Friday, September 21, 2012

Via Pagan Liberal and 2 others shared Politics with Jarred and Dave's / FB:

ViaClimate Progress:

Posted: 21 Sep 2012 08:30 AM PDT


by Catherine Woodiwiss

This week, the National Climate Summit 2013 Coalition released a petition calling on both Presidential candidates to address rapidly accelerating climate change.

The statement, written and endorsed by over 1300 faith leaders, elected officials, civil rights groups, environmental activists, business representatives, and others, calls on both Presidential candidates to “act in the best interests of this and all future generations of American’s now by publicly acknowledging the climate emergency”; and committing to host a climate summit to craft actions for national solutions within their first 100 days in office.

This is only the latest step in a long, hot summer filled with faith groups demanding that climate change get its place at the table during the last weeks of the election season.

Since the spring, faith groups across the aisle have grown bolder in taking their demands for specific action on energy and climate change to political leaders.  In connection with Earth Week last April, the Interfaith Moral Action on Climate released a Congress report card, which detailed each Member’s record on climate change and clean energy standards. Though each Representative scored differently, the overall grade was a miserable F.

“The U.S. Congress has failed to meaningfully address the rapidly deepening crisis,” said the group. “This is a moral and ethical failure of the highest order.”

And following an Earth Week declaration to the White House that climate change was an election issue, a coalition of young Evangelicals unveiled a new campaign in July: Young Evangelicals for Climate Action.  The group’s main organizing effort, spearheaded by young author and former Senate candidate Ben Lowe, is a social media campaign calling on Presidential candidates to outline their plan of action for addressing climate change.

“The [2012] Presidential election will be the most important one we’ve ever had, or may ever have, when it comes to climate change,” wrote Lowe in July, urging more action on comprehensive climate legislation that includes putting a price on carbon pollution, addressing deforestation and ocean acidification, and providing aid for communities to adapt to existing impacts.

“It’s crucial for President Obama and Governor Romney to make overcoming the climate crisis a campaign promise and a national priority. [But] currently, neither of the major candidates is showing the courageous leadership we need.”

Coming from faithful youth, this censure of failed leadership is a new development in a rising chorus of calls for climate protection from the typically-conservative Evangelical movement. And in this election year, their voices are particularly amplified.

In June, the Evangelical Environmental Network ran TV spots in key swing states – including Virginia, North Carolina, and Ohio – asking viewers to “tell Senators that defending the EPA’s ability to reduce carbon pollution is the right thing to do.” Wrote Jim Ball, Executive Vice President of EEN, “as my colleague and EEN’s President, the Rev. Mitch Hescox, says: “So goes our community on this issue, so goes the country.”

Calls for political leadership on climate are not limited to the Evangelical community. On August 14th, the same day that the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication released a report showing that a majority of all registered voters say they will consider candidates’ views on global warming when deciding how to vote, the Franciscan Action Network issued a press release urging President Obama and Governor Romney to acknowledge the pending climate crisis as an ecological and moral issue and to outline steps they would take to address the problem.

“During this election campaign we cannot allow the candidates to simply bury their heads in the sand,” reads the statement.

It goes on forcefully: “We should challenge the media and our political leaders when they spread misinformation… Both President Obama and Governor Romney need to have the moral courage to use their voices as leaders…and provide a plan of action. The American people and all God’s children across this world deserve no less.”

As the calls from all faithful quarters become stronger, so it appears does the determination to highlight the collective ethical implications of climate change. “Climate disruption is a multi-dimensional, non-partisan, and moral issue,” says Jose Aguto, Legislative Secretary for the Quaker group Friends Committee on National Legislation. “Congress is silent on this issue, but many in the faith community are not. We cannot address climate disruption with  anything less than a social movement.”

Indeed, this summer FCNL helped with Rep. Jim Moran’s introduction of a resolution – now co-sponsored by 10 Members of Congress and endorsed by a diversity of organizations – that urges Members to acknowledge climate change as a critical moral, environmental, and public health issue.

In signing yesterday’s petition, Richard Cizik, President of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, said: “We have a clear choice in this election – between belittling climate change and doing nothing, or…speaking the truth about why urgent action is so critically important. …I signed the petition because it’s up to us, ‘we the people’, to hold both candidates accountable.”

The message is clear: faith groups are increasingly willing to put their vote on the line for climate action. Both candidates, and their parties, would do well to listen.

Catherine Woodiwiss is a Special Assistant with the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative

Thursday, September 20, 2012

ViaReal Truth Now:

Is this the definition of extremist logic?...V.

Via JMG: Mitt Brownface: He Is The Juan Percent

Viewers of Mitt Romney's appearance on the Spanish-language Univision network last night dove for their Twitter accounts to declare that he was wearing dark make-up or a deep shade of spray-on tan in order to appeal to Latino voters. (Image via Gawker)

Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Fox News Headline Of The Day

From Fox News' own poll: "President Barack Obama has the edge over Republican Mitt Romney in three potentially decisive states in the presidential election. Obama tops Romney by seven percentage points among likely voters in both Ohio (49-42 percent) and Virginia (50-43 percent). In Florida, the president holds a five-point edge (49-44 percent)."

Reposted from Joe

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Via Anti-Republican Crusaders & My Left Nut's photo. My Left Nut says, "Another one of those 47% acting the 'victim' --Blue's father. One of those, who along with my mother, paid into Social Security and Medicare every paycheck until they retired...and then felt they were "entitled." Sheriff Bert Johnson."

Via FB:

Via Pagan Liberal and Right Off A Cliff / FB:

Via One Million Strong Against Mitt Romney in 2012 / FB:


Via JMG: David Brooks On Romney's Stumble

"The people who receive the disproportionate share of government spending are not big-government lovers. They are Republicans. They are senior citizens. They are white men with high school degrees. As Bill Galston of the Brookings Institution has noted, the people who have benefited from the entitlements explosion are middle-class workers, more so than the dependent poor. Romney’s comments also reveal that he has lost any sense of the social compact. In 1987, during Ronald Reagan’s second term, 62 percent of Republicans believed that the government has a responsibility to help those who can’t help themselves. Now, according to the Pew Research Center, only 40 percent of Republicans believe that.

"The Republican Party, and apparently Mitt Romney, too, has shifted over toward a much more hyperindividualistic and atomistic social view — from the Reaganesque language of common citizenship to the libertarian language of makers and takers. There’s no way the country will trust the Republican Party to reform the welfare state if that party doesn’t have a basic commitment to provide a safety net for those who suffer for no fault of their own. The final thing the comment suggests is that Romney knows nothing about ambition and motivation." - David Brooks, in a New York Times essay titled Thurston Howell Romney.

Reposted from Joe

Via Climate Progress 19 Companies, Including Starbucks And Levi Strauss, Urge Congress To Extend Wind Tax Credit


A group of 19 leading companies has sent a letter to Congress asking lawmakers to immediately extend a key tax credit for wind that is set to expire at the end of the year.

The diverse coalition of firms, which includes Ben & Jerry’s, Johnson & Johnson, Levi Strauss, Starbucks, and Yahoo!, says that raising taxes on the wind sector would be bad for businesses that buy large amounts of wind electricity.

These companies join a very large bi-partisan chorus of renewable energy supporters asking Congress to give the wind industry some certainty and put the sector on a level tax playing field with the oil and gas industry, which enjoys billions of dollars in permanent tax benefits.

Over the last year, the National Governor’s Association, County Commissioners, and numerous Republican politicians have all sent separate letters to Congressional leaders in support of extending federal wind tax credits for at least another year. Now this latest group of prominent companies is playing up another theme: Ending support for wind isn’t just bad for the wind industry, it’s bad for downstream non-utility companies that procure energy from wind:
As major U.S. employers and some of the largest non-utility purchasers of renewable energy, we urge you to extend the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy before the end of the 112th Congress. A failure to pass an extension will amount to levying a tax on companies committed to buying American energy and growing the U.S. economy. In today’s economic climate, a taxhike on American businesses buying American renewable energy is unwarranted.
In the past decade American businesses have significantly ramped up their purchase of American wind energy. For consumers of wind electricity, the economic benefits of the PTC are tremendous. Electricity rates, which reflect marginal costs for power plant operations and fuel prices, consistently decrease when wind enters the market. Because wind prices can be locked in up front, businesses incorporating wind into their energy portfolios are better equipped to hedge market volatility in traditional fuels markets caused by supply shocks. We are concerned that allowing the PTC to expire will immediately raise prices for the renewable electricity we buy today.
The PTC has enabled the industry to slash wind energy costs – 90% since 1980 – a big reason why companies like ours are buying increasing amounts of renewable energy. Wind now supplies over 3% of US demand and accounts for 35% of new power capacity installed in the last four years. In the seven years that the PTC has been continuously in place, installed wind capacity has grown sevenfold to nearly 47 Gigawatts representing more than $79 billion in private investment.
As Congress investigates ways to spur business growth, we urge you to ensure an extension of the PTC. Failure to extend the PTC for wind would tax our companies and thousands of others like us that purchase significant amounts of renewable energy and hurt our bottom lines at a time when the economy is struggling to recover. Extending the PTC lowers prices for all consumers, keeps America competitive in a global marketplace and creates homegrown American jobs.
These 19 leading companies say that failure to extend the wind credit will add new costs to businesses throughout the economy. Interestingly, far-right conservative groups aggressively opposed to raising taxes are the only ones coming out in opposition to the wind tax credit.

Over last five years, wind has brought $20 billion of annual private investment to the U.S., according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). There are now 75,000 jobs across the country in wind manufacturing, operations, maintenance and education. However, a report from Navigant Consulting prepared for AWEA concludes that failure to extend the wind tax credit could result in up to 37,000 job losses in the coming year.

Related Stories:

Via Addicting Info Image & Liberals Are Cool / FB:

Image from Liberals Are Cool.

Via Real Truth Now / FB:

Via Anti-Republican Crusaders // Anti-Republican Crusaders's FB:

Like any decent citizen of the United States, Paul Krugman is appalled at Mitt Romney's suggestion that half of citizens are just lazy moochers waiting for their next government check.

Via JMG: Romney Defends "47 Percent" Remarks

Romney says what he said "wasn't elegantly stated" but he stands by his remarks that 47% of Americans are moochers who expect free food and housing. Cable news outlets CNN and MSNBC are saying this latest debacle might be "the pivotal moment" that loses the election. At this writing Fox News has not mentioned the story.

Reposted from Joe

Monday, September 17, 2012

Via Anonymous ART of Revolution / FB:

This week in the World, but not on TV:

*note: in Europe, they put the day first and the month second - so today's date would be 17/09/2012


Mitt Romney on Obama Voters

Via Anti-Republican Crusaders / FB:

Book Description: How scapegoat politics is dividing America and bankrupting the middle class.

The size and stability of the American middle class was once the envy of the world. But changes unleashed in the 1960s pitted Americans against one another politically in new and destructive ways—while economically, everyone fell behind except the wealthy.

Right-wing culture warriors blamed the decline on the moral shortcomings of "other" Americans—blacks, feminists, gays, immigrants, union members —to court a fearful white working and middle class base with ever more bitter "us" vs. "them" politics. Liberals tried but mostly failed to make the case that we're all in this together. In All for None and None for All, MSNBC political analyst and popular Salon columnist Joan Walsh traces this deeply disturbing dynamic as it has played out over the last forty years, dividing the country, poisoning its politics, jeopardizing its future—and splitting her wor
king class Irish Catholic family as well.
Connects the dots of American decline through trends that began in the 1970s and continue today—including the demise of unions, the stagnation of middle class wages, the extension of the right's "Southern Strategy" throughout the country, the victory of Reagan Republicanism, the widening partisan divide, the increase in income inequality, and the drop in economic mobility.

Shows how liberals unwittingly collaborated in the "us" vs. "them" narrative and failed to develop an inspiring, persuasive vision of a more fair, united America Explores how the GOP's renewed culture war—one which could conceivably make Rick Santorum president, and produced radical changes in states like Wisconsin, Ohio, and Virginia—now scapegoats even segments of its base, as it blames the troubles of working class whites on their own moral failings rather than an unfair economy.
As the United States becomes a "majority-minority" culture, while the GOP doubles down on racial and cultural appeals to rev up its demographically threatened white base in 2012, Walsh talks about race in honest, unflinching, unfamiliar terms, acknowledging not just Republican but Democratic Party political mistakes—and her own. This book will be essential reading as the country struggles through political polarization and racial change to invent the next America in the years to come. (Publication Date: August 28, 2012)

JMG Church Sign Of The Day


Reposted from Joe

JMG Photo Of The Day - Obama Pee Break

The interwebs is wondering what the man on the hill is doing.

Reposted from Joe

Via FB:

Via God Bless the President of the United States / FB:

Via Liberals Unite: Bill Maher: Conservatism is “just about being a dick”

Conservatism is being a dick

Earlier this week Bill Maher explored conservative teenaged pundits, comparing them to Republican adults noting that 14 year olds cannot mimic the Rachel Maddow show, but can do the likes of Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh just fine.

“When 14-year-old boys sound exactly like you do and can produce radio shows and books and speeches that sound exactly like yours, maybe you should rethink the shit that comes out of your mouth.”
Other Bill Maher videos
Maher ended by explaining just how easy it would be for a teenager to host Limbaugh’s Sean Hannity‘s shows: “Step one, be a giant dick. Step two, there is no step two.”

Remember the Republican debates we had this year? They applauded for the idea of letting a sick man without insurance die. Herman Cain got cheers for saying he’d electrify the border fence. They booed a gay man serving his country in the military. No wonder 14-year-old boys can do your act, you act exactly like 14-year-old boys. There’s no ideology here. It’s just about being a dick.”

You can click here to watch the video

Via Miss R•EVOLutionaries / FB:

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Via AMERICAblog Gay: Why only stupid people like far-right Republicans

Why only stupid people like far-right Republicans

AMERICAblog reader BeccaM weighs in on my earlier post about Rick Santorum bemoaning that smart people will never support the religious right or politicians like him.Let's take this the next layer down: These are precisely the reasons they -- the wingnut religious right extremists --

Via JMG: The Atlantic Maps The Protests

The Atlantic is tracking the anti-USA protests exploding across many nations today. The map is being updated as reports come in.

Reposted from Joe

Via I love it when I wake up in the morning and Barack Obama is President / FB:

Via So You Think I'm a Lefty Liberal Looney? / FB:

Via Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau

Via Climate Progress: A Republican’s Case For Supporting Renewable Energy

Posted: 16 Sep 2012 05:58 AM PDT

As an organization concerned deeply about climate change, we often heavily criticize the “all of the above” approach to energy development. If we’re truly going to address the problem and lower greenhouse gas emissions, a primary focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and conservation need to be our number one priority. Digging a deeper carbon hole isn’t an option.

However, we’re also dealing with a very contentious political landscape in which renewable energy has become a political target — something that has been marginalized and detested by Republican politicians and interest groups, even while widely supported by the American people. So today, when a conservative comes out in strong defense of renewable energy, it’s worth highlighting their comments. In the case of the letter below, sent to Republicans in Michigan, we certainly don’t agree with the “drill here, drill now” premise; however, this letter also shows that there are still Republicans who believe strongly in aggressively promoting renewables. We believe they deserve to be recognized because, sadly, their voices are often drowned out by groups that have hijacked the energy conversation.

TO: Michigan Republicans/Conservative Activists and other Interested Parties
FROM: Saul Anuzis, Republican National Committeeman-­-Michigan
RE: A Conservative’s Case For “All of the Above”
DATE: August 17, 2012

Republicans and Conservatives ARE “green” and we ARE committed to preserving the health, economic, and spiritual benefits of our natural world for our children, grandchildren and future generations to come.

In the spirit of Teddy Roosevelt, most conservatives and Republicans are “conservationists” vs. “environmentalists.” We believe in preserving our natural resources for the responsible use of all citizens. As Barry Goldwater said, “While I am a great believer in the free enterprise system and all that it entails, I am an even stronger believer in the right our people to live in a clean and pollution-­- free environment” (The Conscience of a Majority (1970).

I’m all for “drill here and drill now,” and nuclear, coal, natural gas, wind, sun and biofuels as well. I firmly believe we must be supporters of an “all the above” policy.

The United States is rich in its natural resources and can be much more energy independent than we are now. Too much of our foreign policy and military excursions are based on U.S. energy interests and our dependence on foreign energy sources.

In fact, to support and sustain our troops and bases at home and overseas, the U.S. Military is the largest American energy customer – meaning they too have a vested interest in the toll this dependence causes. Just in Iraq/Afghanistan, 10% of all casualties came while protecting fuel lines – all because of a misguided public policy that we have the power to influence and control.
The energy market, particularly here in Michigan is NOT a market-­based system. We have a government-­-created monopoly that actually limits competition by law. Republicans and conservatives have an obligation to promote public policy reflecting that economic reality, and one that insures Michigan has viable options, reserves and resources to use.

DTE and Consumers Energy are government granted monopolies with unprecedented political clout, PACs and influence. As an example, they were able to get the legislature to pass a bill “limiting” competition to ONLY 10% of the market … by law. This is NOT a free market or even any semblance of a market economy for energy. On average, the federal government provides the fossil fuel energy industry more than $12 billion in annual subsidies. Many have referred to this as “crony capitalism” at its best. It’s no surprise therefore, that Consumers Energy and DTE Energy are opposing the “25 in 25” ballot proposal in order to protect their market position – the status quo. Each gave more than $2.9 million, either directly or through a parent company or subsidiary, to the committee opposing the initiative.

DTE also made nearly $200,000 in in-­-kind contributions and Consumers gave $81,000 in in-­-kind contributions. Not to mention their considerable “investment” in political contributions and civic involvement that they’ve parlayed into political power and influence.

In fact, DTE and Consumers both used shareholder dollars, with government guaranteed rates of returns/profits to fund the campaign. See the article attached.

In the Heritage Foundation’s adaptation of their First Principles Essays, they summarized Friedrich Hayek’s insights in the Road to Serfdom that “made it clear he was not advocating a system of pure laissez-­-faire, but one with a general system of rules that would enable individuals to carry out their own plans. Hayek’s contribution was to stress the importance of institutions – a market system, in a democratic policy, with a system of well-­-defined, enforced, and exchangeable property rights, protected by a strong constitution, and operation under the rule of law, in which laws are stable, predictable, and equally applied.”

While many government and regulatory enforcement schemes have threatened marketplace competition in the past, it’s worth remembering that antitrust laws were developed by Republicans—and refined under the Rehnquist Court—to protect free enterprise. The telecommunications revolution began when Ronald Reagan enforced antitrust law and took the final step in dismantling AT&T’s government-­-sanctioned monopoly—and deregulating the industry. Unfortunately, once again being challenged by crony capitalism.

As someone who started a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier in Michigan, I have first-­-hand knowledge how important a limited and targeted regulatory structure can be. There is precedence for the conservative application of regulatory and statutory guidelines for companies that have benefited from growing too close to government protectors.

Another frustration so many of us share is that so much of our foreign policy is based on our dependence on foreign sources of energy.

Today, the United Sates has the potential to be totally independent of foreign oil and foreign sources of energy within some 25 years. That also means we could then base our foreign policy and more importantly, our commitment of our military men and women in harm’s way based on something else than a gallon of gas.

On a recent trip to Michigan, retired Marine Corps General Richard Zilmer said “Here at home, our oil dependence makes all Americans less secure. Our over-­-reliance on oil ties our hands economically. We send a billion dollars a day to other countries for oil, and some of that money ends up in the pockets of unfriendly regimes, and even finances terrorism.”

Adopting an “all the above” energy policy that encourages not only a “green” approach to consumption and production, but effectively and prudently uses every energy source available, enhances our peaceful existence in this world. With the resources available in North America, we have the ability to be self-­-sufficient in terms of energy for some 700 to 1,000 years by using nuclear, coal, wind, sun, natural gas and various bio-­-fuels. This is also allows us to continue to innovate, create and discover new sources of energy to power our needs for generations to come.

This November there is a ballot proposal to add a requirement in our constitution that would require that the government-­-sanctioned monopolies increase their renewable energy proposal to 25% of their production by 2025. Although I prefer this kind of proposal be done through the legislative or regulatory process, given the political realities of the political strength and power of these government granted monopolies, this is the only viable proposal on the table.

Renewable, Michigan-­-made energy is vital to rebuilding our state’s manufacturing sector. Credible research shows that increasing our Renewable Energy Standard to 25% by 2025, as proposed in the Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs proposal, is estimated to create 94,000 local jobs and generate billions of dollars in new investments, opening the door for new opportunities for Michigan businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs.

One thing we have learned is that businesses look for certainty. A positive aspect of a constitutional amendment would be to immunize the renewable energy standard from the manipulation of power politics. Businesses will welcome the fact they know that the regulatory scheme put in place is set in stone and going forward, and they can plan and invest accordingly.

Growing Michigan’s renewable energy will help us compete for jobs and opportunities with other states that are already significantly ahead. Midwest states with standards higher than Michigan’s are reaping large economic benefits making parts for wind turbines and solar panels – work that could be taking place right here in communities across the state. There are 8,000 parts in a wind turbine – and every one of them can be made in Michigan.

I am proud of the fact that many of the states that are at the forefront of responsible renewable energy standards are led by Republican Governors and legislators – states like Iowa, New Jersey, Ohio and Illinois. Michigan is uniquely positioned with our industrial base and growing energy sector to be a national leader in manufacturing of renewable energy equipment and systems.

Having a diversified energy policy in Michigan and throughout our country insures we can move closer and closer to being energy independent. It creates jobs right here in Michigan. I long for the day we shed our last drop of American blood of our sons and daughters for oil.

“What is a conservative after all but one who conserves, one who is committed to protecting and holding close the things by which we live… And we want to protect and conserve the land on which we live — our countryside, our rivers and mountains, our plains and meadows and forests. This is our patrimony. This is what we leave to our children. And our great moral responsibility is to leave it to them either as we found it or better than we found it.”

This letter was originally published at Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs and was reprinted with permission.

Via Climate Progress: Warmer Temperatures Make New USDA Plant Zone Map Obsolete

Posted: 16 Sep 2012 09:00 AM PDT
New Approach to Mapping Plant Hardiness Zones Accounts for Effects of Climate Change

City College of New York news release
A map of warming across the nation showing how much USDA plant hardiness zones will warm, in degrees Farhenheit. (Credit: Nir Krakauer)
Gardeners and landscapers may want to rethink their fall tree plantings. Warming temperatures have already made the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new cold-weather planting guidelines obsolete, according to Dr. Nir Krakauer, assistant professor of civil engineering in The City College of New York’s Grove School of Engineering.Professor Krakauer developed a new method to map cold-weather zones in the United States that takes rapidly rising temperatures into account. Analyzing recent weather data, he overhauled the Department of Agriculture’s latest plant zone map released in January.  
The new USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, which predicts which trees and perennials can survive the winter in a given region, was a long time coming. Temperature boundaries shown in the latest version have shifted northward since the last one appeared in 1990. But the true zones have moved even further, according to Professor Krakauer’s calculations.

Over one-third of the country has already shifted half-zones compared to the current release, and over one-fifth has shifted full zones,” Professor Krakauer wrote this summer in the journal “Advances in Meteorology.”

This means that fig trees, once challenged by frosty temperatures above North Carolina, are already weathering New York City winters thanks to changing temperatures and the insulating effect of the metropolis. Camellias, once happiest south of Ohio, may now be able to shrug off Detroit winters.
The USDA divides the country into zones based on their annual minimum temperatures – frigid dips that determine which plants perish overnight or live to flower another day. (Each zone has a minimum temperature range of 10 degrees Fahrenheit; half zones have a 5-degree range.)
Professor Krakauer found a weakness in how the agency came up with the zones, however. The USDA averaged annual minimum temperatures over a 30-year span, from 1976 to 2005, but winters have warmed significantly over that period. Zones now average about 2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the USDA’s 30-year average.

“What is happening is that the winter is warming faster than the summer. Since [my] hardiness temperatures are based on minimum temperatures each year, they are changing faster than the average temperatures,” Professor Krakauer said. He found that these lowest yearly temperatures warmed roughly two and a half times faster than the average temperatures.

His analysis also showed that the country is changing unevenly; more warming is occurring over the eastern interior and less in the Southwest.

Professor Krakauer’s technique will allow gardeners and farmers to reassess more frequently what will survive the next year’s winter. “The idea is that you could use this method to keep updating the zone map year by year instead of waiting for the official map – just keep adding new data and recalculate.”

He noted that similar analyses could distinguish long-lasting climate trends – in wind or rainfall, for example – from year-to-year weather variations to distinguish between what some are calling the recent “weird weather” and the natural variations in global weather.

Reference: Nir Y. Krakauer. Estimating Climate Trends: Application to United States Plant Hardiness Zones. Advances in Meteorology, Vol. 2012 (2012), Article ID 404876, doi:10.1155/2012/404876

Via JMG: Dr. Pepper Vs Creationists

Creationists are calling for a boycott of Dr. Pepper after the above image appeared on the brand's Facebook page on Thursday. Quite the hilarious flame war has ensued in the post's comments.

Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: CALIFORNIA: Feds Question Anti-Islamic Filmmaker Over Parole Violations

Shortly after midnight yesterday federal authorities questioned anti-Islamic filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula over parole violations he allegedly committed to promote his movie. Nakoula had been imprisoned for bank fraud and his parole stipulates that he may not use computers or the internet. Such stipulations are commonplace for those committed of financial crimes.
Nakoula, 55, was interviewed by federal probation officers for about half an hour at the station shortly after 12 a.m. in his hometown of Cerritos, Calif., said Steve Whitmore, spokesman for the Los Angeles County sheriff's department. After that, deputies dropped Nakoula off at an undisclosed location. "He is gone. We don't know where he went," Whitmore said. "He said he is not going back to his home." Federal officials are investigating whether Nakoula, who has been convicted of financial crimes, has violated the terms of his five-year probation. If so, a judge could send him back to prison. Nakoula went voluntarily to the station, wearing a coat, hat, scarf and glasses that concealed his appearance. His home has been besieged by media for several days. Whitmore said Nakoula was not handcuffed and the heavy apparel was his idea.
In reaction to Nakoula's questioning the wingnut blogosphere has exploded with claims that President Obama personally ordered him arrested. Because the Muslim Brotherhood demanded it. Breitbart says so.
This is happening in America. While terrorists brutally rape and murder our Libyan ambassador and attack and burn our foreign outposts -- all thanks to a president who disengaged from the region and embraced the Muslim Brotherhood -- here in the United States of America, a filmmaker is being scapegoated and persecuted by our government and our media. What this is about is a president who swore to uphold the Constitution who is now caving to Islamic Law through the de facto criminalization of denigrating Islam. And he's doing it in order to give the media something shiny to play with so they’re not forced to turn their attention (until after the election) towards a failed doctrine and fatal failure to take al-Qaeda seriously.
Multiple Tea Party sites are calling for Obama to resign over Nakoula's questioning. Instapundit is leading the charge.
By sending — literally — brownshirted enforcers to engage in — literally — a midnight knock at the door of a man for the non-crime of embarrassing the President of the United States and his administration, President Obama violated that oath. You can try to pretty this up (It’s just about possible probation violations! Sure.), or make excuses or draw distinctions, but that’s what’s happened. It is a betrayal of his duties as President, and a disgrace.
Piling on the cray-cray, as always, is Twitchy, Gay Patriot, and Ace Of Spades.

Reposted from Joe

Via The Other 98% / FB:

Via The Pragmatic Progressive Page / FB:

Via FB:

Via Coffee Prophet / FB:

“Don't spend your precious time asking "Why isn't the world a better place?" It will only be time wasted. The question to ask is "How can I make it better?" To that there is an answer.” - Leo Buscaglia

We have the power to change our world and make it better. That is where our focus needs to be, less on the problem and more on solving the problem.
Copyright 2011 by Daniel C. Orey All rights reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.