Saturday, April 9, 2011

Email repost of the Day: PÉROLAS DE OSCAR NIEMEYER (102 ANOS)

- Ganhei um convite para ver o filme da Bruna Surfistinha. Espero que seja MESMO um filme sobre surf. O filme da Bruna Surfistinha é uma apologia ao baixo meretrício e aos mais baixos instintos humanos. Mas pelo menos rolaram uns peitinhos.

- Meu médico me proibiu de tomar vinho todos os dias. Sorte que ele não falou nada sobre Smirnoff Ice.

- Fui convidado para ver o pessoal do Comédia em Pé. Só não vou porque minha artrite não deixa ficar em pé muito tempo.

- Esse humor do Zorra Total já era antigo quando eu era criança.
 

- Linda, eu não vou a museus. Eu CRIO museus. Quer ir Ver uns museus?
 

- Sem sono e a fim de sair pro agito. Quem embarca?

- Existem apenas dois segredos para manter a lucidez na minha idade: o  primeiro é manter a memória em dia. O segundo eu não me lembro.

- Ivete Sangalo me encomendou o primeiro trio elétrico de concreto armado do mundo. O pessoal aqui no escritório já apelidou de "Sangalão". A proposta era fazer o "Sangalão" de madeira para ficar mais leve. Aí eu disse pra Ivete "Quer de madeira? Chama um  MARCENEIRO!".

- Projetar Brasília para os políticos que vocês colocaram lá foi como criar um lindo vaso de flores pra vocês usarem como PINICO.

- Caro Sarney: ser imortal na Academia Brasileira de Letras é mole.
Quero ver é tentar ser aqui fora!

- Nunca penso na morte, NUNCA. Vou deixar para pensar nisso quando tiver mais idade

- Perto de mim Justin Bieber ainda é um espermatozóide.

- Odeio praias lotadas aos domingos. Não dá pra surfar direito, é o maior crowd.

- Brasília nunca deveria ter sido projetada em forma de avião. O de camburão seria mais adequado. Na verdade quem projetou Brasília foi Lúcio Costa. Eu fiz uns prédios e avisei que aquela merda não ia dar certo. Sim, ela é aquele avião que não decola NUNCA. Segundo a
Nasa, Brasília é inconfundível vista do espaço.

- Duro admitir, mas atualmente Marcela Temer é o monumento mais comentado de Brasília.

- Todos ficam falando Zé Alencar é isso, Zé Alencar é aquilo. Mas quem fez Pilates e caminhou na praia hoje? EU!

- O frevo foi criado há 104 anos. Ou seja: só tive um ano de sossego desse pessoal pulando de guarda-chuvinha.

- Segredo da Longevidade 48: Não viva cada dia como se fosse o último. Viva como se fosse o primeiro.

- Na minha idade, a melhor coisa de acordar de madrugada para ir ao banheiro é ter acordado.

- Alguns homens melhoram depois dos 40. E eu mesmo só comecei a me sentir mais gato depois dos 90.

- Queria muito encontrar um emprego vitalício. Só pra garantir o futuro, sabe... Andei Comprando apostilas para Concurso do Banco do Brasil. Não quero viver de arquitetura o resto da vida.

- Foi-se o John Herbert, 81 anos. Essa molecada da área artística se acaba rápido demais.

- Só me arrependo de UMA coisa na vida: de não ter cuidado melhor da minha saúde para poder viver mais.

- São Paulo mostrou ao Brasil como se urbanizar com inteligência: basta fazer o exato contrário do que aconteceu lá.

- Fato: o meu edificio Copan aparece em 50% dos cartões postais de São Paulo. DE NADA.

- A quem interessar possa: eu NÃO estive presente na fundação de São Paulo há 457 anos. Na verdade eu não fui nem convidado.

- Se eu projetasse a casa do Big Brother os participantes iriam brigar pra ver quem saía PRIMEIRO.

- A vida é um BBB e eu quero ser o último a sair

Bill Maher: ‘This is bullshit and I want my money back’

Bill Maher: ‘This is bullshit and I want my money back’

Using reaction to Charlie Sheen’s recent “performance art” in Detroit as a comparison, Bill Maher challenged America’s middle class to take a trip to Howard Beale’s metaphorical window.
This video was originally uploaded by Mediaite on April 8. 2011.

LESTER & CHARLIE: Don't Be a Sucker! (Director's Cut)

Very Helpful Tool from the Sarcastic Society:

 

Via Truthout: Paul Krugman | The Value of an Educated Mind in a High-Tech World


Friday 08 April 2011

Paul Krugman | The Value of an Educated Mind in a High-Tech World
Paul Krugman, Krugman & Co.: "And now for something completely different. About 15 years ago, before I became a regular columnist, The New York Times asked me and other people to contribute to a special edition celebrating the 100th anniversary of its Sunday magazine. The stated rule was that the pieces should be written as if submitted in 2096, looking back at the magazine's second century."
Read the Article

Friday, April 8, 2011

Via jMG: WND Busted In Photoshop Lie


Today World Net Daily published a lengthy column claiming that Barack Obama had been photoshopped into the top photo with his white grandparents. Because he couldn't have been with them in New York City and in Kenya/Indonesia/Pakistan at the same time. However Media Matters points out that in fact it's WND's image that is photoshopped, as evidenced by the fact that they didn't even take out the president's leg. Hilarious. Sad and repulsive, but hilarious.

(Via - Andrew Sullivan)


reposted from Joe

A Sailor's Life - Fairport Convention

Fairport Convention - A Sailors Life prt 2 ( Sandy Denny )

Voce sabia? (Did you Know)



Did You Know 3.0 - Você Sabia? 3.0 - Legendado em Português-Br

Corporate Tax Cheats are Bankrupting The USA

Workers' rights are under threat across the world

From The Guardian, Monday, April 4, 2011. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/apr/04/workers-rights-collective-bargaining
-------------------------------------
SIDENOTE (This paragraph is not part of the article below): The Wisconsin saga continues to amaze, as others have observed. In yesterday's Washington Post, liberal challenger Joanne Kloppenburg declared victory over Republican incumbent David Prosser in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race. Though the Republicans outspent labor and the Democrats, it seems labor's ground organization was superior. This is the court that will hear the challenge to Governor Walker's legislation to limit public sector collective bargaining rights. Has the "thin reed" the case was thought to rest on suddenly become a tough root?
***************************
Workers' rights are under threat across the world

In UK, US and Europe, the depletion of collective bargaining threatens workers' economic security and their human rights
               
By Keith Ewing

Dr Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis on this day in 1968. He was there to support striking sanitation workers, fighting for the right to have their union recognised by their employer; fighting for the right to collective bargaining.

Today is also a day of international solidarity with the public service workers of Wisconsin, whose right to bargain collectively has been stripped away by legislation sponsored by state governor Scott Walker, a man who has led the great state of Wisconsin to pariah status.

But as we stand in solidarity with brothers and sisters in Wisconsin, we do so in the knowledge that theirs is not a struggle confined to a single US state. Nor - as the neoliberal strategy of Governor Walker stretches to other states - is it a uniquely US problem. It is a global problem, demanding a global response.

European workers too are seeing the erosion of hard-won collective bargaining rights, also as a result of the greed of the bankers, who have emerged from the financial crisis unscathed. In the UK the erosion of bargaining rights is taking place by stealth. Although collective bargaining machinery still exists in local government for example, friends in public service unions tell me it is a long time since they had a collective agreement on pay or on other terms and conditions of employment.

Public sector unions are finding themselves on the sharp end of "section 188 notices", in which employers issue notices of mass dismissal (of thousands of employees at a time), and offer to re-employ the workers concerned on inferior terms. These new terms are imposed without the agreement of the trade union or the workers, who have no choice but to accept. Sometimes it involves a repudiation of a collective agreement, which the union is powerless to defend. Collective agreements in this country are not legally binding, and the only sanction open to workers and their unions - industrial action - is so fraught with legal dangers as to often be beyond use.

All this is being done under cover of an EU directive that was designed to protect workers facing redundancy by requiring the employer to give as much advance notice as possible and to consult with the union to find alternatives, to reduce numbers to be made redundant, and to ameliorate the consequences. Protective legislation is used as a licence by employers to undermine collective agreements and terms and conditions of employment.

But it is not only in the UK where the bankers are calling the shots. In Greece, workers and trade unions have been told by the European Commission that their labour laws are to be made more flexible, which means their collective agreements must become more decentralised, which means in turn that fewer people are to be protected by collective bargaining.

This marks a global assault on the human rights of workers everywhere. Claims about violations of human rights are not to be made lightly, for fear of devaluing a fragile currency. But workers' rights are human rights, and the right to bargain collectively is recognised by international law as an essential aspect of the right to freedom of association.

At international level the right to bargain collectively is expressly recognised by the two core conventions of the ILO, the UN agency of which 183 countries are members, all bound by a constitutional principle to promote freedom of association. Conventions fleshing out that principle impose duties on member states, which include a duty to promote collective bargaining.

That principle is embedded not only in international standards, but in regional treaties as well, including the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights of 2000. But although there is now recognition at EU level of the right to bargain collectively, the European Commission is also promoting a "competitiveness pact" designed to reduce employment conditions and eliminate collective bargaining.

These attacks at EU level - undermining the post-80s Social Europe settlement - have attracted little publicity, though they have been strongly condemned. Even the traditionally mild-mannered and consensual ETUC has adopted an uncharacteristically strident position, condemning the EU "competitiveness pact" as an "attack on collective bargaining" leading Europe to a "dead end".

On the day before he died on 4 April 1968, Dr King addressed the sanitation workers of Memphis and famously said:
"You are demanding that this city will respect the dignity of labour. So often we overlook the work and the significance of those who are not in professional jobs, of those who are not in the so-called big jobs. But let me say to you tonight that whenever you are engaged in work that serves humanity and is for the building of humanity, it has dignity and it has worth."

Dr King's vision of the dignity and worth of labour can only be realised by the very architecture that governments throughout the world now seem determined to destroy. In this country, our forebears saw clearly the importance of trade unions, and the role of collective bargaining as a means of raising wages, equalising incomes, stimulating demand, creating jobs and reducing unemployment.

But as Dr King realised, the case for collective bargaining is not simply an economic one. It is about social justice. It is about repudiating the idea that labour is a commodity, competing in a Darwinian "labour market". Above all, it is about ensuring that everyone is treated with equal respect, and paid a fair day's wage for a fair day's work.
---------------------------------
PHOTO SIDEBAR:  Protesters in Wisconsin against Governor Scott Walker's move to curb union rights and cut worker benefits. Photograph: Darren Hauck/Reuters
***************************************

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Chá de Bar e panela do Milton e do Daniel


Chá de Bar e panela  do Milton e do Daniel
Apesar das diferenças decidimos ficar juntos!

Data:16/04/2011 às 20 horas
Levar (escolha na lista)________________________

Rua Hélcio Fortes, n. 2-Lagoa- 35400 000-Ouro Preto-MG Fone: (31) 35523782, e  85678237

Student Voting Laws By State



GOP-dominated state legislatures are making it harder for college students to vote without a local ID. Cuz you know who young people tend to vote it. Embiggen for details.


reposted from Joe

Two from Truthout:


Wednesday 6 April 2011

Robert Reich | Why We Must Raise Taxes on the Rich
Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog: "It's tax time. It's also a time when right-wing Republicans are setting the agenda for massive spending cuts that will hurt most Americans. Here's the truth: The only way America can reduce the long-term budget deficit, maintain vital services, protect Social Security and Medicare, invest more in education and infrastructure, and not raise taxes on the working middle class is by raising taxes on the super rich."
Read the Article



Robert Scheer | "The Peasants Need Pitchforks"
Robert Scheer, Truthdig: "The delusion of a classless America in which opportunity is equally distributed is the most effective deception perpetrated by the moneyed elite that controls all the key levers of power in what passes for our democracy. It is a myth blown away by Nobel Prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz in the current issue of Vanity Fair. In an article titled 'Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%' Stiglitz states that the top thin layer of the superwealthy controls 40 percent of all wealth in what is now the most sharply class-divided of all developed nations: 'Americans have been watching protests against repressive regimes that concentrate massive wealth in the hands of an elite few. Yet, in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation's income - an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret.'"
Read the Article

TED Video: Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir 2.0 is Amazing!

This evening, by way of NPR I learned of this incredible video of Eric Whitacre's recent talk at the TED conference.

Via JMG: United States Of The Environment


(Source)


reposted from Joe

Episode One: George Takei Should Be Spiderman!

Via JMG: Tweet Of The Day - Stop Beck



reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Poor To Suffer Under GOP Budget


We can't be surprised by this.


reposted from Joe

Via Jerry P. Becker: What I Learned at School

*****************************
From the New York Times, Wednesday, March 30, 2011. See http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/31/opinion/31lee.html . Our thanks to Albert Goetz for bringing this piece to our attention.
*****************************
OP-ED Contributor

What I Learned at School

By Marie Myung-Ok Lee

Providence, R.I.

THE tumult over state budgets and collective bargaining rights for public employees has spilled over into resentment toward public school teachers, who are increasingly derided as "glorified baby sitters" whose pay exceeds the value of the work they do.

But how exactly do we measure the value of a teacher?

As a writer, I often receive feedback from readers I have never met. But the other day, I received a most unexpected message in response to one of my essays: 

"I am so proud of you and all you have accomplished. I shared your opinion from The L.A. Times with my family and reminisced about you as my student at Hibbing High School."

It was signed Margaret Leibfried, who was my English teacher - a teacher who appeared at a critical juncture in my life and helped me believe that I could become a writer.

Thirty years ago, in Hibbing, a town in northern Minnesota that is home to the world's largest open-pit iron mine, I entered high school as a bookish introvert made all the more shy because I was the school's only nonwhite student. I always felt in danger of being swept away by a sea of statuesque blond athletes. By 10th grade, I'd developed a Quasimodo-like posture and crabwise walk, hoping to escape being teased as a "brain" or a "chink," and then finding being ignored almost equally painful. I spent a lot of time alone, reading and scribbling stories.

Ms. Leibfried taught American literature and composition grammar, which involved the usual - memorizing vocabulary and diagramming sentences - but also, thrillingly, reading novels.

Thrilling to me, that is. Many of my classmates expressed disdain for novels because they were "not real." For once, I didn't care what they thought. Ms. Leibfried seemed to notice my interest in both reading and writing, and she took the time to draw me out; she even offered reading suggestions, like one of her favorite novels, "The Bell Jar."

That year's big project was a book report, to be read aloud to the class. However, Ms. Leibfried took me aside and suggested I do something "a little different." Instead of a report, I was to pick a passage from a book, memorize it and recite it in front of the class.

While I longed for the safety and routine of the report, I was curious how this new assignment might work out. By then obsessed with "The Bell Jar," I chose a passage that I thought showed off the protagonist's growing depression as well as Sylvia Plath's sly humor.

The morning of the presentations, I remember my palms sweating so badly as I walked to the front of the class that I held my hands cupped in prayer formation, so I wouldn't wipe them on my shirt.

---
I saw the days of the year stretching ahead like a series of bright, white boxes, and separating one box from another was sleep, like a black shade. Only for me, the long perspective of shades that set off one box from the next had suddenly snapped up, and I could see day after day glaring ahead of me like a white, broad, infinitely desolate avenue.

It seemed silly to wash one day when I would only have to wash again the next.

It made me tired just to think of it.

I wanted to do everything once and for all and be through with it.

Dr. Gordon twiddled a silver pencil. "Your mother tells me you are upset."
---

I finished and, to my surprise, the class broke out in applause. "As a writer and a good reader, Marie has picked out a particularly sensitive piece of prose and delivered it beautifully," Ms. Leibfried said, beaming. I felt, maybe for the first time, confident.

Ms. Leibfried was followed the next year by Mrs. Borman, quiet, elderly and almost as shy as I was. She surprised everyone when she excused me from her grammar class, saying my time would be spent more productively writing in the library. I took the work seriously, and on a whim submitted an essay I'd come up with to Seventeen Magazine. When they published it, it was big news for the high school - it was even announced on the P.A. system. Mrs. Borman wasn't mentioned, nor did she ever take any credit; in her mind she was just doing her job.

I can now appreciate how much courage it must have taken for those teachers to let me deviate so broadly from the lesson plan. With today's pressure on teachers to "teach to the test," I wonder if any would or could take the time to coax out the potential in a single, shy student.

If we want to understand how much teachers are worth, we should remember how much we were formed by our own schooldays. Good teaching helps make productive and fully realized adults - a result that won't show up in each semester's test scores and statistics.

That's easy to forget, as budget battles rage and teacher performance is viewed through the cold metrics of the balance sheet. While the love of literature and confidence I gained from Ms. Leibfried's class shaped my career and my life, after only four short years at Hibbing High School, she was laid off because of budget cuts, and never taught again.
-----------------------------------
Marie Myung-Ok Lee, the author of the novel "Somebody's Daughter," teaches writing at Brown.
************************************************

Via AmericaBlog: Krugman on the Medicare crisis: It will come down to Obama

The "Medicare crisis" — of course — isn't a crisis in the usual sense. It's a crisis created by the GOP's desire to kill it. And make no mistake; the Republicans plan to kill it.

Paul Krugman makes the essential point: This is like 2005, when Bush II tried to kill Social Security by privatizing it. Progressives won in 2005. So why is he so pessimistic about Medicare this year? One word.

Obama. He's that specific. The Professor:
In many ways, this fight resembles the 2005 fight over Social Security. Once again, we have a bait and switch, an attempt to destroy a pillar of American society in the name of saving it. And then, too, you had Democrats who were obviously itching to run up the white flag.

The difference now is that Democrats hold the White House. And that may prove to be their undoing.

In 2005, the de facto Democratic leader was Nancy Pelosi. ... Pelosi is still there. But Barack Obama is now the party’s leader. And let’s be frank: Obama still, after all that has happened, seems devoted to the dream of transcending partisanship, a dream he tries to serve by being nice to Republican ideas no matter how terrible those ideas are. ... The great danger now is that Obama — with the help of a fair number of Senate Democrats — will kill Medicare in the name of civility and outreach.
His conclusion is stark:
Republicans have, in fact, offered Democrats a huge political opportunity — much as Bush did in 2005. But I’m sorry, I have no confidence in the current leadership’s willingness to do the right thing, even when it’s also politically smart.
E.J. Dionne asks the right question:
This is all extreme and irresponsible stuff. The president knows it. The coming week will test who he is. When Ryan releases his budget, will the president finally engage?
The Professor is not optimistic about the answer. The title of his post: "The Enemy Within".

(For an excellent analysis of why the Republican Medicare "fix" will end very badly, start here.)

GP



Via AmericaBlog: Gingrich-funded hate group says promiscuous blacks breed like rabbits

I'm thinking Newt may finally have to respond to this one.

"Welfare has destroyed the African-American family by telling young black women that husbands and fathers are unnecessary and obsolete. Welfare has subsidized illegitimacy by offering financial rewards to women who have more children out of wedlock. We have incentivized fornication rather than marriage, and it’s no wonder we are now awash in the disastrous social consequences of people who rut like rabbits." - American Family Association spokesbigot Bryan Fischer, earning his hate group stripes every day. And all of the GOP presidential candidates continue to appear on his radio show.
Rut is the mating season of certain animals.

ThinkProgress reports that Gingrich continues to defend the organization:
Last month, the Associated Press revealed that one of the cogs in Newt Gingrich’s vast network of business enterprises and front groups, ReAL Action, provided $125,000 to the American Family Association Action, an anti-gay activist organization that has been officially labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group’s outspoken policy directory Bryan Fischer has “proposed criminalizing homosexual behavior” and has even advocated forcing gays into “reparative” therapy.

This morning, ThinkProgress reminded Gingrich of his donation and asked him if he would condemn Fischer’s remarks. The former speaker of the House initially attempted to dodge the question by explaining his support for recalling judges who supported same-sex marriage in Iowa and only recanted Fisher’s extreme rhetoric after being pressed on the issue. Gingrich insisted, however, that AFA is not a hate group, but a “Christian” organization.
How ironic: "Newt Gingrich" and "screwing like bunnies" in the same sentence (ironic because Newt cheated on at least one, some say several, of his former wives (he's had 3 wives, so far)).

Still defend AFA now, Newt?

Of course, Newt's friends at the AFA aren't new to bigotry. They're not just virulently anti-gay and apparently now racist, they have a bit of a problem with Jews and Muslims too.

First the Jews:
In the March issue of American Family Association Journal, a publication of Donald E. Wildmon's right-wing evangelical activist group, the American Family Association (AFA), author Randall Murphree suggested that a Jewish upbringing leads to hatred of Christians, and by extension, a criminal lifestyle.
Yes, what American city isn't plagued by the Jewish mafia.  Oh but that's not all - the Jews apparently control Hollywood.
The AFA Journal has long served as a platform for anti-Semitic theories and innuendo. For instance, Wildmon warned of Jewish control over popular culture, an old anti-Semitic canard, in a January 1989 article, "What Hollywood Believes and Wants." "The television elite are highly secular," Wildmon wrote. "The majority (59 percent) in the Jewish faith." In a separate article in the same issue, titled "Anti-Semitism Called a Serious Problem," Wildmon, a longtime opponent of gay rights, pointedly remarked that "Jews favor homosexual rights more than other Americans.
Then there are the Muslims, who also have a breeding problem, per the AFA:
"The problem we have with Europe is that [it] is infested with the Muslim population. The reason why is because they multiply at a much faster rate than we do," she says. "When we Christians get married, we have two, three, maybe four children -- after they're born, we start thinking about what college we're going to send them to, what education we're going to give them. The Muslims, on the other hand, are allowed to marry up to four wives at a time," she says, noting that terrorist Osama bin Laden had 27 children.
I ask the question again: Are you still defending these people, Newt Gingrich, and are you still going to go on their radio show?



Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"I Pay Taxes" Part 2 featuring National Priorities Project's Jo Comerford

Via truthout:

Republicans' Budget Declares War on Medicare
Lindsay Beyerstein, The Media Consortium: "The Republicans are poised to unveil a model budget on Tuesday that would effectively end Medicare by privatizing it, Steve Benen reports in the Washington Monthly. House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) is touting the budget as a strategy to reduce the national debt. Ryan's plan would turn Medicare from a single-payer system to a "premium support" system. "Premium support" is a euphemism for the government giving up to $15,000 per person, per year, to insurance companies to defray the cost of a health insurance policy. As Benen points out, privatizing Medicare does nothing to contain health care costs."
Read the Article

Via JMG: A Message From Borders Books


(Source)


reposted from Joe

Three from Truthout:


Tuesday 5 April 2011

William Rivers Pitt | The Nowhere Man
William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: "So, yeah, Obama is in. The President of the United States officially threw his hat into the 2012 election ring on Monday morning, and the nation reacted with a resounding, 'Oh.' What a mess. It wasn't even two and a half years ago. Can you believe it? Two and a half years ago, there was a detonation of optimism that echoed across the country once the returns were in on that November night. People took to the streets here in Boston, literally banging pots and pans together as they danced and shouted in celebration ... Hindsight, however, tells us today that much of that optimism was wildly misplaced. The long shadow of George W. Bush still hung low and dark over the land, as it does even now."
Read the Article

Thom Hartmann | The Boston Tea Party Revealed
Thom Hartmann, Berrett-Koehler Publishers: "The East India Company set a precedent that multinational corporations follow to this day: it lobbied for laws that would enable it to easily put its small-business competitors out of business. By 1681 most of the members of the British government and royalty were stockholders in the East India Company, so it was easy that year to pass 'An Act for the restraining and punishing Privateers and Pirates.' This law required a license to import anything into the Americas (among other British-controlled parts of the world), and the licenses were only rarely granted except to the East India Company and other large British corporations."
Read the Article

Henry A. Giroux | American Militarism and the End(s) of Higher Education
Henry A. Giroux, Truthout: "As the spirit of a hypermilitarized America bleeds into everyday life, politics increasingly becomes an extension of war, and right-wing, liberal and conservative politicians eagerly embrace a militaristic approach to policy and the need to cleanse the social order of any institution, mode of dissent, social group and public sphere willing to question its state of permanent war and its militarized and unchecked embrace of economic Darwinism. These foreign and domestic wars are not unrelated, given that they are waged in the interests of right-wing militarists, neoconservatives, liberals and corporate moguls - all of whom have a political and economic stake in such military incursions abroad and wars at home."
Read the Article

Via Climate Progress: Why does Washington DC have so many more deficit hawks than climate hawks?

Posted: 05 Apr 2011 09:31 AM PDT
The GOP is launching yet another massive assault on future generations today, proposing deep cuts in the clean energy solutions that are central to averting catastrophic climate change.  Many of the ideas in the GOP’s ‘austerity budget for the poor and middle class’ are typically considered political suicide — like gutting Medicare.  And they may yet prove to be suicidal if President Obama and progressives take them all on boldly.

I know — that’s a big IF.  I’ll discuss the cuts later, but what is fascinating is that this deficit debate is now front and center at all in the midst of economic tough times.

This post was spurred by a recent post from the iconoclastic conservative (?) blogger Andrew Sullivan (who supported both Kerry and Obama).  A few weeks ago, at the right-hand side of his page under his heading, “Sully’s recent keepers,” appeared a post  that is definitely not worth keeping:
To all those under 30 who worked so hard to get this man elected, know this: he just screwed you over. He thinks you’re fools. Either the US will go into default because of Obama’s cowardice, or you will be paying far far more for far far less because this president has no courage when it counts. He let you down. On the critical issue of America’s fiscal crisis, he represents no hope and no change. Just the same old Washington politics he once promised to end.
Zzzzzz.

The final sentence betrays him.  No one in the punditocracy seriously thought he could change DC politics.  That’s just something outsiders promise to win the votes of independents while they preach policy to their base.
More to the point, as problems facing American’s youth,  the deficit is certainly a significant concern.  But it is only a long-term concern.   Young people obviously have far more immediate concerns, paying for their education, getting a job, and so on.

Yet as a long-term concern it pales in comparison with the threat caused by human-caused climate change, which is rapidly approaching irreversibility and will devastate the lives of billions of people, for many decades if not centuries (see Royal Society special issue details ‘hellish vision’ of 7°F (4°C) world — which we may face in the 2060s! and A stunning year in climate science reveals that human civilization is on the precipice).

Moreover,  we could do very little about the deficit for a decade or more and still address the problem in a simple and straightforward (albeit painful) fashion in the 2020s.  But doing very little about climate change for a  decade or more makes averting multiple catastrophes infinitely more complicated.
And yet most political thought leaders make countless pronouncements about the dangers of deficits while remaining either uneducated or willfully ignorant on climate (see Some pundits challenge my statement, “Future generations are likely to view Obama’s choice of health care over energy and climate legislation as a blunder of historic proportions”).

Fundamentally, policymakers don’t get it when it comes to climate change, but arguably they don’t get it when it comes to most issues.  What drives the obsession with deficits is that the GOP uses deficits as a stalking horse for eviscerating government.  The public doesn’t actually care much about deficits, except in economic hard times, when conservatives are able to conflate our economic problems with our deficit problem — and when progressives are too feckless to stand up for the importance of government spending, and especially government investment, to both short-term and long-term economic health.

Finally, the media sees its role as promoters of good government, narrowly defined.  That is, the punditocracy feels big deficits are inherently a sign of bad government, so they legitimize the debate and the “courage” of those who propose politically untenable solutions to the deficit.

Since most of the DC punditocracy doesn’t understand the dire climate situation, they just treatit as one more political issue that, right now, seems to be a loser.  Ironically, if Sullivan himself understand climate, he’d realize that the next generation isn’t being screwed by our lack of a deficit policy, it’s being screwed by our lack of a climate policy (see The failed presidency of Barack Obama).

Via UN Wire: Multitude of Species Face Climate Threat

Development Energy and Environment
Study predicts era of mass extinctions
Current rates of species extinction are far above normal and Earth may be headed toward a period of mass extinction, according to a study published in the journal Nature. Overfishing, deforestation and global warming are predicted to accelerate extinction rates.  

The New York Times (tiered subscription model)

Via From Where I Sit:

Monday, April 4, 2011

Via JMG: Arctic Sea Ice At Record Low


Al Gore notes on his blog:
“The National Snow and Ice Data Center reports that Arctic sea ice probably reached its maximum extent for the year on March 7, which was 5.65 million square miles.

“The maximum extent was 1.2 million square kilometers (463,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average of 15.86 million square kilometers (6.12 million square miles), and equal (within 0.1 percent) to 2006 for the lowest maximum extent in the satellite record,” the center, which is part of the University of Colorado-Boulder, reported Wednesday.”
Yup, it's all a scam.


reposted from Joe

Japan 'tsunami dog' Ban reunited with owner after surviving at sea

Via Truthout:


Monday 4 April 2011

Libya and the World of Oil
Noam Chomsky: "Last month, at the international tribunal on crimes during the civil war in Sierra Leone, the trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor came to an end. The chief prosecutor, U.S. law professor David Crane, informed The Times of London that the case was incomplete: The prosecutors intended to charge Moammar Gadhafi, who, Crane said, was ultimately responsible for the mutilation, maiming and/or murder of 1.2 million people.'"
Read the Article

Via Barack Obama 2012:


Daniel --

Today, we are filing papers to launch our 2012 campaign.

We're doing this now because the politics we believe in does not start with expensive TV ads or extravaganzas, but with you -- with people organizing block-by-block, talking to neighbors, co-workers, and friends. And that kind of campaign takes time to build.

So even though I'm focused on the job you elected me to do, and the race may not reach full speed for a year or more, the work of laying the foundation for our campaign must start today.

We've always known that lasting change wouldn't come quickly or easily. It never does. But as my administration and folks across the country fight to protect the progress we've made -- and make more -- we also need to begin mobilizing for 2012, long before the time comes for me to begin campaigning in earnest.

As we take this step, I'd like to share a video that features some folks like you who are helping to lead the way on this journey. Please take a moment to watch:

Watch the video

In the coming days, supporters like you will begin forging a new organization that we'll build together in cities and towns across the country. And I'll need you to help shape our plan as we create a campaign that's farther reaching, more focused, and more innovative than anything we've built before.

We'll start by doing something unprecedented: coordinating millions of one-on-one conversations between supporters across every single state, reconnecting old friends, inspiring new ones to join the cause, and readying ourselves for next year's fight.

This will be my final campaign, at least as a candidate. But the cause of making a lasting difference for our families, our communities, and our country has never been about one person. And it will succeed only if we work together.

There will be much more to come as the race unfolds. Today, simply let us know you're in to help us begin, and then spread the word:

http://my.barackobama.com/2012

Thank you,

Barack
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Via NPR: Being Bilingual May Boost Your Brain Power

Your Health

Being Bilingual May Boost Your Brain Power

People who speak more than one language seem to perform better on a variety of cognitive tasks.

O PC EM CASA - SIGA ESTES CONSELHOS__E REPASSE___IMPORTANTE TOMAR ESTE CUIDADO

video

Obrigado André V!

Via AmericBlog: Deepwater Horizon owner gives huge bonuses for 'best year in safety performance in company's history.' Uh, your rig exploded in a massive oil spill.

The second largest oil spill in US history, and the fifth largest in world history.







And their executives are getting huge bonuses for their "exemplary" safety record and the "best year in safety performance in our company's history."



Yes, besides that explosion that killed eleven people immediately, killed sea life, ruined the fishing industry, trashed tourism jobs and polluted the Gulf of Mexico, it was the best year ever! A banner year! It's always refreshing to see corporate America take responsibility for their actions. Oh how I admire them.
Transocean Ltd. gave its top executives bonuses for achieving the "best year in safety performance in our company's history" — despite the explosion of its oil rig that killed 11 people, including nine of its own employees, and spilled 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

The company said in a regulatory filing that its most senior managers were given two-thirds of their total possible safety bonus.

Transocean noted "the tragic loss of life" in the Gulf when the rig operated by BP PLC exploded last April. But it said the company still had an "exemplary" safety record because it met or exceeded certain internal safety targets concerning the frequency and severity of its accidents, according to the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.
Make sure you check out the exclusive photos that AMERICAblog published last May showing the rig exploding and slowly sinking into the ocean. Then ask yourself how this was their best safety year ever. I shudder to think of the other years.


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