Saturday, January 26, 2013

Via Global Awakening / FB:


Via Anti-Republican Crusaders / FB:

“Let me ask you: if a guy on your block was so frightened of mostly nonexistent prowlers that he spent all his resources on alarm systems and guns and cameras, so much so that he didn’t even have enough money left to maintain his home or send his kids to college, would you call him brave?” - Bill Maher
 








  Make the jump here and read the full article



Via J. Becker: College Degree, No Class Time Required

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From The Wall Street Journal, Thursday, January 24, 2013. See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323301104578255992379228564.html?mod=googlenews_wsj#printMode
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College Degree, No Class Time Required

University of Wisconsin to Offer a Bachelor's to Students Who Take Online Competency Tests About What They Know

By Caroline Porter

David Lando plans to join a Wisconsin program that could award him a bachelor's degree after he takes online tests to establish his knowledge.

Instead, he will sit through hours of testing at his home computer in Milwaukee under a new program that promises to award a bachelor's degree based on knowledge-not just class time or credits.

"I have all kinds of credits all over God's green earth, but I'm using this to finish it all off," said the 41-year-old computer consultant, who has an associate degree in information technology but never finished his bachelor's in psychology.

Colleges and universities are rushing to offer free online classes known as "massive open online courses," or MOOCs. But so far, no one has figured out a way to stitch these classes together into a bachelor's degree.

Now, educators in Wisconsin are offering a possible solution by decoupling the learning part of education from student assessment and degree-granting.

Wisconsin officials tout the UW Flexible Option as the first to offer multiple, competency-based bachelor's degrees from a public university system. Officials encourage students to complete their education independently through online courses, which have grown in popularity through efforts by companies such as Coursera, edX and Udacity.

No classroom time is required under the Wisconsin program except for clinical or practicum work for certain degrees.

Elsewhere, some schools offer competency-based credits or associate degrees in areas such as nursing and business, while Northern Arizona University plans a similar program that would offer bachelor's degrees for a flat fee, said spokesman Eric Dieterle. But no other state system is offering competency-based bachelor's degrees on a systemwide basis.

Wisconsin's Flexible Option program is "quite visionary," said Molly Corbett Broad, president of the American Council on Education, an education policy and lobbying group that represents some 1,800 accredited colleges and universities.

In Wisconsin, officials say that about 20% of adult residents have some college credits but lack a degree. Given that a growing number of jobs require a degree, the new program appeals to potential students who lack the time or resources to go back to school full time.

"It is a big new idea in a system like ours, and it is part of the way the ground is shifting under us in higher education," said Kevin Reilly, president of the University of Wisconsin System, which runs the state's 26 public-university campuses.

Under the Flexible Option, assessment tests and related online courses are being written by faculty who normally teach the related subject-area classes, Mr. Reilly said.

Officials plan to launch the full program this fall, with bachelor's degrees in subjects including information technology and diagnostic imaging, plus master's and bachelor's degrees for registered nurses. Faculty are working on writing those tests now.

The charges for the tests and related online courses haven't been set. But university officials said the Flexible Option should be "significantly less expensive" than full-time resident tuition, which averages about $6,900 a year at Wisconsin's four-year campuses.

The Wisconsin system isn't focusing on the potential cost savings the program may offer it but instead "the university and the state are doing this to strengthen the state work force," said university spokesman David Giroux.

Siva Vaidhyanathan, a media-studies professor at the University of Virginia who has written about the future of universities, called the program a "worthy experiment" but warned that school officials "need to make sure degree plans are not watered down."

Some faculty at the school echoed the concern, since the degree will be indistinguishable from those issued by the University of Wisconsin the traditional way. "There has got to be very rigorous documentation that it lives up to the quality of that name," said Mark Cook, an animal-sciences professor and chairman of the university committee for the faculty senate at the Madison campus.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has championed the idea, in part because he left college in his senior year for a job opportunity and never finished his degree. He said he hoped to use the Flexible Degree option himself.

"I think it is one more way to get your degree. I don't see it as replacing things," Mr. Walker said.

Beth Calvert, a 35-year-old registered nurse at a Milwaukee hospital, hopes to enroll in the program to earn her bachelor's in nursing. Between working overnight shifts and caring for her 3-year-old daughter, Ms. Calvert said she has little time to move beyond her associate degree but knows that it increasingly is important to her employer, which she said offers a pay raise to nurses with higher degrees.

"The biggest thing is job opportunity," she said. "It looks better for a hospital to have nurses with bachelor's degrees. On a day-to-day basis, I feel I have the education I do need."
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PHOTO SIDEBAR:  David Lando plans to start working toward a diploma from the University of Wisconsin this fall, but he doesn't intend to set foot on campus or even take a single online course offered by the school's well-regarded faculty. Darren Hauck for The Wall Street Journal
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Write to Caroline Porter at caroline.porter@wsj.com
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A version of this article appeared January 25, 2013, on page A3 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: College Degree, No Class Time Required.
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Via Being Liberal / FB:


Via Occupy Healthcare/ FB:


Via Left Coast Lucy Left Coast Lucy / FB:


Via The Blue Street Journal / FBP:


From a FB Buddy: Eduardo Galeano

And one asks oneself: Given that these self-righteous world owners are so enamored of killing, why pray don’t they try to aim their murderous proclivities at social injustice? Is it a just a world when, every minute, three million dollars are wasted on the military, while at the same time fifteen children perish from hunger or curable disease? Against whom is the so-called international community armed to the teeth? Against poverty or against the poor?

--Eduardo Galeano
 Make the jump here to see the full quote here

Via Americans Against the Tea Party / FBP:

Please check out Stephen King's new essay: Guns.
Available here: http://www.amazon.com/Guns-Kindle-Single-ebook/dp/B00B53IW9W

posted to the Americans Against the Tea Party facebook page.


Via The Idealist / FBP: I WISH YOU ENOUGH

Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport as the daughter's departure had been announced. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said:

"I love you and I wish you enough."

The daughter replied, "Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom." They kissed and the daughter left.

The mother walked over to the window where I sat. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry.

I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking, "Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?" "Yes, I have," I replied. "Forgive me for asking but why is this a forever good-bye?"

"I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is the next trip back will be for my funeral," she said.

When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, "I wish you enough." May I ask what that means?"

She began to smile. "That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone." She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even more.

"When we said 'I wish you enough' we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them". Then turning toward me, she shared the following, reciting it from memory,

"I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.

I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye."

She then began to cry and walked away.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person. An hour to appreciate them. A day to love them. And an entire life to forget them.
I WISH YOU ENOUGH 

Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport as the daughter's departure had been announced. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said:

"I love you and I wish you enough."

The daughter replied, "Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom." They kissed and the daughter left.

The mother walked over to the window where I sat. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry.

I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking, "Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?" "Yes, I have," I replied. "Forgive me for asking but why is this a forever good-bye?"

"I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is the next trip back will be for my funeral," she said.

When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, "I wish you enough." May I ask what that means?" 

She began to smile. "That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone." She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even more.

"When we said 'I wish you enough' we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them". Then turning toward me, she shared the following, reciting it from memory,

"I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.

I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye."

She then began to cry and walked away.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person. An hour to appreciate them. A day to love them. And an entire life to forget them.

Please Share this with your friends.

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Cable knit sweater chair cover, anyone?!

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(M) How much longer are we going to allow this to continue? Image from We're getting robbed.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Via JMG: ADL: Gun Control ≠ Hitler

ADL: Gun Control ≠ Hitler


"We know that the national debate over gun control is one of the most divisive issues in the land, and while Americans are entitled to have strong opinions, there is also language that is inappropriate and offensive in any such discussion. The idea that supporters of gun control are doing something akin to what Hitler’s Germany did to strip citizens of guns in the run-up to the Second World War is historically inaccurate and offensive, especially to Holocaust survivors and their families." - Anti-Defamation League president Abraham Foxman, responding to right-wing claims such as those made by closeted homosexual Matt Drudge, who recently posted photos of Hitler and Stalin to illustrate a story about President Obama's executive orders on gun control.


Reposted from Joe

Via Time Travel is 100% Real / FB:


Via Anti-Republican Crusaders / FB:


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Via Americans Against The Republican Party / FB:

Remember when Republicans were outraged when US diplomats were targeted when a Republican was President? Yeah, they weren't. Image from Mother Jones.








 


Posted on Americans Against The Republican Party

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


Via JMG: BRITAIN: Mussolini's Millions Fund Secret Vatican Real Estate Empire


 
Here's a fascinating expose by the Guardian:
Few passing London tourists would ever guess that the premises of Bulgari, the upmarket jewellers in New Bond Street, had anything to do with the pope. Nor indeed the nearby headquarters of the wealthy investment bank Altium Capital, on the corner of St James's Square and Pall Mall. But these office blocks in one of London's most expensive districts are part of a surprising secret commercial property empire owned by the Vatican.
Behind a disguised offshore company structure, the church's international portfolio has been built up over the years, using cash originally handed over by Mussolini in return for papal recognition of the Italian fascist regime in 1929. Since then the international value of Mussolini's nest-egg has mounted until it now exceeds £500m. In 2006, at the height of the recent property bubble, the Vatican spent £15m of those funds to buy 30 St James's Square. Other UK properties are at 168 New Bond Street and in the city of Coventry. It also owns blocks of flats in Paris and Switzerland.
The surprising aspect for some will be the lengths to which the Vatican has gone to preserve secrecy about the Mussolini millions. The St James's Square office block was bought by a company called British Grolux Investments Ltd, which also holds the other UK properties. Published registers at Companies House do not disclose the company's true ownership, nor make any mention of the Vatican.
The Vatican has refused to comment on the story. Shocking! (Tipped by JMG reader Danny)


Reposted from Joe

Sue Austin: Deep sea diving ... in a wheelchair


Via Climate Progress: Fewer Swords, More Plowshares: A Marine Rethinks National Security And The Threat From Unsustainability

Posted: 24 Jan 2013 07:10 AM PST
Retired Marine Colonel Mark "Puck" Mykleby

With a new foreign policy team about to join the Obama Administration, and with the possibility of budget cuts for the Department of Defense, are changes ahead in how the United States approaches national security? That question is on the minds of thought leaders in the security and defense communities. In the discussion, a novel idea is emerging: that sustainable development at home is a critical dimension of America’s foreign policy and national security strategy. (For examples, see here and here.)


One of the thought leaders is Colonel Mark “Puck” Mykleby. Before retiring from the Marine Corps in 2011, he served as a special strategic assistant to the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen. While in that post, Mykleby and his colleague, Navy Captain Wayne Porter, proposed a new vision for a 21st Century American grand strategy in a paper entitled “A National Strategic Narrative.” They suggested that the U.S. needs to build security through sustainable development at home, creating the credibility and influence to lead the world to a more lasting peace and prosperity. That path, they suggested, is less expensive and more effective than investing solely in the traditional tools of foreign policy, which have been mostly dominated by military power.

I asked Col. Mykleby about these and other issues facing President Obama in his second term. The resulting interview is long but well worth reading. It offers a fresh approach to national security from someone who has served at the highest levels of the U.S. military. I’ll post it in two parts. — Bill Becker

Q: As Congress and the President hammer out an agreement to cut federal spending, what are your concerns about the impact on our military effectiveness and national security? Can we save money without sacrificing security?

A: To be honest, I’m not too concerned about our long-term military effectiveness. We have the finest, most professional, best-equipped, and most lethal military force the world has ever seen. I don’t think that is going to change anytime soon, with or without budget cuts. I say this simply because I believe the quality of our military is mostly tied to the quality of our people (and the quality of their training). I’m not saying budget cuts won’t be painful, but we need to have some historical perspective on this. Our national defense budget historically has been cyclical; it looks like a sine wave. We’ve survived budget cuts before; we’ll survive them again. During my career in the Marine Corps, we never seemed to have enough “stuff.” That’s why I always found it useful to remember the words of former Marine Corps Commandant General Al Gray, “Fight with what you’ve got; make what you need.”

In the face of potential budget cuts, however, I am concerned about how effective our nation will be if we don’t start getting smarter about how we pursue our national interests, including how, when, and where our military is or is not employed. In the foreign policy context, this is a political issue that needs to be first and foremost in the minds of our civilian leadership. If you want to reduce the military budget, fine. But you can no longer look to the military to serve as the convenient near-term solution to all the vexing, unforeseen problems that we are currently facing, and will continue to face.

Doing more with less has its limits and it’s not fair to keep demanding more and more out of our men and women in uniform (as well as our diplomats and intelligence professionals, for that matter), particularly if you cut their resources. We need to strike the right balance across all our national resources and tools (public, private, and civil). This means we need to actually start thinking strategically, systemically, and, most importantly, wisely about how to best pursue our enduring interests of prosperity and security within our existing resource constraints. As Cicero points out in his On Duties, “Arms are of little value in the field unless there is wise counsel at home.” Given our current national condition, we need to start leveraging some wisdom at home if we’re going to make it in the 21st Century.

To do this, we need to get our brains around the fact that national security in the 21st Century does not just mean defense.


Defense is part of our security, but only a part. The big national security challenges we face today are not all about the things that start at our shores and extend outward and they certainly are not exclusively about nefarious geopolitical actors that we can point to on a map. National security today has more to do with the integrated systems, both within our nation and around the world, that constitute our society today (food, water, climate, the natural and built environments, transportation, energy, public health, education, etc.). We can no longer afford to expend our national prosperity in pursuit of an illusory promise of security that is mostly defined in terms of defense that echo from our 20th Century past. We need to put more emphasis on the realities of our 21st Century future.

This may be a pipe dream, but the silver lining could be this: Perhaps budget cuts will give us reason to look at ourselves honestly and with a sense of purpose and initiate institutional changes across all organs of government in terms of roles and missions; organizational relationships and authorities; and our overall procurement and R&D processes. It’s probably time to dust off both the National Security Act of 1947 (NSA-47) and Goldwater-Nichols, frameworks we use today but that were developed within the context of the Cold War, and design a new construct for the 21st Century environment.

Such a design needs to better integrate not only the functions of defense with those of diplomacy and development in a more purposeful manner, but also the domestic functions of education, research, energy, agriculture, infrastructure, transportation, industry, public health, etc. The world is far too complex and interconnected to limit our global engagement to the convenient bins and paradigmatic constructs that worked during the Cold War. This is probably a bit cliché to say these days, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

As to your question about saving money without sacrificing security, I’ll take it one step further. I think we can be both prosperous and secure…in fact, I don’t think you can have one without the other. Simply put, prosperity and security are inextricably linked together (at least if you want them to be enduring).

This was one of the basic points Wayne Porter and I were making in the National Strategic Narrative. And I’d like to point out this isn’t new stuff. If you’ll recall, recognizing and fostering the linkage between prosperity and security was the very same argument that was repeatedly made, and never abandoned, by the likes of General George Marshall, President Eisenhower, and George Kennan – some of the best strategic minds our nation has ever produced.

Today, given the fact that the United States constitutes roughly a quarter of the global economy, we still have the weight to alter large-scale market forces and shift the direction of the global economy in a more sustainable direction. There is huge economic opportunity emerging in the world if we just consider we have to fold approximately 3 billion people into the global middle class by mid-century (and along with their arrival comes a 300% increase in consumption rates). If we crack the nut right here at home on how to live healthy, productive lives in the presence of resource constraints, we can show the world a different path of sustainable development and profit from the resultant market recalibration. Not only will we create long-term security for ourselves and the global community, we will also ensure a bright and prosperous future for our kids and grandkids. I’d say that’s something worthy of our collective efforts as a nation and as individual citizens. It also makes great economic, and security, sense.

Q: The paper you and Capt. Porter wrote caused quite a splash in security circles. You called for a new “national strategic narrative” that moves from us from “containment” to “sustainment”. What did you mean by that? What are some examples of how “sustainment” would be applied?

A: Actually, what we were saying is we need to move from “containment” to “sustainability.” Our basic premise was that containment was a strategy of control that leveraged force and power to pursue our enduring interests. In the post-World War Two environment, we could treat the world as if it was a closed system; a system where we could manipulate certain variables to achieve deterministic results. Particularly in the context of the Cold War, this made sense…and fortunately it worked.

Unfortunately, the logic and instruments of containment are no longer valid in today’s more interconnected, interdependent world. Our sense is we need to approach the world more as an open system; as an ecology. We need to alter our approach because trying to apply the closed system, control logic of containment to today’s open system environment has done two things.

First, the Second Law of Thermodynamics (entropy) has kicked in at scale. The rate of change is exceeding our national capacity to leverage control and we have begun to fold in on ourselves in confusion and frustration as we try to impose a 20th Century logic on our 21st Century reality.

Second, this confusion and frustration has led us to a place where we seem more concerned with preserving the status quo both at home and abroad rather than adapting and thriving as the dynamics of the global “strategic ecology” shift and alter. And in any ecology, organisms that seek to preserve the status quo tend to become monocultures and monocultures invariably wither and die. Not exactly what we seek to accomplish.

It’s in this context that we applied the ecological concept of sustainability to grand strategy simply because the concept clearly maps to our enduring interests of prosperity and security (and is in keeping with our national values). Somewhere along the way, we came upon the following definition of sustainability: Sustainability is an organism’s ability to remain diverse and productive over time.

Diversity means we need depth, redundancy, elasticity, and resilience in the systems that make up our society. In my Marine mind that means we need to have the capacity to take a gut punch and come back swinging, whether that punch comes from a physical attack, weather events spawned by climate change, a financial disaster, etc. This is what constitutes security in the 21st Century.

We also need to be productive, but we can no longer afford to define productivity in strictly quantitative terms. We simply don’t have enough resources to continue with our current industrial age mindset. We have to think of productivity in qualitative terms if we are going ensure the long-term vibrancy, health, and prosperity of future generations. The issue of quantity versus quality isn’t a philosophical argument; it’s an issue of math and science. It’s really that simple.

There’s one last thing I’d like to say about sustainability as a grand strategic concept. Sustainability fits nicely into a uniquely American style of grand strategy. When America has done grand strategy well, it has used its economy to do the strategic heavy lifting while aligning its governing institutions and foreign policy to take on the great global challenge of the era. In World War Two, we were the Arsenal of Democracy, arming and equipping our allies while at the same time building our own forces to take on the scourge of global fascism. In the Cold War, we took on global communism by effectively rebuilding the economies of Western Europe and Japan while reorganizing ourselves and our alliances to contain and outlast the Soviets.

Today, the great global challenge of our era is global “unsustainability.” If we can first get our own house in order and set our nation on a more sustainable path, our example (and our strength) will give us the credibility and influence we need to lead the rest of the world in a more positive direction. This is what Wayne and I meant in the Narrative when we said we need to practice smart growth at home so we can lead with smart power abroad.

Figuring out how to actually do this is what I am now focused on, along with Patrick Doherty, at the New America Foundation. If you want to see how we think sustainability can be implemented as a grand strategic concept, I encourage you to read a piece Patrick wrote that was published by Foreign Policy: “A New U.S. Grand Strategy: Why walkable communities, sustainable economics, and multilateral diplomacy are the future of American power.” Patrick’s paper lays out in clear, functional terms how we can leverage large pent up pools of demand for walkable communities, regenerative agriculture, and a revolution in resource productivity to unlock the excess liquidity we have in our economy, get it working to fuel a new American grand strategy, and shift the direction of our nation in the 21st Century. It’s our attempt to provide the “so what” follow-on to the National Strategic Narrative.

In part two, I’ll ask Col. Mykleby whether sustainable development can really prevent future conflicts; about the Department of Defense goal to use renewable energy technologies; and whether our military forces should be involved in helping other nations engage in sustainable development.

– Bill Becker is Executive Director of the Presidential Climate Action Project (PCAP), an initiative of Natural Capitalism Solutions to help the President of the United States take decisive action on global warming and energy security.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Via Sierra Club: From Walden to the White House: Why Climate Change Demands Civil Disobedience

From Walden to the White House: Why Climate Change Demands Civil Disobedience

 
If you could do it nonstop, it would take you six days to walk from Henry David Thoreau's Walden Pond to President Barack Obama's White House. For the Sierra Club, that journey has taken much longer. For 120 years, we have remained committed to using every "lawful means" to achieve our objectives. Now, for the first time in our history, we are prepared to go further.

Next month, the Sierra Club will officially participate in an act of peaceful civil resistance. We'll be following in the hallowed footsteps of Thoreau, who first articulated the principles of civil disobedience 44 years before John Muir founded the Sierra Club.

Some of you might wonder what took us so long. Others might wonder whether John Muir is sitting up in his grave. In fact, John Muir had both a deep appreciation for Thoreau and a powerful sense of right and wrong. And it's the issue of right versus wrong that has brought the Sierra Club to this unprecedented decision.

For civil disobedience to be justified, something must be so wrong that it compels the strongest defensible protest. Such a protest, if rendered thoughtfully and peacefully, is in fact a profound act of patriotism. For Thoreau, the wrongs were slavery and the invasion of Mexico. For Martin Luther King, Jr., it was the brutal, institutionalized racism of the Jim Crow South. For us, it is the possibility that the United States might surrender any hope of stabilizing our planet's climate.

As President Obama eloquently said during his inaugural address, "You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time, not only with the votes we cast, but the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideas."

As citizens, for us to give up on stopping runaway global temperatures would be all the more tragic if it happened at the very moment when we are seeing both tremendous growth in clean energy and firsthand evidence of what extreme weather can do. Last year, record heat and drought across the nation wiped out half of our corn crop and 60 percent of our pasturelands. Wildfires in Colorado, Texas, and elsewhere burned nearly nine million acres. And superstorm Sandy brought devastation beyond anyone's imagining to the Eastern Seaboard.

We are watching a global crisis unfold before our eyes, and to stand aside and let it happen -- even though we know how to stop it -- would be unconscionable. As the president said on Monday, "to do so would betray our children and future generations."  It couldn't be simpler: Either we leave at least two-thirds of the known fossil fuel reserves in the ground, or we destroy our planet as we know it. That's our choice, if you can call it that.

The Sierra Club has refused to stand by. We've worked hard and brought all of our traditional tactics of lobbying, electoral work, litigation, grassroots organizing, and public education to bear on this crisis. And we have had great success -- stopping more than 170 coal plants from being built, securing the retirement of another 129 existing plants, and helping grow a clean energy economy. But time is running out, and there is so much more to do. The stakes are enormous. At this point, we can't afford to lose a single major battle. That's why the Sierra Club's Board of Directors has for the first time endorsed an act of peaceful civil disobedience.

In doing so, we're issuing a challenge to President Obama, who spoke stirringly in his inaugural address about how America must lead the world on the transition to clean energy. Welcome as those words were, we need the president to match them with strong action and use the first 100 days of his second term to begin building a bold and lasting legacy of clean energy and climate stability.

That means rejecting the dangerous tar sands pipeline that would transport some of the dirtiest oil on the planet, and other reckless fossil fuel projects from Northwest coal exports to Arctic drilling. It means following through on his pledge to double down again on clean energy, and cut carbon pollution from smokestacks across the country. And, perhaps most of all, it means standing up to the fossil fuel corporations that would drive us over the climate cliff without so much as a backward glance.

One of my favorite quotes is from Martin Luther King, Jr., although it has its roots in the writings of Theodore Parker (an acquaintance of Henry David Thoreau): "The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice." I believe that, given sufficient time, our government would certainly follow the moral arc that leads to decisive action on this crisis. We have a democracy, and the tide of public opinion has shifted decisively. What's more, I doubt that even the most ardent climate denier actually wants to destroy our world.

We have a clear understanding of the crisis. We have solutions. What we don't have is time. We cannot afford to wait, and neither can President Obama.
Michael Brune
Michael Brune is the executive director of The Sierra Club. His book Coming Clean: Breaking America's Addiction to Oil and Coal was published by Sierra Club Books in September 2008.




Make the jump here to read the full article

Via Cultura Inquieta / FB:

Attitude, you have it or you don't. Musicians and photographer unknown

Actitud, la tienes o no la tienes. Músicos y fotógrafo desconocidos



www.culturainquieta.com

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Via Liberals ROCK / FB:

Conservative MSNBC host Joe Scarborough on Sunday warned Republicans that fringe elements were causing the party to shrink and it was "just gerrymandering" that allowed the GOP to keep control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2012 elections.

A Republican State Leadership Committee report released earlier this month acknowledged that a "Strategy of Targeting State Legislative Races in 2010 Led to a Republican U.S. House Majority in 2013."

On Sunday, Scarborough pointed to this as evidence that the Republican Party needed to become more inclusive.

"William F. Buckley in the 1960s at some point had to start defining the boundaries of conservatism," Scarborough explained to NBC's David Gregory. "He went after the John Birch Society, Ayn Rand, George Wallace. That has to happen again with this party because it’s getting smaller and smaller."

"In this debate, we actually have conservative thinkers, talking about Ronald Reagan being a RINO -- a Republican in name only -- because he supported an assault weapons ban. They keep pushing themselves closer and closer to the cliff."

"But I just have to say one other really important point, because I made a mistake over the past month talking about how Republicans have also won a majority in the House," he continued. "We actually got a minority of votes nationwide in House races."

"It was just gerrymandering from 2010 that gave us the majority."

A post-election analysis by Think Progress' Ian Millhiser determined that House Democrats actually received almost 1.4 million more votes than House Republicans in 2012, but thanks to partisan gerrymandering, Democrats would have needed to win by 7.25 percentage points to take back control of Congress.

http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/david/scarborough-republicans-winning-house-majori
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Via Anti-Republican Crusaders / FB:


MoveOn.org is one of the longest standing, most influential of the progressive groups. They shared one of our memes today and we're bursting with pride!

Join us in supporting MoveOn and the amazing work they do. 




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NBC station WRC, Pat Collins Wears Grape Costume to Interview Student


The Hollis Boys, 6 and 7, "Speaking up for our sisters" with Down Syndrome


Monday, January 21, 2013

Via Scott Trees Photography: A Lot of Horses

Via O Bosque de Berkana / FB:


Via Climate Progress: Obama Goes Hawkish: Failure To Respond To Threat Of Climate Change, ‘Would Betray Our Children And Future Generations’

Posted: 21 Jan 2013 09:22 AM PST

Obama went all climate hawk on America in his second inaugural address (full text here). These are, I believe, his longest and strongest remarks on the subject in any major national speech, let alone one of this import:
We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity.  We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.  Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.
The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult.  But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it.  We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise.  That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaksThat is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God.  That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.
We will soon see if these words have any meaning whatsoever — since approving the Keystone XL pipeline would utterly vitiate them.

Via Addicting Info: Far Right Poses As Much Danger To The U.S. As Radical Islam

Timothy McVeigh; most notorious of far right terrorists @  CNN.com
Timothy McVeigh; most notorious of far right terrorists @ CNN.com

The West Point think tank known as the Combating Terrorism Center has issued a paper on the dangers posed by the far right in this country, specifically people who espouse “civil activism, individual freedoms and self-government,” and says that these people tend to be anti-federalist, white supremacist, and fundamentalist in their views.

According to the paper, liberalism, including that which is seen in other developed nations, looks forward to the future, while conservative movements, especially those here, look backward and cling to an idealized version of history. They also hold a belief that the government is inherently tyrannical and given to intruding on civil and constitutional rights as much as they can. According to the paper, these people initiated 350 attacks in 2011.

Make the jump here to read the full article

Via The Peoples Boycott / FB:


Via Rede Esgoto de televisão / FB:


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Forward: An Anthem for Obama's Second Term (Official Video)


Via George Takei / FB:




"My own family had to start from nothing after we returned from the internment camps. But we had our own sense of worth, and from that we were able to begin again. Time is the best thing a family can share together. I hope you spend time with yours today." - George Takei

Via Go Comic.org: Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau


Via Americans Against the Tea Party / FB:


Via Being Liberal / FB:


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