plants and fish and birds and animals. I wrapped everything up late Saturday when I created man. I took Sunday off, because, well, after creating everything in the Universe, I was plumb wore out.
THERAPIST: Sounds like you had a busy week.
GOD: Yeah, it was a hell of a week, especially for my first week on the job. And I think I might have fucked up a bit.
The Watering Hole: Tuesday August 12, 2014 – Environmental News and Food Politics
After having taken an unannounced leave of absence for the past three weeks, my memory kicked in again, so here we are.
The ocean is being affected by microscopic plastics, as researchers have found a year or so ago. New research has found the the upper millimeter contains a more prevalent pollutant than plastic.
The Watering Hole, Monday, August 11th, 2014: Caption Contests!
When I saw the first photo on TP last week, I thought “That just begs for a caption contest.” The photo is of Mississippi State Senator Chris McDaniel, and is credited to McDaniel for Senate. McDaniel allegedly hired a pastor to hold a press conference and state that he (the pastor) had been paid by Thad Cochran’s campaign to get black Democrats to vote in their Republican Senate primary:
Next, from an article by Neil Cavuto on Fox Business, in which Cavuto surprisingly says:
“…cross them once, go off-script with them once, pose one different question or surprise confrontation just once – and they go nuts, and I mean really nuts. It’s actually disturbing.”
Chris Christie and Rand Paul have a lot going for themselves. They’re political originals in almost all respects, save their uncanny lack of self-awareness. It just seems odd for gentlemen who demand respect, they have a devil of a time “showing” respect. Their rage is as consuming as it risks being self-immolating. No slight is too small, no diss too dizzy, no criticism too silly, that each doesn’t get silly, and childish, and boorish in kind. Not kind. Not right. Not big. Not…presidential.”
And another two-fer, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul:
Here’s a fun shot of ‘Russian Strongman’ Vladimir Putin:
What is Tucker Carlson dreaming about when he fell asleep on Fox &
Last, here’s a shot of Lindsey Graham (fundraising at a place called River Rat Brewery.) Lindsey, on Fox News yesterday, sounded the alarm about terrorists attacking the U.S. He then swooned, clutching his pearls, saying “Someone fetch me mah smelling salts!”
And just for fun (if you aren’t having any yet), here’s a gif that I ran across while choosing a photo for Lindsey Graham:
This is our daily open thread–what’s on your mind today?