Glenn Beck is a Neocon

>> Friday, September 18, 2009

Yeah, I wasn't surprised either.


The Cover-Your-Ass policy

>> Thursday, September 17, 2009

There are a lot of officers who will risk their lives for their country, but damn few who will risk their careers. This isn’t little stuff to me. It’s not like you lied about your expense account. This kind of deceit is endemic in the military and goes to the highest levels of government.
Jon Krakauer in the New York Times


Mr. Rogers on letting fields lie fallow

>> Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I wrote in a song that in the long, long trip of growing, there are stops along the way. It's important to know when we need to stop, reflect, and receive. In our competitive world, that might be called a waste of time. I've learned that those times can be the preamble to periods of enormous growth. Recently, I declared a day to be alone with myself. I took a long drive and played a tape. When I got to the mountains, I read and prayed and listened and slept. In fact, I can't remember having a calmer sleep in a long, long time. The next day I went back to work and did more than I usually get done in three days.
—Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember, p. 129


The Atlantic 50 (top pundits)

A bit interesting looking at the list. No women in the top 10.

Highest ranked woman: Peggy Noonan at 13.

Highest ranked minority: Fareed Zakaria at 16.

Highest ranked non-US citizen: Andrew Sullivan at 9. (I've always wondered why he hasn't become a citizen yet, but then I remember that he's forbidden from becoming so since he's HIV-positive. Stupid, draconian immigration laws.)

Highest ranked person I consistently pay attention to: Rachel Maddow at 14. It's quite surprising that she ranked this high. Keith Olbermann came in at 20. She no longer has her radio show (it just replays her tv show from the previous night now), and her tv show just celebrated its first anniversary this month. Perhaps she can crack the top 10 next year so it's not just a boys' club?

I do read Paul Krugman (at Number 1!) from time to time. The same goes for Sullivan.

My other personal faves are Glenn Greenwald at 22, Josh Marshall at 29 and Bill Moyers at 32.


Snap! Take that SCOTUS!

Colbert just called you on the corporations-are-people schtick!

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - Let Freedom Ka-Ching
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Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission - Jeffrey Toobin
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You've got one last chance to make things right.


The batshit crazy 9/12 protesters

>> Tuesday, September 15, 2009

To a lot of people, it's obvious: these people are completely disconnected from reality.

Frank Schaeffer does an excellent job explaining how these nutjobs came to be. Here's a small section of a long essay well worth reading in full:

A big part of the answer to understanding the heightened climate of outright hate and fear of the "other" is the home school and Christian school movement. It is a modern incarnation of the anti-federal government ideology of earlier firebrands such as John Calhoun who was the 7th Vice President and a Southern politician in the 19th century. Calhoun embraced slavery, states' rights, limited government, and said that Americans should secede from the union if it went against their wishes. (See: "Calhoun Conservatism Raises Its Ugly Head" by Mike Lux in the Huffington Post Sept 11/09.)

In the early 1970s the evangelicals like my late father and James Dobson decided that the our society had fallen so far "away from God" and so far from "America's Christian history" that it was time to metaphorically decamp to not just another country but to another planet:. In other words virtually unnoticed by the media and mainstream political operatives, a big chunk of American society seceded from the union in all but name.

What they did is turn the white race-based in "Christian school" movement of the 1950s into a countercultural phenomena. As tens of thousands of new Christian schools opened, it was no longer just about "protecting" white kids from minorities and African-Americans. It was about protecting your children from Satan in other words the United States government's long reach through the public school system.

To protect your children from Satan -- in other words mainstream, open patriotic and pluralistic America -- you either kept them at home where mom and dad could teach the children right from wrong or send them to a cloistered private evangelical/fundamentalist school. At home or in school you used curriculum prepared by the likes of James--beat-your-child-and-dare-to-discipline-Dobson, RJ-slavery-was-a-good-thing-Rushdoony, or many and other right-wing anti-American activists. That curriculum presented "secular America" as downright evil. Hating the USA became next to godliness.
Christianism, it's the cult that keeps on giving.


The effects of industry should not be underestimated

>> Monday, September 14, 2009

I think sustainable is fine, I just think we just need to broaden the frame. For example, we try to conserve water, but...the vast majority of water used is not used for bathing and washing—it has nothing to do with low-flow toilets; it's used by industrial processes and industrial agriculture. We can use fluorescent bulbs all day long, but the majority of our electricity is used by industry. You can go down the list where we're trying to be more sustainable and [every category is] dwarfed by what our military and our industry are using. We need a fundamental rethink of how we've constructed our economies: the idea that growth is good, and the understanding of the carrying capacity of the earth for human flesh. In the absence of oil, the planet had only a billion people on it and it was groaning under that—and, at that we were killing off whales like crazy. Arguably, the planet might only be able to handle half a billion people without oil—and we've hit peak oil. We've got to figure out how to keep the other 6.5 billion from starving, and to stop producing more of them. I mean we need some fundamental rethinks here and they all tie in to how we view ourselves in relation to each other and in relation to the planet.
Thom Hartmann in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle's The Thin Green Line



Although, as I was watching this, I started thinking of one of my friends who is deaf and how much she misses music, like Christmas carols in December. Unfortunately, I think you have to be able to hear the music to enjoy this video.


Politics over health?

>> Sunday, September 13, 2009

Of course the Bush Administration chose politics. Big surprise.

Enforcement lapses were particularly bad under the administration of President George W. Bush, employees say. “For the last eight years, my hands have been tied,” said one E.P.A. official who requested anonymity for fear of retribution. “We were told to take our clean water and clean air cases, put them in a box, and lock it shut. Everyone knew polluters were getting away with murder. But these polluters are some of the biggest campaign contributors in town, so no one really cared if they were dumping poisons into streams.”

The E.P.A. administrators during the last eight years — Christine Todd Whitman, Michael O. Leavitt and Stephen L. Johnson — all declined to comment.
Don't ask me what Mike Leavitt has ever accomplished in his political career. Nothing stands out during his time as governor of Utah. His speech at 1994 Girls' State in Utah was pretty bland too.


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