October 6, 2007 archive

Four at Four

This is an OPEN THREAD. Here are four stories in the news at 4 o’clock to get you started.

  1. First, a mix of climate change news from dire to hopeful.

    • The Guardian reports Climate change disaster is upon us, warns UN. Sir John Holmes, the United Nation’s emergency relief coordinator, “said dire predictions about the impact of global warming on humanity were already coming true.”

      “We are seeing the effects of climate change. Any year can be a freak but the pattern looks pretty clear to be honest. That’s why we’re trying … to say, of course you’ve got to deal with mitigation of emissions, but this is here and now, this is with us already,” he said…

      Two years ago only half the international disasters dealt with by [the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs] had anything to do with the climate; this year all but one of the 13 emergency appeals is climate-related. “And 2007 is not finished. We will certainly have more by the end of the year, I fear,” added Sir John, who is in charge of channelling international relief efforts to disaster areas.

      More appeals were likely in the coming weeks, as floods hit west Africa. “All these events on their own didn’t have massive death tolls, but if you add all these little disasters together you get a mega disaster,” he said.

    • Ariana Eunjung Cha of the Washington Post reports China is having a Green Awakening. For nearly 30 years, Wuxi “had welcomed some of the world’s biggest polluters.” But, after industrial pollution had “poisoned the province’s vast network of lakes, rivers and canals… City officials decided they’d had enough. In a series of radical proclamations that sent shudders though the business community, Wuxi declared itself a newly reformed green city.”

      “Last week, China’s State Council approved an environmental plan that includes reducing major pollutant discharges by 10 percent by 2010. Plagued by water shortages, choking on dusty air and alarmed by a sharp increase in pollution-related diseases and deaths, China has been searching for years for a way to fix its environment without hurting its economy.”

    • Terry Macalister of The Guardian that World’s largest offshore wind farm is given government approval for Kent, England. “The world’s largest offshore wind farm, which will occupy a site of 90 square miles off the coast of Kent, has been given the go-ahead by the government and should be ready to provide clean power for a quarter of London’s homes by 2010… The consortium developing the wind farm, which is led by Shell and Eon, is reluctant to comment on the ambitious plan for up to 341 turbines until it has tied up a range of commercial contracts and received approval from National Grid to provide new high- powered overhead cables.”

  2. Kevin Siers / The Charlotte Observer (October 5, 2007)

    Siers’ editorial cartoon pretty much sums up the Bush administration this week.

  3. Four at Four continues below the fold, including stories on:

    1. A profile of a French priest that roams Ukraine’s back roads and forgotten fields to document the Nazis’ murder of 1.5 million Jews.

    2. Today’s round-up of all things Blackwater in the “Guns of Greed” focusing on the people of Blackwater – guard and guarded.

    And a double-shot bonus below the fold: 1) zebra mussel invasion and 2) is this the next bridge in Portland, Oregon? Find out, below the fold…

Troops Actually Mistreated – Silence From the RW

It’s not a bogus, Left Wing-smearing story about a miscommunication at an airport, it’s about 2,600 soldiers getting kicked in the teeth by the Pentagon.

I have not left Docudharma

It seems that there is a post at political flesh feast claiming that I have “left” Docudharma.  That is not the case.  I don’t know why a person posted that I have.  Whoever did so seems to be imitating pinche tejano, who has left DD, but whom I have not spoken with.

Since I been made aware of the existence of this post about me at PFF, I’ll proceed to answer a few things that came up there below the fold.

Hang a noose if you must, but don’t you dare sing!!

John Mellencamp wrote a song about racism, which he titled “Jena”.  From the linked website:

“I am not a journalist, I am a songwriter and in the spirit and tradition of the minstrel, I am telling a story in this song. [cut]

The song was not written as an indictment of the people of Jena but, rather, as a condemnation of racism, a problem which I’ve reflected in many songs, a problem that still plagues our country today.

“Don’t Ask…Don’t Tap”

There are four basic sexes with their own particular accommodations and conventions applicable thereto. There are men who are physically attracted to women, men who are physically attracted to men and women vice-versa.
The Republican party rules are quite clear. You can serve your country in the military if you are a male attracted to males or female attracted to females as long as you keep your sexual orientation secret and particularly do not discomfort your heterosexual comrades in arms.

Department of Peace Mission Statement

Every corporation or enterprise seeking success in their core endeavors is absolutely advised to have a cogent workable “Mission Statement” with which to focus the enterprise and its workers on a common goal. A desire for Americans to live secure in their homes through a long term plan to actualize planet wide peace by means other than force of arms should be integral to America’s goals.
Establishing a Cabinet level position to enshrine and thus execute this Mission Statement is a simple commonsense act signaling that America is committed via both human and material resources to bringing life, liberty and justice truly to all.

Organizers need a Senate sponsor and are working to bring out Ted Kennedy to sponsor this bill in the Senate.
Check out the site, http://thepeaceallia…. See who is sponsoring the bill.

Standing Up Against The New McCarthyism And Ending The Iraq War

Paul Waldman writes a good piece about Rush Limbaugh saga. I especially like his connecting Rush' New McCarthyism techniques to the Republican Party New McCarthyism on Iraq:

Think about how much time and effort they expend on convincing Americans that progressives and Democrats are “anti-military,” “hate the troops,” and even “hate America.” So any progressive veteran who criticizes Bush administration policies represents a profound threat to all the arguments they have made. It becomes particularly thorny when nearly the entire current leadership of the conservative movement — not only media figures like Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly, but also political figures including President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, and many others — were of draft age during the Vietnam war but managed to stay out of harm's way.

But Democrats and their allies like Move On do not win this battle by aping this strategy, as Move On wrongly did; this battle is won by Democrats standing up against these McCarthyite tactics and, more importantly, standing up to Bush on Iraq. That means not funding the Iraq debacle after a date certain. More.

Liberal Fascist Larry Johnson Cutely Advises Congressmen to Keep U.S. Troops in Iraq

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Larry Johnson ex CIA and fascist advocate of torture and a member of what appears to be a nascent liberal fascist movement has written a piece on the CIA friendly website Booman Tribune that attempts to portray his position as trying to get the American Policy on Iraq and Iran “back into the realm of sanity”.

America must protect it’s long term interests in Iraq. America must stay in Iraq as long as it needs Iraqi oil. There is no other interpretation of this confused diary by Larry Johnson. It’s cute.

Johnson relates how he met with 14 members of Congress. Perhaps he met with Rahm Emmanuel who knowledge of Iraq is betrayed by his ignorance when he states that Saudi Arabia is governed by a Shiite majority aligned with the Shiites in Iran.

From crooks and liars

“The Iranians are a Persian culture and the House of Saud is a Shiite government, a total different culture and a different people and etc. The question about Saudi Arabia is there is a clear, they have been funding radical schools throughout the Mideast and it is a big problem for us.”
Um, no, Rahm. The ruling mullahs of Iran (who are Persian, you got that right, but that’s an ethnicity, not a religion) are Shi’a. The Saudis are Sunnis. That’s part of the problem. The “insurgents” in Iraq (at least, most of them) are Sunnis.

Bomb Threat?

Tuesday night I had a quiz scheduled for my Java I class.  At least I call them quizzes.  Everyone knows they are exams, but calling it a quiz is an attemtpt to lessen the pressure.  I count the overall grade on the quizzes as 25% of the total grade and count their best 5 out of 6, so each quiz is really 5% of the total grade, with one mulligan. 

Projects (aka homework: programs they have to create) counts 50% of the grade.  The final projects, which are individually created to be different for each student, counts 20% and the catch-all “classroom participation” is the other 5%.

Anyway, after letting them ask any question they wanted for the first 15 minutes, we started the quiz at 6:15pm.  At around 6:35 one of my students finished (she’s good!), asked when she should return and went to her car “to chill.”

At 6:40pm the alarms went off.

International Day of Action for a Free Burma – Today

Burma. We asked you to care. We’re asking again.

As you read, someone lays beaten and bloody for the crime of caring too much, for the sin of fighting with ideas not guns. Imprisoned.

How can they go on without support? Is this asking too much?

If you can spare some time to walk & talk, open your heart & meet me after the jump.

Doing it for Ourselves 1.3: Passive solar

Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in, the sunshine in

Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in, the sunshine in

Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in, the sunshine in

Oh, let it shine, c’mon

Now everybody just sing along

Let the sun shine in

Open up your heart and let it shine on in

When you are lonely, let it shine on

Got to open up your heart and let it shine on in

And when you feel like you’ve been mistreated

And your friends turn away

Just open your heart, and shine it on in

~The 5th Dimension

(Words by James Rado and Gerome Ragni: Music by Galt MacDermot)

What is Passive solar? How does it differ from active solar technology? What are the benefits of passive solar technologies? Read on to find out.

By the way, this weekend marks the National Solar Tour by the American Solar Energy Society. You can check to see if there are any tour events in your area here

International Day of Action for a Free Burma

Just a reminder.

I defer to koNko…..

Please do what you can where you are, and keep the Burmese people in your heart today.

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