Thursday, August 11, 2005

The only earth we've got Posted by Picasa

The Daily Quote

"...we're talking about turning the earth into some other planet that we ought as well call by a different name... This is not just another on the list of problems. This is the context. It is the central… This is the first morally compulsory, urgent issue since the civil rights movement."
Bill McKibben


It’s the headline we’ve been dreading, yet knew was coming. Warming Hits Tipping Point says the Guardian, because a vast part of Siberia, “ an area of permafrost spanning a million square kilometres - the size of France and Germany combined - has started to melt for the first time since it formed 11,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age. "

'The area, which covers the entire sub-Arctic region of western Siberia, is the world's largest frozen peat bog and scientists fear that as it thaws, it will release billions of tonnes of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere.

It is a scenario climate scientists have feared since first identifying "tipping points" - delicate thresholds where a slight rise in the Earth's temperature can cause a dramatic change in the environment that itself triggers a far greater increase in global temperatures.'

So what does this really mean, for now, for the future?


Cindy Sheehan, courtesy Posted by Picasa


“Have you no shame?”

Clear Channel, the radio monopoly of mediocre music 24/7 on every station everywhere, is sponsoring an “anti-Cindy Sheehan” barbeque in Crawford, Texas.

Who is Cindy Sheehan, that she deserves such powerful scorn? Here’s a succinct description, courtesy of MoveOn:

On April 4th last year, 24-year-old Army Specialist Casey Sheehan died in Iraq. This week, while President Bush vacations in Texas, Casey's mother, Cindy Sheehan, sits vigil outside the president's ranch. Cindy says that she won't leave until President Bush meets with her to discuss the war--even if it means spending all of August there.

Cindy Sheehan was not an anti-war activist, but the loss of her son and the mounting evidence of deception by the Bush administration pushed her to speak out. While Cindy camps roadside in Texas, dozens of other military moms are flying to Texas to join her.

MoveOn continued:
Her story is starting to grab national attention, but Cindy needs our support. We're asking moms (and dads, siblings, spouses and kids) from all across America to help send a message by signing our letter of support to Cindy. Will you sign?

A number of organizations are coming to her aid, including Code Pink and the American Friends Service Committee, and Fenton Communications, a progressive communications firm that’s sending volunteers to help her with press, and presumably protect her from piranhas like Bill O’Reilly.

But Joe Trippi reports that her condition is a bit shaky at the moment. While Clear Channel lays out the dead steers for those jolly Texans, she’s got a high fever and sore throat from camping out in the rain.

It's not enough for these chickenhawks to vilify actual war heroes, they now feel compelled to go after their mothers.

Bush won’t see her, naturally. How can he? His war is becoming more unpopular in the U.S. with each passing day. It’s topic A on the lips of ordinary people, corporation executives (except for those employing Cheney, Bush, and cronies, of course) and a growing number of military families.

But say Bush did show up. What would she ask him? She says, is he encouraging his daughters to enlist?

No shame is their middle name. G.W. No Shame Bush, Dick No Shame Cheney, Clear No Shame Channel Communications.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The march for voting rights in the 1960s continues... Posted by Picasa

The Daily Quote

“Our economic system and our relation with nature have gone haywire because we have lost track of what we really need.”
'>Paul L. Wachtel

The Perpetual Revolution

In Atlanta on Saturday, some 100,000 people marched and rallied to remember the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, and to demand that provisions up for renewal be not only renewed but strengthened.

The rally, underreported as usual in the U.S. media but featured by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! Monday, came at a time when another underreported story emerged---written evidence that the Supreme Court candidate, John Roberts, was a vocal and active opponent of a vital interpretation of the act when it was questioned early in the Reagan administration.


Peter Jennings, ABC, R.I.P. Posted by Picasa

Peter Jennings

Since I haven’t watched network evening news programs regularly for some years now, it’s been awhile since I’ve thought about how important the presence of Peter Jennings was, especially in those many years I was not in Washington or New York or even Boston, and it was his voice and his personality that tempered and gave good weight to, for example, the depressing horrors of the Reagan decade, when the hopeful areas of American policy and culture were dismembered, and the politics and society that’s dominant today was rearing its young and already ugly head.

Peter Jennings was literate, measured, couretous and good natured. How intelligent he actually was mattered less than how intelligent he seemed. He was an advertisement that intelligence might still matter. If we would just join him in weathering the shitstorm.

Apparently he was that calm only on the air. When he watched TV, he screamed at what those idiots were saying just like the rest of us.

It really helped that he was Canadian.


Sunday, August 07, 2005

Captain Future peruses latest issue of Dreaming Up Daily
(sorry---hardcopy available off-world only) Posted by Picasa

The Daily Quote

"The great revolution in our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives."
William James

Big Science O-dee-lay-ee-hoo

When science is mentioned around here, it’s usually to defend it against those who would deny or pervert it. Those acts obviously have terrible consequences. But on the anniversary of Hiroshima, it ought to be noted that science has its own problems that have little to do with fundamentalists or the editing of inconvenient scientific findings in the White House.

Big Science, as Laurie Anderson sang about it, has much to answer for. Most science in this country is done either for the Pentagon or big corporations, and very little is done either in a disinterested search for knowledge or to directly benefit the public good.

Big Science does not take into consideration the future effects of its present actions. It does not look at the web of relationships that define life and reality. It had better start, before it's too late.


At Last...

The NCAA has taken a small but important step to ending the offensive use of Native American tribal names and other references as mascots and names of sports teams.

The NCAA Executive Committee announced Friday that objectionable depictions or references to racial, ethnic or national origin -- in mascots, nicknames or other forms -- will not be welcome at championships starting Feb. 1. Any team uniforms that show objectionable imagery will have to be altered or changed.

Some schools are predictably upset, and some American Indians aren't satisfied, but the NCAA has been working on this for some time. Several schools got rid of their mascots altogether even before this ruling, and the NCAA had asked schools to study whether their nicknames were offensive, and if not, why not. One school sought and got an exemption, because of its roots as a college for American Indians, but another (Florida State) sought and did not get the exemption. This seems the right way to go about this.

Major League Baseball, the NFL and other professional sports leagues really ought to be on this by now. Washington changed the name of its NBA basketball team from the Bullets because of the city's high number of gun murders, yet their NFL team still uses a racial slur for its name.

The Seattle Times refuses to use these nicknames in its sports report, referring to the Cleveland baseball team, etc. More media should do the same. Now.