Saturday, September 30, 2006

UN Peace Day in Griffith Park

Reporting here on the peace rally at Griffith Park. It was quite small despite the big hopes and visions, but a good thing nonetheless. I was going through what I assume is a replica of Dr. Jane Goodall's tent where she lived for decades in Gombe National Park, Tanzania, looking at the old typwriter, her diary, vintage camera and the like wondering what it would be like to write while being bug bit from a lack of screens surrounded by the smell of damp rotting canvas, when I walked out the back and there she was standing beside the tent. It was a little unnerving. I just didn't expect it at that point. I smiled at her and she back then folks began to swarm around her with a neverending request for group pictures. Typical celebrity stuff that some movie extras do for their scrapbooks but I never took to this sort of photo stalking.

I intended to say something about being a biologist myself but never got the chance despite my close proximity. Her environmental education program looks impressive worldwide. I don't how they will stop all wars, but she's got some good ideas. This is a one woman who has made a difference and continues to. Most biologists work in obscurity, but her project and the fame of the Leakeys has propelled her into mega-stardom. Might as well make hay with it. The Gombe chimps are being slaughtered for meat to give you some idea of how slim things are in that part of Africa.

Celebrities attending were topped by Daryl Hannah and Julia Butterfly Hill of tree sitting fame. Her book was published and mine, well, wasn't. Nothing like a girl up a tree to gain attention. That's what it takes.

Friday, September 29, 2006

"Fanfic or Self-Published?"

What Lee Goldberg said.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

All Condi's Lies

This is a good takedown on the current SOS and yet another example of a conservative thinking if they just say something that will make it true. It won't. Why do they do this on every issue from top on down to the lowest blog comment wingnut? It's beyond me, but it must be some genetic reasoning glitch more liberal thinkers don't have. This is straight factual logic. Clinton is correct and Rice is a liar. Just because a man lied once (about something that nothing to do with a government policy) while wagging his finger doesn't he does every time. I actually read and heard callers cite this a proof what he said was false! Unbelievable. Clinton 1 Rice 0.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Woody RIP

Gavin Schmidt of NASA hands Woody his head in a sack at Realclimate. It's not a fair fight. Wingnuts think if they say something that makes it true even if it's already been proven wrong. The reason scientists claim humans are causing global warming is because from multiple venues and measurments they are. It's backed up by legitimate facts and scientific testing. Idiots don't get that part.

Clinton's Fight Back

Everything Clinton said to Wallace was true. It's a bitch when a meme of lies falls to facts isn't it. Bravo!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Clinton "Roadless Rule" Reinstated

And to those who say Clinton and Bush are the same are fools of epic proportions. The good policy is back in effect six years after the Bush decree to erase it upon taking office. Sound science was not on his side.

Gutless

Even if the cynics are right to say that Coulter is laughing all the way to the bank and that she doesn’t really believe any of it, it still reflects horribly on our media that gives her a national platform, and on our culture in which she is thriving with a lucrative speaking career and best-selling books.1


As a struggling author myself trying to sell real American History and scientific essays I couldn't agree more. This is the sort of crap that gives media and this country a bad name. It's hopeless shilling of lies to idiots with pea-sized brains and a penchant for cliches, stereotypes, and bigotry. It's a freakshow.




1. a review of Godless: The Church of Liberalism by Matthew Provonsha

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Arctic Meltdown

More evidence is in from the folks who bring you space exploration and home panet protestion: NASA.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Tropical Forcings

In total, at least four studies, two based entirely on analyses of observations, and the other two based on climate model simulations, independently come to the conclusion that warming tropical Atlantic and Pacific SSTs (sea surface temperatures) cannot be purely attributed to any natural oscillation. These studies do not conclusively show a hurricane/global warming link, let alone determine what it's magnitude might be, but they do strengthen one pillar of that linkage.

Sounds right to me. Taking a human-made bellows to natural climate sensitivities is the case in point. That's what we are doing. Hot enough for ya?

Friday, September 08, 2006

When Fiction Hurts

Look, when two of the real characters portrayed in the 9-11 mini-series , Barabara Bodine and Richard Clarke, say they got hosed by the film, that isn't a good sign. Everyone knows the public is chronically dupable. But geez, to keep perpetuating opposite fake truths is just not useful. You can just hear the blog comment wingnuts citing "Clinton did it!" Ironically it was the same writer who wrote the Reagan mini-series conservatives had pulled. I hear no call from them on this. How weird?

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Climate Fakir

Is Steven McIntyre a mining consultant who has decided on his terms that Michael Mann has fraudulently modeled the climate. Right. He would know. This is pure wingnuttery and not legitimate. The idea here, on behalf of energy companies and Republican Congressmen and Senators and their equivalents north of the border into heavy oil sands work, is to paint climate scientists as frauds. Typical right wing interest politics for sure, but not valid as science. Let's see NASA Ph.D's or an economist and his boy Friday? That's a toughie.

Update: Deniers For Hire

Sunday, September 03, 2006

More Denierosis

These conservative lawyers cement in my hypothesis that conservatives are too ignorant to understand, thus, accept scientific conclusions. So instead they go to great lengths to rip apart the data, by their own terms of course. Isn't it odd that hurricane experts like Kerry Emanuel disagree? Conservatives hate experts they can't buy off. Do we need more proof of this?

Happy Labor Day

Yup. Things are going according to plan: I'm working a temp government job without benefits making less than I did last year by several dollars. As Doug Peacock once said of his government career, "I'm downwardly mobile."

In that vein let Greg Palast address the state of our working union. Well it works for some anyway.

TODAY'S PIG IS TOMORROW'S BACON (a Labor Day recipe)


By Greg Palast
September, 3 2006

Some years from now, in an economic refugee relocation "Enterprise Zone," your kids will ask you, "What did you do in the Class War, Daddy?"

The trick of class war is not to let the victims know they're under attack. That's how, little by little, the owners of the planet take away what little we have.

This week, Dupont, the chemical giant, slashed employee pension benefits by two-thirds. Furthermore, new Dupont workers won't get a guaranteed pension at all -- and no health care after retirement. It's part of Dupont's new "Die Young" program, I hear. Dupont is not in financial straits. Rather, the slash attack on its workers' pensions was aimed at adding a crucial three cents a share to company earnings, from $3.11 per share to $3.14.

So Happy Labor Day.

And this week, the government made it official: For the first time since the Labor Department began measuring how the American pie is sliced, those in the top fifth of the wealth scale are now gobbling up over half (50.4%) of our nation's annual income.

So Happy Labor Day.

We don't even get to lick the plates. While 15.9% of us don't have health insurance (a record, Mr. President!), even those of us who have it, don't have it: we're spending 36% more per family out of pocket on medical costs since the new regime took power in Washington. If you've actually tried to collect from your insurance company, you know what I mean.

So Happy Labor Day.



But if you think I have nothing nice to say about George W. Bush, let me report that the USA now has more millionaires than ever -- 7.4 million! And over the past decade, the number of billionaires has more than tripled, 341 of them!

If that doesn't make you feel like you're missing out, this should: You, Mr. Median, are earning, after inflation, a little less than you earned when Richard Nixon reigned. Median household income -- and most of us are "median" -- is down. Way down.

Since the Bush Putsch in 2000, median income has fallen 5.9%.

Mr. Bush and friends are offering us an "ownership" society. But he didn't mention who already owns it. The richest fifth of America owns 83% of all shares in the stock market. But that's a bit misleading because most of that, 53% of all the stock, is owned by just one percent of American households.

And what does the Wealthy One Percent want? Answer: more wealth. Where will they get it? As with a tube of toothpaste, they're squeezing it from the bottom. Median paychecks have gone down by 5.9% during the current regime, but Americans in the bottom fifth have seen their incomes sliced by 20%.

At the other end, CEO pay at the Fortune 500 has bloated by 51% during the first four years of the Bush regime to an average of $8.1 million per annum.

So who's winning? It's a crude indicator, but let's take a peek at the Class War body count.

When Reagan took power in 1980, the One Percent possessed 33% of America's wealth as measured by capital income. By 2006, the One Percent has swallowed over half of all America's assets, from sea to shining sea. One hundred fifty million Americans altogether own less than 3% of all private assets.

Yes, American middle-class house values are up, but we're blowing that gain to stay alive. Edward Wolff, the New York University expert on income, explained to me that, "The middle class is mortgaging itself to death." As a result of mortgaging our new equity, 60% of all households have seen a decline in net worth.

Is America getting poorer? No, just its people, We the Median. In fact, we are producing an astonishing amount of new wealth in the USA. We are a lean, mean production machine. Output per worker in BushAmerica zoomed by 15% over four years through 2004. Problem is, although worker productivity keeps rising, the producers are getting less and less of it.

The gap between what we produce and what we get is widening like an alligator's jaw. The more you work, the less you get. It used to be that as the economic pie got bigger, everyone's slice got bigger too. No more.

The One Percent have swallowed your share before you can get your fork in.

The loot Dupont sucked from its employees' retirement funds will be put to good use. It will more than cover the cost of the company directors' decision to hike the pension set aside for CEO Charles Holliday to $2.1 million a year. And that's fair, I suppose: Holliday's a winning general in the class war. And shouldn't the winners of war get the spoils?

Of course, there are killjoys who cling to that Calvinist-Marxist belief that a system forever fattening the richest cannot continue without end. Professor Michael Zweig, Director of the State University of New York's Center for Study of Working Class Life, put it in culinary terms: "Today's pig is tomorrow's bacon."
******

Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, "ARMED MADHOUSE: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War," just released from Penguin/Dutton, from which this is adapted.

And go to www.GregPalast.com for a special Labor Day treat: an excerpt from Air America Radio's Thom Hartmann's new book, "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class -- and What We Can Do About It."

Friday, September 01, 2006

WWII Wiki

Dad's Wikipedia page is evolving nicely since it was rated as a "stub" needing work i.e. citations, lists and so on. I obliged. That's General Harold Blakeley shaking his hand in Prum, Germany during the ceremony. Only 800 Silver Stars were awarded in the Europe campaign in WW II. It's amazing to me he could survive this, but constipation was too much for medicine to deal with in his last days. They wanted to, but my uncle and his second wife refused to let them operate when he declined from complications. He died the next day.
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