Saturday, February 28, 2015

10 Pro Gun Myths shot down

By cutting off federal funding for research and stymieing data collection and sharing, the National Rifle Association has tried to do to the study of gun violence what climate deniers have done to the science of global warming. No wonder: When it comes to hard numbers, some of the gun lobby's favorite arguments are full of holes.
Myth #1: They're coming for your guns.
Myth #2: Guns don't kill people—people kill people.
Fact-check: People with more guns tend to kill more people—with guns. The states with the highest gun ownership rates have a gun murder rate 114% higher than those with the lowest gun ownership rates.

Myth #3: An armed society is a polite society.
Fact-check: Drivers who carry guns are 44% more likely than unarmed drivers to make obscene gestures at other motorists, and 77% more likely to follow them aggressively. 

Myth #5: Keeping a gun at home makes you safer.
Fact-check: Owning a gun has been linked to higher risks of homicide, suicide, and accidental death by gun.

Friday, February 27, 2015

10 Poverty Myths busted: (Single Moms are NOT the problem)

1. Single moms are the problem. Only 9 percent of low-income, urban moms have been single throughout their child's first five years. Thirty-five percent were married to, or in a relationship with, the child's father for that entire time.*
2. Absent dads are the problem. Sixty percent of low-income dads see at least one of their children daily. Another 16 percent see their children weekly.*
3. Black dads are the problem. Among men who don't live with their children, black fathers are more likely than white or Hispanic dads to have a daily presence in their kids' lives.
4. Poor people are lazy. In 2004, there was at least one adult with a job in 60 percent of families on food stamps that had both kids and a nondisabled, working-age adult.

Republicans not prepared to fix Obamacare says Republican

A Republican-run Congress will not support a quick legislative fix should the Supreme Court rule that a large chunk of Obamacare's health care subsidies are illegal, a leading GOP senator said Thursday.
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) told conservatives gathered at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference that he and other Republicans view the Supreme Court's decision in the forthcoming King v. Burwell health insurance subsidy case as an opportunity to pass a conservative-minded replacement to the law. Should the court rule that subsidies can only be awarded to individuals shopping for coverage on state-run exchanges, he said, Republicans would resist efforts to restore subsidies for others.

Chaos and failure in Homeland Security HOUSE Vote - WHAT A MESS

After a long afternoon of wrangling Republicans, House leadership brought a short-term Homeland Security funding bill to the floor. It failed spectacularly. In a what was supposed to be a 15 minute vote, Boehner held it open as his deputies desperately try to get the hard-liners to switch votes. It did not work, failing 203-224.
The path here was, as usual for Boehner, messy. Here was the reporting leading up to the vote.
GOP leaders are as of Friday afternoon huddling in the Speaker's office trying to sort out whether they can get enough votes to approve the measure. House conservatives want to continue fighting to block the President Barack Obama's actions on immigration and want to go to conference to work out differences between the House GOP bill and the Senate Bill passed bill earlier Friday.

After the bill was voted down, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) called for Boehner to avoid a DHS shutdown by allowing a vote on the Senate-passed bill that fully funds the department.
"The Republican Congress has shown that it simply cannot govern. Two months into the Republican Congress, we are already staring a Homeland Security shutdown square in the face, even as terrorists around the world threaten to strike America," Reid said in a statement. "Now is the time to drop the partisan political games and come together to avoid a Homeland Security shutdown for the good of our country."
Many House Republicans weren't ready to cave yet and pass a yearlong DHS funding bill, as the Republican-led Senate did on Friday morning. As it turned out, many weren't even ready to pass a short-term funding bill.

Sheriff fought Obamacare and now has massive medical expenses: Great Comments

The comments are worth reading.

Former Arizona county sheriff Richard Mack, a fierce opponent of Obamacare and a leader in the "constitutional sheriff" movement, is struggling to pay his medical bills after he and his wife each faced serious illnesses. The former sheriff and his wife do not have health insurance and started a GoFundMe campaign to solicit donations from family and friends to cover the costs of their medical care.
"Because they are self-employed, they have no medical insurance and are in desperate need of our assistance," reads a note on Mack's personal website.

CPAC: Icky Brown People destroying our country

Ann Coulter told her readers at World Net Daily the other day that Americans should be more afraid of immigrants than of the Islamic State:
“ISIS is not at our doorstep. Illegal immigrants are not only at our doorstep, but millions of them are already through the door, murdering far more Americans than ISIS ever will.”
The rhetoric from this year’s CPAC seems to be in agreement with this frenzied analysis.
The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), like the State of Iowa, always brings out the worst in Republicans, and never more so where the forces of ethnic nationalism are concerned. The Republican Party seems particularly prone to falling into line with white nationalist rhetoric that has been especially noticeable at the Tea Party level.

3 week funding of Homeland Security - maybe

The House will vote Friday on a bill funding the Department of Homeland Security for three weeks in an attempt to avert a shutdown slated for Saturday at the massive agency.
If the bill is approved by the House, the Senate is expected to quickly follow suit — though the upper chamber also plans to move forward with a bill funding Homeland Security through the end of the fiscal year.

RIGHT WING FEAR OF EDUCATION: From a former RW nut (now an athiest)

I also viewed education with suspicion bordering on paranoia. I came from a rural mining town in Nevada where I knew mostly blue-collar men who neither needed nor wanted a college education. Listening to adults talk they always had a favorite villain: the person who jumped ahead in line and got a job or promotion, only because he or she had a college degree.
I have my own children now, and I know the limits of parenting.  Children heed your example far more than your advice.  It’s painful to watch your children struggle. It was the same for my conservative family who encouraged me to go college. They weren’t able to offer any meaningful guidance or help, and it was not their fault.  First generation college students, like me, face an impossible climb.  If you add in conservative hostility to education, it gets that much harder.
After getting a bachelor’s at 27, I went back to graduate school to study 18th century British literature at California State Hayward.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Republican Rascists exposed: Yes, their racism is being exposed.

There is no doubt that many Republicans are racist when it comes to President Obama.
The president has been forced to endure racism, hatred and malicious lies and rumors like no other American president.

INMATES in a room with only a camera - MANY REGRETS

Something amazing happens when you leave a camera in a room with inmates who are in prison because they used guns. It's hard to watch, but it's an attempt to reach kids before they end up in the same kind of place.
"I took up a gun, I held it. And then this gun became my security. … I entered a movie theater with a group of friends. Then, another group of teens came in, yelling. Pretty soon, an argument erupted between my group and that group. One of them pulled out a gun and fired it. I returned fire. … I didn't think I was gonna hit anybody, but I did it anyway. A little boy was shot. He died that night." — Sing Sing inmate, "Voices from Within" video project
To jump straight to the project, skip forward to the 4-minute mark.

"I made a choice. A gun."

Conservative efforts to stop the enforcement of gun laws.

Conservative lawmakers in at least 11 states are pushing legislation that would prevent state law enforcement from enforcing some or all federal gun restrictions. Proponents of these bills are emboldened by the success of marijuana legalization at the state level and claim that federal law enforcement is stretched too thin to stop them.
Right now, there are a number of federal laws restricting various kinds of gun use. For example, felons, fugitives, people convicted of domestic abuse misdemeanors and people subject to certain domestic restraining orders are restricted from buying guns under federal law. And no civilians are allowed to buy newly manufactured machine guns.
In Montana, the state House passed legislation earlier this month that would prohibit the enforcement of any potential federal ban or restriction on firearms and magazines. If a Montana cop did enforce such a federal law, it would be considered theft of public money. The Montana bill says that state employees are still allowed to enforce some federal laws -- for example, the ban on machine guns. But most states that have introduced this type of legislation have used broader language.

Barbara Boxer on Homeland Security and Immigration - Very Good

It feels good. It feels plenty good to see more Democrats grab the mic and tell Republicans, and this country, what time it is. Thank you, Senator Boxer.

GOP finding Governing is not easy for them.

I believe that part of the difficulty the GOP is having is the result of an interesting paradox.  While we have more opportunity for communication than ever in the history of the world, many choose to communicate at an incredibly narrow bandwidth, receiving and providing only a limited perspective and information. This is particularly true of the GOP.  It is interesting that they often accuse the Democrats of listening only to voices "within the beltway", while they, in fact, have narrowed their sources of information to a very few skewed outlets. Successful leaders seek information from many sources, even from those with whom they disagree, as they seek to develop viable solutions and responses to issues.  The fact that the GOP has marked as irrelevant, biased and invalid all information that doesn't come from their echo chamber, makes their decision-making very difficult.  It is for this reason that they often seem out of touch with the prevailing attitudes and opinions of the nation.

An additional impediment to their ability to effectively assume the mantel of leadership is their need to be reactive.   They so disdain the President that they spend all of their time reacting to him rather than providing their own solutions. The President, aware of this pattern, has challenged the GOP to lead.  He has challenged them to provide their own solutions on immigration, pay equity, marriage equality, gun control, tax reform and a host of other issues confronting the country.  Instead, what do they choose to do?  Rather than doing the hard work required of leaders, they create tension between the US and one of our closest allies by inviting Netanyahu without the President's knowledge or agreement, to speak before a joint session of Congress. They have not only failed to lead on the important issues of the day, they have shown themselves to be completely irresponsible in the manner in which they have clumsily inserted themselves into an area usually reserved for the Executive Branch.

Data shows Blacks targeted by Police more than Whites, blacks get it in business too.

In a recent poll, while 70% of African-Americans believe blacks are treated less fairly by the police, only 37% of whites feel the same way. Obviously, the rash of media coverage of police killings of African-Americans has had little if any effect in how the majority of white Americans view police mistreatment of minority populations.  This mirrors results in other areas in which whites do perceive discrimination against blacks: For example, 73% of whites do not believe blacks are treated unequally by the courts; 84% think they are treated equally in the workplace; and 87% of whites do not think African-Americans are discriminated against when it comes to voting.
Obviously, most whites, a large majority whites in every case, do not subjectively believe that any bias against African-Americans exists in our society.  A large majority of people of color just as obviously subjectively perceive that our society does treat people differently based on the color of their skin, rather than the content of their character, to paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr.  And this perception holds consistently across different regions of the country:

Gun Owner sets it straight about Gun Ownership

At 2:44, he explains what he thinks it means to be a "Second Amendment originalist." Teaser: He prefers fistfights over gunfights. Then get ready, because I'm still laughing from his joke at 3:53. And he wraps it all up with a masterly punchline at 6:48.

Jon Stewart has a lie off with FOX - GREAT!

The video above is one of Jon Stewart’s best and most comprehensive analysis on Right Wing media tactics. It is important because thus far the tactics have been extremely successful.
“My announcement of leaving (the Daily Show) didn’t go unnoticed,” Jon Stewart said. He then showed various outlets discussing the meaning of his presence over the years. According to Megyn Kelly and other Fox News personalities, he was not a force for good, he largely added sarcasm, insults, and dishonest editing to the political discourse. That from the media network outlet that has been found purposely editing video clips to lie to their audience.
“I challenge you Fox News to a lie off,” Jon Stewart said. “Your distortion and lack of  fact footholds against mine.” Stewart then played a six second Vine clip of Fox News personalities telling 50 lies.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

NY Times calls for Cheney arrest and trial for torture.

It’s Spreading: New York Times Calls For Cheney And Bush Officials To Be Indicted For Torture

Author: December 22, 2014 2:11 pm
It seems the world is starting to rise up against the Bush Administration after the release of the torture report. Yesterday, news broke that a human rights organization in Germany, with the aide of an international lawyer, were filing charges against the entire Bush administration for illegal, torturous practices on an innocent man. Now, it’s hitting here in America. The New York Times is calling for the investigation and indictment of the Bush Adminstration for war crimes.
In their blistering, hard-hitting Monday morning article  “Prosecute Torturers and Their Bosses,” the New York Times editorial board is asking that the Department of Justice prosecute those who “committed torture and other serious crimes,” which includes former Vice President Dick Cheney and other major officials within the Bush Admin.

US and Friends started ISIS trying to stop Hezbollah

Wesley Clark: "Our friends and allies funded ISIS to destroy Hezbollah"

ISIS started by US and friends in trying to stop Hezbollah

Wesley Clark: "Our friends and allies funded ISIS to destroy Hezbollah"

Jon Stewart on the Bill OReilly saga

Jon Stewart showed a great irony with the current state of reporting by the traditional mainstream media. Why this is not immediately obvious to reporters and producers is concerning.
Jon Stewart started the skit by playing clips of the media reporting on the controversy about Bill O’Reilly‘s claim of being a war correspondent in Argentina. Jon Stewart was taken aback that the media would concentrate on Bill O’Reilly’s embellishment of his ‘war career. Why would the media concentrate on an embellishment? Why not concentrate on the daily lies he tells to his audience about things that matter.
“Misrepresenting the zone he is in is kind of his hook,” said Jon Stewart. “You are in the no spin zone are the words he utters right before throwing some jackass who disproves Global Warming by wandering around Boston pointing at snow on a network whose slogan (Fair & Balanced) is a textbook case of trolling. No one is watching them for the actual truth. You are basically putting in a tremendous amount of work to say the emperor has no clothes. When the emperor has spent like 20 years going, ‘Look at my d!ck. I am naked.'”

YAY: President Obama vetoes the Keystone Pipeline Bill

President Barack Obama vetoed the Republicans’ Keystone XL pipeline bill Tuesday, rejecting Congress’ attempt to take the project’s fate out of his hands — and leaving the GOP on track for an override vote that will most likely fail.
Obama’s veto message was delivered within hours of the legislation arriving on his desk, the latest step in six years of pushing and pulling over a Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline that has become a symbol in the debate over jobs versus the environment. Even before Obama whipped out his veto pen, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to hold an override vote, which the Republican leader’s office said would occur no later than March 3.

Read more:

Another take on the Keystone Veto.  I hope this is just the beginning of President Obama vetoing crazy and harmful GOP bills.

GOP in disarray over the Homeland Security Funding Mess they made for themselves.

Congressional Republicans have a problem. They're on the brink of shutting down the Department of Homeland Security. They're going to be blamed for it. And they're going to be fighting with each other all the way over the cliff. House Republican leadership is ready and willing to shut down DHS, cutting off some programs and leaving 230,000 workers without paychecks. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has proposed funding DHS through September, setting up a conflict between House and Senate Republicans.
A shutdown won't be good for his party, but Speaker John Boehner has his reasons for supporting it:
Senate Democrats are refusing to sign on to McConnell’s proposal without a commitment from the speaker to move a “clean” DHS funding bill. But several House Republicans and their top aides have privately told POLITICO that a misstep by Boehner in this legislative skirmish could imperil his speakership. One said that Republicans would weigh trying to remove him from the position if he relents on his promise to fight the president’s unilateral action on immigration “tooth and nail.”

GOP wants us to UNLEARN facts we learned in 3rd Grade.

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In the hopes of appealing to Republican primary voters, candidates for the 2016 Presidential nomination are working around the clock to unlearn everything that they have learned since the third grade, aides to the candidates have confirmed.
With the Iowa caucuses less than a year away, the hopefuls are busy scrubbing their brains of basic facts of math, science, and geography in an attempt to resemble the semi-sentient beings that Republican primary voters prize.

An aide to Jeb Bush acknowledged that, for the former Florida governor, “The unlearning curve has been daunting.”

“The biggest strike against Jeb is that he graduated from college Phi Beta Kappa,” the aide said. “It’s going to take a lot of work to get his brain back to its factory settings.”

US makes International Laws and then BREAKS THEM time after time.

US Has Repeatedly Ignored International Law, Following Its Own Unwritten Rules

From bloody coups to decades of torture, American exceptionalism is weakening the international system it created.

Where there are more guns, More Women Die - the facts are coming out.

To me the fundamental problem is that everything we know suggests that access to firearms increases the likelihood of death and injury. Disproportionately to women, disproportionately to children, but to everyone. The notion that somehow increasing access to guns to women is going to be an exception to that rule is, to me, unfounded.
What I can tell you is that if more women have guns, have them accessible, the likelihood that more women are going to die by suicide goes way up. What we know is that unintentional gun deaths, when there are more guns and they’re more accessible, unintentional gun deaths will increase. What we know is that alcohol and guns are a terrible combination.

GOP rewrites history: Past time for REAL HISTORY and SCIENCE to save our Constitutional Rights.

Thomas Jefferson, however, foreseeing a time when the concepts fundamental to the founding of America were forgotten, strongly argued that the Constitution must contain at least a rudimentary statement of rights, laying out those main areas where government could, at the minimum, never intrude into our lives.
Jefferson's insistence on a bill of rights exemplifies the progressive thoughts and actions that fill our rich history, and provide a perfect example of why education is vital to our democratic republic.
Jefferson was in France when Madison sent him the first draft of the new Constitution, and he wrote back on December 20, 1787, that, “I will now tell you what I do not like [about the new constitution]. First, the omission of a bill of rights, providing clearly, and without the aid of sophism, for freedom of religion, freedom of the press, protection against standing armies, restriction of monopolies, the eternal and unremitting force of the habeas corpus laws, and trials by jury in all matters of fact triable by the laws of the land....”
There had already been discussion among the delegates to the constitutional convention about whether they should go to the trouble of enumerating the human rights they had held up to the world with the Declaration of Independence, but the consensus had been that it was unnecessary.
The Declaration, the writings of many of the Founders and Framers, and no shortage of other documents made amply clear the Founders’ and the Framers’ sentiments that human rights were solely the province of humans, and that governments don’t grant rights but, rather, that in a constitutionally limited democratic republic We, The People—the holders of the rights—grant to our governments whatever privileges our government may need to function (while keeping the rights for ourselves).

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Congressman has a luxurious life and YOU AND I ARE PAYING FOR IT.

An image from his Instagram account shows Congressman Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) jumping for joy on a glacier in Patagonia, Chile late last year. In addition to his 'Downton Abbey'-inspired office on Capitol Hilll, Schock often hires a professional photographer to take pictures of him surfing, snowboarding and hang gliding at various beautiful locations around the world.

He goes first class and he has a Professional Photographer along shooting pictures of him having a great time.  All of it paid for by you and I.

4th Grade Christian School gives a Science Test

This is crazy but probably (and sadly) true.

Your Handy Dandy Guide to Debunking every President Obama Conspiracy Theory

The next time your Uncle Ralph corners you at Thanksgiving to tell you that the President is a Muslim, or that he has no legitimate birth certificate, or any other of a number of bizarre conspiracy theories you can simply click this link and knock them down one by one.

Then you can go back to eating your turkey and cranberry sauce in peace.

The actual debunking is here:

Corporate Hate: The HR Department is looking to fire you

Employees ... claim that co-workers were let go for trumped-up reasons. Some believe that human resources workers looked at factors other than performance, including salary, health and activities outside the workplace. Employees claim that their managers excused themselves for giving less satisfactory reviews than in the past, saying they were acting under new performance guidelines set up by HR.
Such stories are not unique. Donna Ballman, a Florida employment lawyer and author of the book, Stand Up For Yourself Without Getting Fired: Resolve Workplace Crises Before You Quit, Get Axed or Sue the Bastards says it's one of the more common strategies used to get rid of older employees.
“If, after years of great performance reviews, you’re getting reprimanded for things everyone does, or being nitpicked for things the company didn’t care about before, it’s possible that the company is gearing up for what I call the ‘suddenly stupid defense.’ They’re building a case to get rid of you for poor performance – trying to show a ‘legitimate reason’ other than age for firing you. If you’re being targeted for write-ups when younger employees do the same things and aren’t written up, you may have an age discrimination claim.”

This Governor raised the taxes on the wealthy and raised the minimum wage too. Great results

During his first four years in office, Gov. Dayton raised the state income tax from 7.85 to 9.85 percent on individuals earning over $150,000, and on couples earning over $250,000 when filing jointly – a tax increase of $2.1 billion. He’s also agreed to raise Minnesota’s minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2018, and passed a state law guaranteeing equal pay for women. Republicans like state representative Mark Uglem warned against Gov. Dayton’s tax increases, saying, “The job creators, the big corporations, the small corporations, they will leave. It's all dollars and sense to them.” The conservative friend or family member you shared this article with would probably say the same if their governor tried something like this. But like Uglem, they would be proven wrong.
Between 2011 and 2015, Gov. Dayton added 172,000 new jobs to Minnesota’s economy – that’s 165,800 more jobs in Dayton’s first term than Pawlenty added in both of his terms combined. Even though Minnesota’s top income tax rate is the 4th-highest in the country, it has the 5th-lowest unemployment rate in the country at 3.6 percent. According to 2012-2013 U.S. census figures, Minnesotans had a median income that was $10,000 larger than the U.S. average, and their median income is still $8,000 more than the U.S. average today.
By late 2013, Minnesota’s private sector job growth exceeded pre-recession levels, and the state’s economy was the 5th fastest-growing in the United States. Forbes even ranked Minnesota the 9th-best state for business (Scott Walker’s “Open For Business” Wisconsin came in at a distant #32 on the same list).

How Banks help the Super Rich hide 20 Trillion Dollars Overseas

Well, we've estimated at Tax Justice Network $21-$32 trillion offshore. About a third of that is from developing countries. That's just financial assets owned by individuals. We assume that more than 95 percent of that is not being reported to the home authorities.
In addition to that, there's an enormous amount of corporate tax dodging that goes on using offshore havens, companies like Apple and Google and Microsoft parking intellectual property offshore. And if you add all this up, it's at least a couple of billion dollars a year of tax revenue that should be paid to the home countries. How that's distributed exactly between developing countries and the rich countries like the United States is something that needs more work. But it's a big number. The United States estimate for quite a long time has been $100 billion per year of lost tax revenue due to the offshore segment.

The first stage, though, I think, is for ordinary citizens to understand just how much their own tax bills are being inflated by this unacceptable behavior by corporations and wealthy individuals, who just happened to have big bankers as their friends. So I think the first stage of this is education. Citizens have to get involved in this. We're in a period here which is very much like the Gilded Age of the 1890s, when wealth inequality was soaring, when both political parties are inundated with corporate money. And we need to have a kind of progressive movement that revives the demand for transparency in government and for cleaning up this kind of really unacceptable behavior on the part of the elites.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Bill Maher tears into Rudy Giuiani - Very Good

Poor Rudy

Forbes destroys John Boehner

He concludes:
Seeking to damage any American President by helping a foreign leader embarrass our own leader can never be considered something that is best for the nation. And that is simply the truth no matter what your political persuasion or your feelings about the current occupant of the Oval Office.

Southern Democrat was kicking TeaParty Butt for one day

He had unanimous votes on some significant issues.
Independent redistricting Invest heavily in wind and solar Support early childhood education NC is suddenly a national model.

The GOP is Begging for the US to fail: Bill Clinton speaks

Clinton is right. Any party that wants to yank away healthcare from over 11 million people is begging for America to fail. And, surprise, the GOP’s dire predictions have not come true at all. In fact, almost every single one of them has been found to be a fraud:
The dire predictions have all been wrong. And the GOP still wants to get rid of the healthcare law. Clinton is right, they are begging for the U.S. to fail an it’s horrendous what the consequences would be if they got their way.

Biggest Climate Denier paid 1.2 Million to deliver Big Oil friendly results

As the debate over the existence of climate change shifted from “We don’t know,” to “Okay, most of the science says it exists, but we gotta hear both sides,” nobody has been more important to the fragile climate denialism side than scientists like Wei-Hock Soon. As data massed in support of man-made climate change, the work of Soon, a Harvard-Smithsonian Center astrophysicist, was coveted by oil companies because he offered alternative explanations that seemingly absolved the energy sector of any wrong doing.
Soon argued that it wasn’t human activities like, say, carbon emissions, that are leading to a greenhouse effect; the Earth’s rising temperature is instead a result of energy fluctuations in the sun. Blaming the sun rather than SUV’s and coal factories had a certain appeal to industries which relied on SUVs and coal for profits. If that all sounds very convenient, well, it turns out that it is.

He has accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers. At least 11 papers he has published since 2008 omitted such a disclosure, and in at least eight of those cases, he appears to have violated ethical guidelines of the journals that published his work.

Scott Walker: Lies, deceit, corruption and revenge, Candidate for President

“Walker basically operates on issues by asking himself three questions,” said Ross. “First, how will my position reward my donors? Then, how will it punish my enemies? Finally, he asks himself, how it help me move up the political food chain?”
Walker’s shaping of policies to reward donors has produced a distinct pattern, said Mary Bottari, deputy director of the Center on Media and Democracy, which has studied Walker and his close connections to the Koch brothers and the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC, funded by corporate and libertarian donors, drafts model bills for like-minded legislators to carry in their states and cities.

CORPORATE DEBT - Each household owes $10,000.00 per year in debt given to Corporations

The Corporate Debt to Society: $10,000 Per Household, Per Year

Big business owes Americans big time for providing them most of their labor and resources. 
Over half (57 percent) of basic research is paid for by our tax dollars. Corporations don't want to pay for this. It's easier for them to allow public money to do the startup work, and then, when profit potential is evident, to take over with applied R&D, often with patents that take the rights away from the rest of us.

All the technology in our phones and computers started this way, and continues to the present day. Pharmaceutical companies have depended on the National Institute of Health. The quadrillion-dollar trading capacity of the financial industry was made possible by government-funded Internet technology, and the big banks survived because of a $7 trillion public bailout

I was camping in Death Valley - 90 Degrees

I was in Death Valley camping.  I got in some hiking and saw a star show.  50 or so telescopes were set up and got great views of various planets.  I saw the craters and mountains of the moon and even saw the rings of saturn.  M1 and M2 were very interesting.  I went to Scotty's Castle and did the tour of the house as well as the underground tour.  It was quite fascinating.  2 Million dollars was spent to build the castle back in 1920.  The house had electricity from the beginning.  The weather was great until the last night and the wind tried to blow away my tent and the temperature dropped dramatically.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Why Republicans worship quacks and charlatans

Getting things epically wrong and denying reality gains you points in today's GOP.
Today's GOP is a kind of bizarro world where ambitious politicians are forced to pledge allegiance to experts who have gotten just about everything wrong. So writes Paul Krugman in his column Friday, who laments the fact that "charlatans and cranks" have gained increasing favor in the party, despite, or maybe even because of, the fact that they get things wrong, and then, by golly, stick to their guns.
This being Krugman, the topic is economics, specifically "supply-siders," a group which even N. Gregory Mankiw, a professor at Harvard who served for a time as George W. Bush’s chief economic adviser, made fun of when their belief that tax cuts would provide a magical elixir to the economy and miraculously fix deficits proved so very wrong.  But the fact that even a Republican adviser said this approach is bunk has had absolutely no effect on the party's thinking. Proof: Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, a contender for the Republican presidential nomination, spoke at a dinner at Manhattan’s “21” Club this week. It was "hosted by the three most prominent supply-siders: Art Laffer (he of the curve); Larry Kudlow of CNBC; and Stephen Moore, chief economist of the Heritage Foundation. Politico pointed out that Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas, attended a similar event last month. Clearly, to be a Republican contender you have to court the powerful charlatan caucus," Krugman writes.

No Bipartisanship: Republicans can't even work with each other

They are simply imploding under the weight of their own obstinacy.
When they won the Senate as well as the House, they were supposed to work together to produce Republican legislation that Obama would be forced to veto, definitively exposing the real source of the gridlock. In fact, they are simply imploding under the weight of their own obstinacy. They’ve run out of people to blame for not compromising with them. So now they’re blaming each other.
“The Republicans are like Fido when he finally catches the car,” the Democratic senator Charles Schumer told the New York Times. “Now they don’t have any clue about what to do. They are realising that being in the majority is both less fun and more difficult than they thought.”

If they don’t find a solution by 27 February, then the DHS will be shut down and Obama won’t have had a thing to do with it. The true source of the gridlock over the past six years will be clearer than ever. The emperor will be out there, twerking, in the buff.
“It’s not an issue of commitment, it’s a matter of math,” said the Republican senator John McCain – perhaps failing to realise that math, like science, is no competition for blind faith and bad politics.

5 Valiant GOP attempts to make Americans as dumb as possible

From the AP history ban to university budget cuts, education in America is taking a hit from the right. 

1) Oklahoma is about to ban AP history classes.
2) Scott Walker has it out for the University of Wisconsin.  

3) Redefining education as “welfare”
4) Threatening to arrest teachers for sex education. In Kansas
5) Continued demands that science education be replaced with magic. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Tina Fey in epic SNL 40th Anniversary skit (Poor FOX)

Weekend Update veteran Jane Curtin joined Amy Poehler and Tina Fey Sunday night for the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special, where she delivered a cutting deadpan jab at Fox News. Noting the difference between the landscape of today’s media with how it was when she hosted the segment from 1976-1980, Curtin quipped: “Times have changed since I first sat at this desk.
For example, I used to be the only pretty blonde woman to read the fake news. Now there’s an entire network devoted to that.” With the Fox News logo popping up besides her, the audience breaks into applause over the faux news station being the punchline. Curtin didn’t hide her feelings either, as she followed her joke with a look that clearly expresses how ridiculous she finds the whole state of affairs.

ISIL: How it got started. (US had ISIL leader imprisoned during the Bush years)

Wednesday on “The Alan Colmes Show,” Alan spoke with columnist and author Michael Weiss, who has co-written ISIS: Inside The Army Of Terror. The book details how ISIS evolved from a splinter group into an army of jihad.
Alan and Weiss discussed how ISIS came from a split with Al Qaeda, who is truly in charge of ISIS, and why a war with ISIS is coming and it will be “not just from the sky.”

Cop: Planting Evidence and lying to get people in jail was normal for him

The officer revealed the illegal and unethical actions that he is proud of taking on the job. The DC Post has also said that they have verified the officer’s position with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, and they have verified many of the claims that he has made.
The original post was titled “Tricks of the trade – let’s exchange!” and featured the following message:
“I have a method for getting people off the street that should not be there. Mouthy drivers, street lawyers, assholes and just anyone else trying to make my job difficult. Under my floor mat, I keep a small plastic dime baggie with Cocaine in residue.


Gitmo Torturer: He tortured as a police detective too. (Lots of lawsuits which his Police Dept. is paying for)

  • Exclusive: Longtime detective’s tactics exported from Chicago to Guantánamo
  • Minority Americans allege catalogue of abuse and coercion similar to detainee
  • Officials examining complaints after innocent man spent half his life in prison

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

How Did the Police become so scary to so many? (Rich need enforcers of their rules.)

How Did America's Police Forces Get So Scary and Omnipresent?

You can't have a society owned and harvested by men like David Koch and Jamie Dimon without an enforcement mechanism.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I Love Obama, going viral on twitter. Lots of great comments.

Unemployment ↓ Manufacturing ↑ Stock market ↑ Home values ↑ Gas prices ↓ Pell grants ↑ Uninsured ↓ Exports ↑ Deficit ↓ GDP ↑

Jon Stewart: Calls out the many lies on FOX

Jon Stewart has always been critical of Fox News, but this week, the Daily Show host turned the volume up several notches. After shaming the network for selectively editing his Fox News Sunday interview with Chris Wallace on yesterday's program, Stewart spent several minutes tonight reading off a list of statements by Fox that independent fact-checking organization PolitiFact has proven to be false.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Right to Work Laws contributing to Vanishing Middle Class and wealth inequality worsening

Much has been made about the shrinking middle class in the United States where the wealthiest 160,000 families own as much as the poorest 145 million families.  Income inequality is the gap in how much individuals earn from the work they do and the investments they make. Wealth inequality measures the difference in how much money and other assets individuals have accumulated. One of the contributing causes of wealth inequality is the labor movement’s diminished economic and political clout, as seen in the movement by states to enact right-to-work laws.
Thanks to collective bargaining, union members have higher wages and better benefits.  In addition, union membership actually raises living and working standards for all working men and women, union and non-union. When union membership rates are high, so is the share of income that goes to the middle class. When those rates fall, income inequality grows and the middle class shrinks.
Corporations did not all of a sudden give workers two days off each week, which we now call weekends, or paid vacations and sick leave, or rights at the workplace, or pensions, or overtime pay.  Virtually all the benefits we have at work, whether in the public or private sector, are because unions fought hard and long against big business who did everything they could to prevent giving us these rights.
Labor membership is shrinking.

The Founding Fathers have been misquoted a lot it seems.

On the Second Amendment, we’ve looked into comments from U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, about George Washington. According to Gohmert, Washington said that a free people "should be an armed people. It ensures against the tyranny of the government." We rated that claim False, because Washington was actually talking about developing a militia to protect the new nation -- on behalf of the government, not against it.
Quite a few people have made claims about Washington’s commitment to Christianity. Talk show host Rush Limbaugh, for example, said, "You can't read a speech by George Washington … without hearing him reference God." In fact, several of his important speeches -- such as his second inaugural address and annual message to Congress -- didn’t mention God. We rated Limbaugh’s statement False.

Black Mississippi Judge gives a great talk to whites who killed blacks


GOP - Un Americanism exposed

This is very good.
Conservatives, in their various iterations, have accused the President of committing all manner of slights against the American people and garnered support as well as legitimacy among their racist supporters because they are inherently ignorant and suspicious of people of color. They also depend on the preponderance of stupidity and willful suspension of disbelief at bizarre assertions among a certain segment of the population to perpetuate the mountain of lies about the President. Without the overwhelming stupidity and fear of “the other” rampant among conservatives, racists, and religious fundamentalists, any one of the lies about the President would be dead before they left a Republicans’ lying mouth.
For example, Republicans have spent over six years claiming that Barack Obama is coming for Americans’ guns, and yet there has been no gun safety legislation passed or absurd “gun confiscations” during the President’s tenure in the White House. In fact the last gun control legislation was a ban on assault weapons 20 years ago in spite of a rash of mass shootings using assault weapons. Still, one sees myriad polls on websites sponsored by conservative groups and the NRA asking if Republicans should fight against Obama’s gun seizure crusade. These claims have not been reserved to the NRA and gun fanatics; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent out a letter during his campaign last year warning Kentucky voters that they need a strong Republican Senate because Obama was coming for their guns. It has been a six year accusation and it is time for Republicans, the NRA, and seditious teabaggers to prove the assault on the 2nd Amendment or shut down the lies.
Another common charge is that the President has eviscerated the U.S. Constitution and yet, Republicans cannot produce one shred of evidence backing up their claim. Oh it is true that nearly everything Obama does brings the usual charge that he is violating the Constitution, particularly in issuing executive orders every one of his white Republican predecessors issued. As a matter of fact, right now Republicans are threatening to endanger American lives and shut down the Department of Homeland Security because John Boehner and Ted Cruz claim the President’s executive action on immigration enforcement is ‘unconstitutional.’ However, according to the Roberts conservative Supreme Court, the President’s actions are perfectly constitutional; and that ruling is without citing the precedent set by every Republican president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Math and REPUBLICAN MATH - There is a BIG difference

Democratic Presidents bring down Deficits and Republican Presidents make larger deficits.

Given the hyper-partisan atmosphere in Washington, it doesn’t come as too big a surprise that the first day of the new Congress would start on a contentious note. But it’s nevertheless amazing to watch lawmakers argue, not over how much things cost, but over how to determine how much things cost.
After the drama of electing a new speaker of the House and the changing of control in the Senate, the House on Tuesday approved an obscure but significant rule change requiring the economic effects of legislation to be included in a bill’s official cost to the Treasury.
The change on “dynamic scoring” – ardently sought since the 1990s by Republicans – could ease passage of major tax cuts by showing that their impact on economic growth would substantially reduce their cost to the Treasury. The move is widely seen as a way for Republican leaders to set ground rules for an ambitious overhaul of the entire United States tax code.

In short, dynamic scoring could make it easier for Congress to fashion a tax reform package that appears revenue neutral, on the basis of questionable and uncertain growth estimates.  If those effects then failed to materialize, the increased deficits would worsen the nation’s long-run fiscal problems and, in so doing, could actually create a drag on future economic growth, as CBO and JCT have explained.

GOP: LEGISLATIVE PARALYSIS is now the norm with GOP in charge

Despite a successful November election, where the GOP increased their majority in the House, and took control of the Senate, the new Republican dominated Congress has proven unable to pass significant legislation. Since taking the reins in both Houses of Congress, the Republicans have only been able to pass two pieces of legislation. By contrast, in 2007, when the Democrats were in a similar situation, after retaking the U.S. House, they had managed to pass six pieces of legislation by this stage. The Democrats managed to push through three times as many bills then, even though the White House was still held by Republican President George W. Bush.
The two measures Republicans have been able to pass into law, included funding a terrorism insurance program, and passing a noncontroversial bipartisan bill related to Veterans mental health. Many other bills have crumbled under the weight of partisan infighting. Squabbles between the hyper-partisan GOP House leadership and the somewhat more moderate Senate leadership have generated back and forth rhetoric, but little in substantive accomplishments.

Many members of the new Republican majority campaigned on ending gridlock in Washington. However, while they proved themselves able campaigners, they have not yet proven they are actually capable of governing.

4 Ways Cannibis is good for the brain

Modern research is showing that cannabis extracts protect and benefit the human brain. Here’s four amazing ways scientists are showing that cannabis actually helps to keep your brain safe from disease, dementia and even death!
#4 – Cannabis promotes new brain cell growth

#3 – Cannabis prevents Alzheimer’s
#2 – Cannabis prevents brain damage after strokes and trauma 
#1 – Cannabis extracts treat brain cancer 

The TeaParty is nuttier: So are the GOP

The Tea Party is Getting Worse: Media May Want a New Narrative, but GOP is Still Nuts

Don't let the press fool you. Across the country, the wingnut revolution isn't calming down. Behold the insanity.

Austerity is Horseshit: An Ivy League Professor speaks

Austerity Is 'Complete Horsesh*t': Ivy League Prof Dismantles the Conservative Lie

Mark Blyth's new book explains the damaging consequences of austerity in Europe and the U.S.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

14 Ways Congress is trying to destroy our environment. The Big Polluter Agenda is being pushed.

President Obama can help stop the congressional onslaught on the environment by using his executive power now to tackle climate change, defend our natural heritage, and save vulnerable wildlife.
Help turn back Congress' assault
on our environment!
Take Action Now

14 Ways the 114th Congress Plans to Attack the Environment and Undermine Public Health

Even before they were sworn in, Republican leaders of the 114th Congress vowed to reward their fossil fuel industry backers by pushing through an agenda that only big polluters could love—endangering the nation's air, lands, water, and climate. Putting profits before people, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his GOP allies want to gut the laws that protect public health and keep our families safe. Some of their schemes:

1. Blocking the president's plan to reduce carbon pollution from power plants.

Power plants in the United States currently have no limit on how much carbon pollution they can spew into the air. That pollution—a central cause of global warming—makes those plants the country's single-largest driver of the climate crisis. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is working to close that loophole with its proposed Clean Power Plan, but Republican leaders have vowed to stop the new standards—even though 7 out of 10 Americans want limits and eight million comments were filed in support. Doctors and nurses, religious groups, business leaders, and even industry groups have all voiced their backing. But GOP leaders would put fossil fuel profits over public health.

2. Forcing approval of the destructive Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline.

Mega-Drought coming to the Southwest: 30 to 50 years of extreme Drought

NASA forecasts megadroughts in U.S.(2:39)
NASA scientists studied past droughts and climate models incorporating soil moisture data to estimate future drought risk. According to NASA's study, "droughts in the U.S. Southwest and Central Plains during the last half of this century could be drier and longer than drought conditions seen in those regions in the last 1,000 years." (NASA Goddard via YouTube)
February 12
The long and severe drought in the U.S. Southwest pales in comparison with what’s coming: a “megadrought” that will grip that region and the central Plains later this century and probably stay there for decades, a new study says.
Thirty-five years from now, if the current pace of climate change continues unabated, those areas of the country will experience a weather shift that will linger for as long as three decades, according to the study, released Thursday.
Researchers from NASA and Cornell and Columbia universities warned of major water shortages and conditions that dry out vegetation, which can lead to monster wildfires in southern Arizona and parts of California.
“We really need to start thinking in longer-term horizons about how we’re going to manage it,” said Toby R. Ault, an assistant professor in the department of Earth and atmospheric sciences at Cornell, one of the co-authors. “This is a slow-moving natural hazard that humans are used to dealing with and used to managing.”

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Bill Maher: Brian William and all of Corporate News is the problem Journalistic Malpractice.

Bill Maher used the Brian Williams fiasco to call out the entire network news corporate media for not reporting the news. Maher suggested that they all should go away.

Brian Williams shouldn’t have to go away because he lied. He should have to go away because the NBC Nightly News sucks, and so does the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley and so does the ABC World News Tonight with I think, Ken. But Brian Williams lie about the helicopter, that didn’t destroy his credibility with me. Ten years of wasting precious news time on bullsh*t stories about car chases and bears in a swimming pool, and store clerks fighting back, and returning soldiers surprising their kids at the big game, Powerball jackpots, and that stupid fu**ing Spanish tomato fight. That’s what destroyed his credibility with me.


Mocking Democrats’ Deficit Concerns, GOP Passes Permanently Unfunded Tax Cuts

On Friday, House Republicans, led by Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee Ryan, passed the first in a long line of permanent and unfunded tax cuts for the rich he admits will blow up the deficit. This is the same deficit Ryan has spent the past six years screaming is the reason the nation is so desperately broke and in debt, that slashing absolutely all domestic spending was an existential necessity to the country’s short and long-term economic survival. In fact, Republicans enacted austerity rules that included not one penny for natural disaster relief unless they could cut an equal, or larger, amount from domestic programs that benefit other Americans. It is why there has been absolutely no spending on anything except the perpetual war machine, still unfunded and in-place Bush tax cuts, and hundreds of billions of dollars in church and oil subsidies.
Yesterday represented a remarkably Republican turnaround and rapid return to Bush-era economic malfeasance; except that Republican tax cuts are not only unfunded, they are permanent and only benefit the largest corporations and the richest one-percent of Americans. Ryan even took the opportunity prior to passing deficit-increasing tax cuts to chastise and mock Democrats for expressing their concern that the permanently-unfunded tax cuts will permanently increase the deficit Republicans claim is destroying America.

Texas: Muslim School Burned to the ground.

Houston Muslim School Burned Down In What Investigators Say Is Likely An Arson Attack

The arson attack was the third incident of Islamaphobic violence this week.

Muslim asks FOX and Republicans to STOP DEHUMANIZING Muslims. (The 3 Muslims shot and killed were his friends.)

As a result of the coverage regarding the three Muslim students who were shot and killed earlier this week in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Shafi Khan, a friend of the victims, told CNN that Fox and the GOP constantly demonize Muslims.
“Speaking as an American Muslim, I can tell you that we can’t deny there’s a sentiment in the community that we feel that we were being targeted for our faith,” Khan said. “There [are] certain sections of the media and political apparatus that are constantly demonizing Muslims. And I want to take a minute and ask people like Fox News and Bobby Jindal to stop the dehumanization of Muslims.”

Meet the New Racist Groups on College Campuses

Late last week, on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, a hooded individual distributed fliers and hung posters declaring a war on immigration. Using the most recent covers of Charlie Hebdo as a backdrop, the flier was intended to be a call to action and an ominous warning: “America is ours, and we are tomorrow.”
The group behind the campaign, the National Youth Front, was no secret. It’s the newly formed youth wing of the white nationalist American Freedom Party, and it is only the latest in a growing number of racist organizations targeting youth on college campuses.
In recent years, groups like Youth for Western Civilization, formed by Kevin DeAnna, and the Traditionalist Youth Network, which emerged from a chapter of YWC founded on Towson University’s campus by Matthew Heimbach, have dominated the campus extremism landscape.

Creationist Mom: Don't Talk About Dinosaurs, they are evl.

A woman posting on, a website for parents, is finding herself the butt of a lot of jokes this week after posting a plea to help rid schools of the evil dinosaur curriculum:

I'm really concerned about dinosaurs, and I think something needs to be done. The science behind them is pretty flimsy, and I for one do not want my children being taught lies. Did you know that nobody had even heard of dinosaurs before the 1800s, when they were invented by curio-hungry Victorians? Charles Darwin's later theory of evolution entirely disproved dinosaurs, yet the dinosaur lie was twisted and adapted to try to make it fit. Any proper look at the facts will reveal that dinosaurs simply never existed.
Aside from the educational aspect, dinosaurs are a very bad example for children. At my children's school, several children were left in tears after one of their classmates (who had evidently been exposed to dinosaurs), became bestially-minded and ran around the classroom roaring and pretending to be a dinosaur. Then he bit three children on the face. One poor girl has been left with a severely dented nose and the whole class was left traumatised by this horrible display.
Nothing about dinosaurs is suitable for children, from their total lack of family values through to their non-existence from any serious scientific point of view.
Recently my sister foolishly gave my two youngest some dinosaurs toys for Christmas. After telling her to get out of my house I burnt the dinosaurs. My children were delighted because they know that dinosaurs are evil. I am fortunate that my family has been very supportive, and has disowned my children's former aunt.
Please, do what you can to get dinosaurs taken off the curriculum. Our school has been recently presented with a 214-signature petition, and following that and our recent protest the headmaster has said that he will take it the governors. We are lucky that he is so sympathetic to our cause, but I fear that others may not be.
If you would like to lend your support to our campaign, we have a Facebook group where we spread facts and research about the dinosaur myth. Hope to see you there! :-)
Now, one might wonder if this was a serious post, right? That remains to be seen, but judging by the user's comments throughout the thread and comments on the aforementioned Facebook page Christians Against Dinosaurs, it appears to be legitimate.

Elizabeth Warren has Banker say He wants more regulation

In the middle of grilling one of the largest banking executives on Wall Street, Senator Warren’s call for stricter regulations and punishment for violators was met with something unexpected from the room full of banking executives and lobbyists: Applause.
At a Senate Banking Committee hearing titled “Regulatory Relief for Community Banks and Credit Unions,” held on February 12, 2015, Senator Warren was in her normal anti-Wall Street mode. She kept the man she was engaging in a Q&A with, Daniel Blanton representing the American Bankers Association, on edge as she undermined his organizations arguments against Dodd-Frank.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The KOCH/ GOP Energy Future should scrare the crap out of us. (Interesting - Big Oil is solidly in Charge of Politics now.)

Brace yourself. This combination of fossil fuel optimization and North American solidarity against a potentially hostile world is destined to become the core of the Republican economic and national security platforms in the 2016 presidential election.  It will similarly govern action in Congress over the next two years.  So, if you want to understand the dynamics of contemporary American politics, it’s crucial to grasp the new Republican vision of an energy-saturated North America.
Exxon’s Neo-Imperial Vision
Republican-style North Americanism is, in fact, an amalgam of two intersecting urges.  The first of them involves a quest by U.S.-based giant oil companies to gain greater access to the oil and natural gas reserves of Canada and Mexico; the second, a drive by neoconservatives and national security hawks in Washington to rev up Cold War 2.0, while stepping up combat with both Iran and the Islamic State.
Let’s start with the altered world energy order once dominated by privately owned giants like BP, Chevron, and ExxonMobil -- a.k.a. the international oil companies, or IOCs.  For most of the twentieth century, these companies controlled a majority of the world’s oil and gas reserves and so almost completely dominated the global trade in hydrocarbons.  In the 1970s and 1980s, however, many of their overseas assets were systematically appropriated by governments in oil-producing countries like Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and Venezuela, and placed under the control of state-owned, national oil companies, or NOCs.  In response, the IOCs sought to increase their production from reserves in Canada and the U.S., as well as in Mexico, which has its own state-owned oil company but was facing declining output.  This led those big companies to believe that, in the long run, Mexico would be forced to open its doors to greater foreign involvement.
Their strategy proved widely successful in the U.S., where the application of new technologies, including hydro-fracking, horizontal drilling, and deepwater drilling, has led to spectacular increases in oil and gas output.  According to the Energy Information Administration of the Department of Energy, U.S. field production of crude oil jumped from five million barrels per day in 2008 to 8.6 million barrels in the third quarter of 2014.  Over the same period, the production of natural gas similarly rose from 21.1 to 25.7 trillion cubic feet.  The current plunge in oil prices is expected to slow the pace of U.S. drilling, but not prevent further gains.

America's Most Violent Extremists are ANGRY, ARMED AND WHITE. (Not Muslim)

We can safely say that Craig Stephen Hicks fits the profile of the most common type of domestic violent extremist—a white man with grievances and guns. Whether he was provoked by road rage, rage against neighbors who wore traditional Muslim clothing, or other simmering grudges and pathologies, his alleged killing of three young Muslims underscores a trend that mainstream U.S. media avoids: that the face of violent extremism in America since 9/11 is predominantly white. Muslims in America, while not exempt from crime, simply do not compare.
There’s no shortage of crime statistics confirming this. A 2001-2015 “Homegrown Extremism” analysis by the New America Foundation parsed the “ethnicity, age, gender and citizenship” of people who killed or violently attacked others, whether they were motivated by jihadist philosophies or other “right wing, left wing or idiosyncratic beliefs.” Of 448 extremists counted, white men who were U.S. citizens outnumbered every other demographic by wide margins.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Boston Snowfall and Global Warming.

No single weather event can be attributed directly to climate change. This is common knowledge thanks in part to Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist who’s played an integral role in explaining how to relate weather extremes to climate change. “The answer to the oft-asked question of whether an event is caused by climate change is that it is the wrong question,” his most-cited quote goes. “All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be.”
So if anyone tries to tell you that climate change directly caused Boston’s record-breaking and continuing snowmageddon, that’s not true. What is true, however, is that climate change may have affected the snowstorm — may have made it more likely, may have made it worse than it would have been without so much greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. It bears repeating: “All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be.”
The question, then, becomes how? How did the warmer and moister environment in which we now live because of human-caused carbon emissions affect Boston’s historic weather event? Wouldn’t a warmer, moister environment mean less snow? How does that even make sense?
Trenberth, who is a senior scientist National Center for Atmospheric Research, offered his explanation via e-mail:
No doubt there is a big element of chance in having the weather pattern of the storm tracks setting up in an optimal fashion to produce big snow storms one after the after. But in mid-winter, there is plenty of cold continental air to ensure that precipitation falls as snow rather than rain.