That's "Campana-stan" or ''Land of Campana." It reflects the Weltanschauung of Michael E. Campana, President-for-Life of the Republic of Campanastan. Welcome to Campanastan - no passports or visas required!
Thirsty in Suburbia Gayle Leonard documents things from the world of water that make us smile: particularly funny, amusing and weird items on bottled water, water towers, water marketing, recycling, the art-water nexus and working.
WaSH Resources New publications, web sites and multi-media on water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH).
Water 50/50 From Jay Famiglietti at UC-Irvine. Fifty lectures in fifty weeks: The 2012 Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lectureship. A global lecture tour delivering the message about our changing water cycle, groundwater depletion, and the future of freshwater availability.
Water For The Ages Abby, another PNWer, writes about global water issues with passion and concern.
With one week left until tax day in the USA, here are some thoughts.
1) Mad Men's season 6 premiered last night. You can read variousexpert opinions hereandhere. Thoughts about people of color here. Not sure what I think about my once-favorite show. I do know one thing: I'm liking Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) more and more. And where is Betty (January Jones) headed?
2) I'm not the world's greatest moviegoer but I always enjoyed the late Roger Ebert's reviews and
disagreements with the late Gene Siskel, whom he delighted in criticizing and belittling. Rest in peace, Roger.
3) Sad to hear that original Mouseketeer, Annette Funicello, died today at age 70 after a quarter-century battle with multiple sclerosis. She got her start on the iconic Disney TV show, and progressed to a recording career and starring with Frankie Avalon in those 'beach blanket bingo' movies. Annette, you have no idea how many boys imagined you as the object of their affections. Wonder if Roger Ebert ever reviewed any of her movies?
4)Margaret Thatcher, the 'Iron Lady', former UK PM, died today at age 87. Fascinating
person who remade Britain. For better or worse? Don't ask me, but I suspect it was a little bit of each. Seems like many people either loved her or hated her; I'm in neither camp. Factoid: she was originally trained as a chemist.
5) Ah...morons! Power couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z (no, they are not the morons) celebrated their fifth anniversary by heading to Cuba, that evil island of '57 Chevys and the Castro brothers. BFD, right? Well, no. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart, Florida Republicans who are Cuban-Americans, have inquired about the nature of the couple's trip.
surprise me, as the two Miami Morons are still fighting the Castro brothers and supporting the USA's cockamamie embargo that has empowered the Castros and their fellow travelers. Thanks to people like the Miami Morons and their ilk, Fidel became the darling of misguided lefties all over the world. The embargo prolonged his oppressive dictatorship and brought misery to the Cuban people. And yet the Miami Cuban-Americans sent money home to Cuba, which helped prop up Castro. Way to go, guys!
"Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't." - Margaret Thatcher
I am enjoying the Republicans' efforts to portray themselves as being more inclusive. Unfortunately, it's not working too well, at least if they are seeking to recruit gays, Latinos, and women.
1) Check out this item from Politico about Dave Agema, Republican National Committeeman fron Michigan:
Dave Agema, who served as a state representative from 2007 until December posted an excerpt from an article titled "Everyone Should Know These Statistics On Homosexuals" on his Facebook page Wednesday. A group of 21 Michigan Republicans, including local precinct delegates and members of the University of Michigan College Republicans, has called it "deplorable."
But Agema told The Associated Press he maintains his belief that marriage is between a man and a woman, and said he will "absolutely not" resign. Agema said he posted the excerpt in light of the arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court this week on California's Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Among the claims in the article by Dr. Frank Joseph is that gay people "account for half the murders in large cities." The article, which cites studies from the 1980s for many of its claims, also attributes high medical insurance rates to caring for AIDS patients.
The article includes the statement that “part of the homosexual agenda is to get the public to affirm their filthy lifestyle.”
2) Then there's Rep. Don Young (R-AK), cut from the Ted Stevens mold. From NPR:
"My father had a ranch. We used to hire 50 or 60 wetbacks and — to pick tomatoes," Young said. "You know, it takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. It's all done by machine."
3) Now there is a bill being introduced by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) that would ban Federal documents from using any language other than English. You go, guys!
”I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape. I assume that’s part of the counseling that goes on.” -State Senator Chuck Winder (R-ID), March 2012
“I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created — in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you… rape victims should make the best of a bad situation.” - Rick Santorum, January 2012
This gem (read the other gaffes from Billy Packer and Bob Knight) aboutDoug Gottlieb from the folks who run the swimsuit issue:
In a cringe-worthy introduction on Thursday night, the CBS analyst dropped
an odd reference to race when he was introduced by host Greg
Gumbel. Said Gottlieb: “Cream rising to the crop. I don’t know why you guys asked me, I’m just here to bring diversity to the set here. Give the kind of white man’s perspective on things from the point guard position.” Colleagues Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith laughed awkwardly while Greg Anthony looked at Gottlieb in a similar manner that U.S. officials look at North Korea. Gottlieblater apologized for the statement, saying, “It was not a smart thing to say and I apologize.” Barkley bailed him out as well. ” I want to say something about Doug Gottlieb. He made a joke earlier tonight and people are going crazy. All those idiots on Twitter, which I would never ever do. Listen: me, Kenny and Greg Anthony and Greg Gumbel did not take that personally. So all you people at home who’ve got no life and are talking bad about Doug Gottlieb, get a life. It’s over with. It’s no big deal.”
The cover stands out for its cast of black and Hispanic caricatures with exaggerated features reminiscent of early 20th century race cartoons. Also, because there are onlypeople of color in it, grabbing greedily for cash. It’s hard to imagine how this one made it through the editorial process.
"Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome and some are delightful." - Margaret Mead
So much for sequestration; some people are more concerned with a 'fiscal sinkhole'. Like those in Florida, for instance.
But seriously - I know who can save us - the Mighty Quinn! I first met him in the late 1960s and knew him as someone who could always get the tough jobs done.
If you think I've taken leave of my senses, just read this tale of his exploits. Like the song says, just tell me where to put him and I'll tell you who to call.
Come all without, come all within You'll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn Come all without, come all within You'll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn
Everybody's building ships and boats Some are building monuments, others are jotting down notes Everybody's in despair, every girl and boy But when Quinn the Eskimo gets here Everybody's gonna jump for joy
Come all without, come all within You'll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn Come all without, come all within You'll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn
I like to go just like the rest, I like my sugar sweet But jumping queues and makin' haste, just ain't my cup of meat Everyone's beneath the trees, feedin' pigeons on a limb But when Quinn the Eskimo gets here All the pigeons gonna run to him Come all without, come all within You'll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn Come all without, come all within You'll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn
Let me do what I wanna do, I can't decide 'em all Just tell me where to put 'em and I'll tell you who to call Nobody can get no sleep, there's someone on everyone's toes But when Quinn the Eskimo gets here Everybody's gonna wanna doze
Come all without, come all within You'll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn Come all without, come all within You'll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn --The Mighty Quinn, by Bob Dylan
“Politicians pass laws for gun-free school zones. They issue press release bragging about them. They post signs advertising them, and in doing so, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.” - Wayne LaPierre
United was certainly promoting the Boeing 787 Dreamliner as the greatest thing since the Lockheed Electra- ooops - check that - sliced bread. As I'd sit back in my economy-plus seat awaiting the safety video, Jeff 'Slick' Smisek, dapper CEO of United Airlines, would appear and start yammering about the amazing 787. He would be followed by 'regular people', a chorus line of smarmy UA employees trumpeting the features of the all-plastic...I mean carbon-fiber...airliner.
I suspect those ads have been pulled and I'm sure flyers are now checking what type of plane they will be flying before buying a ticket. After all those delays, it seems like the Dreamliner acquired a flaw that those of us with laptop computers worried about a few years ago: lithium-ion batteries and their proclivity to spontaneously combust.
No worries, right? Boeing can fix that problem, just like they did with the engines of the 747. All new planes have 'teething problems', right? Well, yeah, but not like this.
In the current (4 February) issue of The New Yorker, James Surowiecki explains it all in his article,'Requiem for a Dreamliner?'. In it, he describes Boeing's plan to save money by outsourcing to a degree they never had before:
Under these conditions, getting the company to commit to a major project
like the Dreamliner took some doing. “Some of the board of directors would rather have spent money on a walk-in humidor for shareholders than on a new plane,” Aboulafia says. So the Dreamliner’s advocates came up with a development strategy that was supposed to be cheaper and quicker than the traditional approach: outsourcing. And Boeing didn’t outsource just the manufacturing of parts; it turned over the design, the engineering, and the manufacture of entire sections of the plane to some fifty “strategic partners.” Boeing itself ended up building less than forty per cent of the plane.
This strategy was trumpeted as a reinvention of manufacturing. But while the finance guys loved it—since it meant that Boeing had to put up less money—it was a huge headache for the engineers. In a fascinating study of the process, two U.C.L.A. researchers, Christopher Tang and Joshua Zimmerman, show how challenging it was for Boeing to work with fifty different partners. The more complex a supply chain, the more chances there are for something to go wrong, and Boeing had far less control than it would have if more of the operation had been in-house. Delays became endemic, and, instead of costing less, the project went billions over budget.
So we had the triumph of been-counting over sound engineering and project management, at least until things started going wrong.
I call what Boeing did 'extreme outsourcing'. Boeing had outsourced some manufacturing on previous planes - no big deal - but not like with this one. Let the French do the electrical system and the Japanese build the tempermental Li-ion batteries. Cheaper that way, you know.
Based on my limited experience, I will nevertheless propose a law: Campana's Corollary:
"Companies that actually manufacture things, especially those involving public safety, should not be headed by finance, sales, or marketing people."
I imagine the Dreamliner will fly again, but I suspect it'll be a cold day in Hell before Slick Smisek and his employees gush over the 787.
"The safer we get, the safer we expect to be, so the performance bar keeps rising. And this, ultimately, is why the decision to give other companies responsibility for the Dreamliner now looks misguided. Boeing is in a business where the margin of error is small. It shouldn’t have chosen a business model where the chance of making a serious mistake was so large." - James Surowiecki (from the article) [Note: cartoon by Christoph Niemann from the article.]
Sports journalistRob Parker is now a former employee of ESPN, which declined to renew his contract, based on these comments about Washington Redskins star rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III (aka RGIII) he made last month:
"I've talked to some people in Washington, D.C. Some people in [Griffin's] press conferences. Some people I've known for a long time. My question, which is just a straight, honest question, is ... is he a 'brother,' or is he a cornball 'brother?' He's not really ... he's black, but he's not really down with the cause. He's not one of us. He's kind of black, but he's not really like the guy you'd want to hang out with. I just want to find out about him. I don't know, because I keep hearing these things. He has a white fiancé, people talking about that he's a Republican ... there's no information at all. I'm just trying to dig deeper into why he has an issue. Tiger Woodswas like, 'I have black skin, but don't call me black.' People wondered about Tiger Woods early on -- about him."
When asked about RGIII's braids, Parker opined:
"To me, that's very urban," Parker continued, seemingly determined to dig his own professional grave. "It makes you feel like ... I think he would have a clean cut if he were more straight-laced or not ... wearing braids is ... you're a brother. You're a brother. If you've got braids on."
I am not here to support or decry ESPN's decision (it is not a First Amendment issue) or Parker's right to speak his mind ( he has a right to do so, but must suffer the consequences). I'm here simply to call Parker a moron of the first order.
And where are his braids? Guess he's not a 'brother'.
He supposedly based his comments by Griffin III in which he said he did not want to be defined by his ethnicity. I suspect he meant something like being called 'the best African-American quarterback' instead of just 'the best quarterback' or a 'smart guy' instead of a 'smart black guy'. Whatever he meant I guess it was too much for Parker, whose history in journalism is not exactly stellar.
I don't know Parker or RGIII. But from what I have seen, RGIII is smart, articulate, talented, tough, humble, and supremely confident in his abilities. Those qualities came to the fore midway through the past season, when his teammates made him - a rookie - their captain. He led the once-pathetic Redskins (maybe he can get that racist name expunged) to the playoffs. What a role model - for everyone. So who should care about his ethnicity?
I guess Parker will now have plenty of time to hang with his real 'brothers'.
"Sports journalism is to journalism as political science is to science." - Unknown
Looks like sportswriter Sweeny Murti is being unfairly trashed for his apparent stupidity when in fact he's just referring to the classic John Belushi line in Animal House. You'd think that the people who create calendars of the stupidest thingsever said would know this.
Murti now has his own 'day' on the '365 Stupidest Things Said' calendar:
Here is the clip:
Actually, Murti's getting the last laugh. He's a lot more famous than he was before, and the calendar's creators, Ross and Kathryn Petras, are the ones looking like morons.
“Never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence.” - Napoleon Bonaparte
Got this from Joe Dellapenna's Facebook page, written by Dianne Self Wing.
If only it were true....
“To secede from the Union and set up another government would cause war. If you go to war with the United States, you will never conquer her, as she has the money and the men. If she does not whip you by guns, powder, and steel, she will starve you too.” -Sam Houston
Check out this bizarre video of Mitt Romney at a campaign rally talking about superstorm Sandy and its aftermath. Climate activist Ted Glick (a sometime Grist contributor) interrupts by yelling, “What about climate? What about climate? That’s what caused this monster storm,” and holding up a sign that says, “End climate silence.” See what happens next:
“Is anyone saying same-sex couples can’t love each other? I love my children. I love my friends, my brother. Heck, I even love my mother-in-law. Should we call these relationships marriage, too?” - Rick Santorum, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 2008
Mary Frances' friend in Albuquerque sent this to her. Here is the original link.
From the site:
Women constitute more than half of the population. In 2008, 60% of voters were women. It is estimated that 10 million more women than men will vote in this election. Despite this, women make up only 16% of Congress. Women earn only 70 cents to each dollar men make. Women of color and undocumented women make less than white citizens. Mitt Romney and the Republican Party are determined to overturn Roe V. Wade. Romney has not supported equal pay for women (The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act). Romney has vowed to defund Planned Parenthood. Romney has vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Romney doesn't want health care to cover birth control. Romney says same sex marriage should be banned with a Constitutional Amendment.
Women, let's rise up. Our vote alone can win this election. A vote for Obama is a vote for your health and your right to choose. It is a vote for equal pay and equal rights. A vote for Obama is a vote for our families. It is a vote to marry who you choose. It's a vote to start a family when you choose. A vote for Obama says that we won't stand for violence against women and that rape is rape. Our vote ensures that our daughters will grow up with the same rights that we've had. A vote for Obama sends a message: This war on women must end. We will not go backwards.
This election is shockingly close. Our safety is at stake. Our silence is consent and our vote is our voice. Let’s get active. Let’s get out every vote we can. Let’s make this election a mandate. A mandate to finally ensure women the respect, dignity and equality we all deserve! This is now. This is our call to action. Once and for all, let's take back the power that is so inherently and naturally ours!
Lesley Gore recorded this in 1964 - a feminist anthem before its time. It went to #2 in the USA, kept from #1 by The Beatles.
But just like Lesley, I sometimes think this is 1964 all over again.
'Don't tell me what to do Don't tell me what to say' 'You Don't Own Me' by John Madara and David White
Someone - a 'private family foundation' - has been paying for these billboards in predominanatly student, Latino, and African-American neighborhoods in the 'battleground state' cities of Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Columbus.
Must be the Obama campaign, urging its supporters to be careful. Uh-huh...
Clear Channel Communications, which owns the billboards, isn't saying. A spokesman wrote in an email to NPR that the advertiser asked to be anonymous. That goes against company policy, but he said the contract was signed by mistake and the company does not plan to take the billboards down.
"We will do all we can to ensure it does not happen again," the spokesman said.
He didn't respond to questions about why the company allowed almost identical billboards to go up anonymously in Milwaukee in 2010. They were also funded by a "private family foundation."
Right, Clear Channel!
"My impression and understanding is that they simply state what the law is in the state of Wisconsin." -Nathan Conrad, Republican Party of Wisconsin (from the story)
The title of today's post is a quote by a long-forgotten journalist upon the death of Virginia's iconic Sen. Harry F. Byrd, Sr. in October 1966. It's been etched on my brain since I first read it as a callow youth beginning college in Virginia. The quote recalls Byrd's massive resistance to civil rights for African-Americans and integration of Virginia's public schools.
Byrd was a dinosaur, but cedes nothing to today's subject. So from iconic we now regress to moronic...
A description of the book from the Amazon.com site:
America is truly unique, so diametrically different from any other nation conceived. But many people don't understand and appreciate America's distinctive qualities. In Letters to the Editor, author Jon Michael Hubbard questions whether all of those who reside in the United States are capable of being Americans; he contends that America cannot be all things to all people. In this collection of letters written to newspaper editors, along with other related articles, the author shares his personal feelings and fears about an array of topics important in today's world, including: liberals, patriotism, the military, politics, government, education, race relations, immigration and Christianity. Providing a provocative and informative discussion, he also delves into other related topics such as national security, energy issues, American industry, the mortgage crisis, and a woman's right to choose. In Letters to the Editor, Hubbard, a Vietnam era veteran with a deep love for this country, describes what it's like to be a true American who understands and appreciates what this land offers. The mindset of a true American is fueled by ambition and a burning desire to succeed. Being an American is definitely not to be taken for granted.
“… the institution of slavery that the black race has long believed to be an abomination upon its people may actually have been a blessing in disguise. The blacks who could endure those conditions and circumstances would someday be rewarded with citizenship in the greatest nation ever established upon the face of the Earth.” (Pages 183-89)
“… one of the stated purposes of school integration was to bring black students up to a level close to that of white students. But, to the great disappointment of everyone, the results of this theory worked exactly in reverse of its intended purpose, and instead of black students rising to the educational levels previously attained by white students, the white students dropped to the level of black students. To make matters worse the lack of discipline and ambition of black students soon became shared by their white classmates, and our educational system has been in a steady decline ever since.” (Page 27)
African Americans must “understand that even while in the throes of slavery, their lives as Americans are likely much better than they ever would have enjoyed living in sub-Saharan Africa.”
“Knowing what we know today about life on the African continent, would an existence spent in slavery have been any crueler than a life spent in sub-Saharan Africa?” (Pages 93 and 189)
“Both are antichrist in that they both deny that Jesus is God in the flesh of man, and the savior of mankind. They both also hold that their cause should take over the entire world through violent, bloody, revolution.” - Charlie Fuqua, referring to liberals and Muslims.
I pulled this from Mark Boslough's Facebook page. Just before this banner was the 'Missouri Women for Todd Akin' one.
"I love the fact that there are also women out there that don't have a choice and they must go to work and they still have to raise the kids. Thank goodness that we value those people too." - Ann Romney
Now that Republicans have demonstrated how self-sufficent they are and how capable they are of great things without government help:
they have decided to adopt the Starship anthem, We Built This City, as the official 2012 campaign song. That's an appropriate move, since the song makes about as much sense as the Republicans' platform; it has made its way onto a number of 'worst songs' list.
"Who counts the money underneath the bar Who rides the wrecking ball in to our rock guitars Don't tell us you need us, 'cos we're the ship of fools Looking for America, coming through your schools." - We Built This Cityby Martin Page, Bernie Taupin, Dennis Lambert, and Peter Wolf
This is why political parties like scripted conventions. You'd think a famous film director would understand that. Then again, he was acting.
Thanks to Mark Boslough for this one.
Click to enlarge.
"I'm not really conservative. I'm conservative on certain things. I believe in less government. I believe in fiscal responsibility and all those things that maybe Republicans used to believe in but don't any more." -Clint Eastwood
"I mean, I've always been a libertarian. Leave everybody alone. Let everybody else do what they want. Just stay out of everybody else's hair." - Clint Eastwood
We've all had a good time (see photo below) pillorying Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) for his ill-advised use of the adjective 'legitimate' to describe abortion. I personally found his views on abortion abhorrent but unsurprising because he's a conservative, evangelical Christian Republican.
But, as a scientist, what I really found pathetic and frightening was his understanding of how the female reproductive system works - his belief that the system could shut down to prevent contraception:
"It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
I wonder which doctors Akin has been consulting. Maybe Romneycare will fix that.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologistssaidthat a woman who is raped
"...has no control over ovulation, fertilization or implantation of a fertilized egg. ... To suggest otherwise contradicts basic biological truths."
What frightens me is Akin's apparent lack of scientific understanding. Wonder if he believes in evolution? How about plate tectonics? And the age of Earth is....? How AIDS is transmitted? I shudder to think what Akin's opinions on climate change and global warming are.
I suspect his knowledge of basic science, math, and technology is pitiful.
Fact is, Akin is no different from a lot of Americans, and to boot, he's in a position of power - a member of the House of Representatives. I can imagine that he shines among many of his colleagues.
And you know, I didn't hear many of critics decrying his poor knowledge of biology. Either they didn't know Akin was wrong, or else they didn't want to appear 'too smart'.
Okay, you don';t need to be a Spanish scholar to know that the title says, "Melky Cabrera, A Very Stupid Man'.
Cabrera, an outfielder for theSan Francisco Giants (photo from the SFG WWW site), was recently suspended for 50 games for testing positive for excessive levels of testosterone (New York Times - AP story here). For those of you who are not baseball fans, Cabrera was having the proverbial 'career year' and helping to propel the weak-hitting Giants to the playoffs. But that is in jeopardy, because the SFG can ill-afford to lose one of their two best hitters. Should they be lucky enough to make the playoffs, Cabrera's suspension will extend five games into the post-season.
Cabrera admitted that he took a banned substance so there will be no appeal. He also created a phony website to make it seem that he was ordering something innocuous.The website was so poorly executed that it was quickly recognized as bogus.
So why is he very stupid? Anyone who takes PEDs (performance-enhancing drugs) or other banned substances knows that major league baseball is really scrutinizing players more closely than ever before. So you have to have cojones and no brains to think you're going to get away with it.
By taking a banned substance, Cabrera has greatly jeopardized his team's post-season chances, his future and market value (he is a free agent after this year), and let the SFG organization, fans, and most of all, his teammates, down.
If I were the baseball commissioner, I'd suspend him for 50 games, and then tack on another 50 for utter stupidity. Of course, I would be prevented from doing so because players can be stupid. That is probably in their CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement).
Of course, his suspension begs speculation that perhaps the SFG were doing so well in part because of his substance abuse.
“My positive test was the result of my use of a substance I should not have used. I accept my suspension under the Joint Drug Program and I will try to move on with my life. I am deeply sorry for my mistake and I apologize to my teammates, to the San Francisco Giants organization and to the fans for letting them down.” - Cabrera's statement issued by the players' union
We have two Harvard Law School grads running for President. You'd think we would have a more intelligent discussion of the compelling issues facing the USA. Instead, it's name-calling, vitriol, and vituperations.
But we get what we deserve.
I really don't care a whole lot about Romney's wealth as long as nothing illegal or unethical was done to obtain all or part of it. I am upper middle class; like Romney, I have legal tax avoidance strategies unavailable to someone whose family income is a lot less. Should we both avail ourselves of those advantages? Is it somehow wrong or unethical if we do?
That said, Romney should release more tax returns. Perception is reality; it appears he is hiding something, if only inconsistencies between his publicly-stated positions and his private life. And those returns might just provide an impetus for discussion on what's wrong (let me count the ways...) with our tax code.
I do care about Romney's foreign policy, environmental positions, tax reform (desperately needed) platform, and plans to bolster the economy, among many other things. I want to hear more of his plans, and Obama's as well, and have each critique the other's ideas.
Someday we will have thoughtful, forthright, intelligent candidates who debate each other vigorously but respectfully on the important issues before an engaged, informed, civil electorate.
"Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve." -George Bernard Shaw
It’s not a shock that the Republican Party of Texas’ official platform, announced and adopted this month, is a seething morass of racism and homophobia. Republicans: That’s how we do! Nor is it surprising that the platform comes out in favor of employee discrimination and corporal punishment in schools, and opposed to comprehensive sex education, environmental protections, affirmative action, and the Voting Rights Act. Yawn, really. But get ready to hand your $10 to Nick Fury, because they actually managed to pull out something so blatant that it surprised even jaded old me: The Texas GOP’s platform is explicitly opposed to critical thinking skills.
Zimmerman then lists the relevant text:
"We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority."
Zimmerman goes on to mention:
According to Talking Points Memo, the party is now backpedaling the whole “brain thoughts are for homogays” approach, claiming that it was “not the intent of the subcommittee” to come out against critical thinking and that they “regret” the oversight. But they don’t regret it all that damn much, apparently, because they also say what’s done is done: The convention approved the platform, so it can’t be changed until the next state convention in 2014. By which time, if Texas Republicans had their druthers, there would be nobody left who even knew how to read the thing.
Here's the Utah-produced vodka that caused a flap when it was introduced to Idaho. Seems the Idaho State Liquor Division banned it, then rescinded its decision, after a number of people objected. The ban was based on ISLD's belief that the brand would be offensive to the state's Mormons (except for its Jack Mormons).
Never would have imagined that Idaho was a "nanny state". Note that if you rearrange 'ISLD' you can get 'ILDS'. Hmmm....
Funny that Utah did not see fit to ban it.
Thanks to Jerry Sehlke for the photo.
"If I were a drinking man, which I'm not, and if I had five wives, which I don't, I'd drink 'Five Wives Vodka'. - Mitt Romney
And, since I know you want to learn more about the nitwit pictured on the cover here is her blog.
Such ridiculous behavior by mothers is not tolerated here in Campanastan. Their children would be taken from them and sent to playgrounds, amusement parks, water parks, and ball fields. Maybe go-kart tracks, too. They would also be forced to go to movies with other children and no parents. They would be subjected to endless episodes of 'The Three Stooges' while eating a few Twinkies and Ding-Dongs. And they would be provided with skateboards.
Wonder how the boy on the cover would have managed in Sparta?
"Parents are the last people on earth who should have children." -Samuel Butler
I saw on CNN this morning that Ohio state Senator Nina Turner (D) is introducing legislation to restrict the sale of Viagra to men, requiring them to have written permission from their sex partner and a doctor's determination that the problem is in fact physical and not psychological. Read more:
Turner's proposal would require a man seeking Viagra to first attain an affidavit from a sexual partner attesting to his impotency, see a state-approved sex therapist, complete a stress test to assure he is healthy enough for sexual activity, and return to the doctor every 90 days to check on his cardiac health. The patient would also have to attend three outpatient counseling sessions within six months of receiving his prescription to ensure that he fully understands the "dangerous side effects" of taking erectile dysfunction drugs.
All this crap is about controlling women - as they said years ago, 'Keep 'em barefoot and pregnant.' Gees, I thought we went through this in 1960s.
As Yogi would say, "It's just like déjà-vu all over again."
"Why extremists always focus on women, remains a mystery to me, but they all seem to.
It doesn't matter what country they're in, or what religion they claim, they all want to control women, they want to control how we dress, they want to control how we act, they even want to control the decisions that we make about our own health and our own bodies.
Yes, it is hard to believe, but even here at home, we have to stand up for women's rights and reject efforts to marginalize any one of us, because America needs to set an example for the entire world." - Hillary Clinton, 15 March 2012
No need to worry about a wreck - his wife's got a couple of Cadillacs in reserve.
"How about that Mitt Romney, am I right about this guy? ... I mean, he looks like the guy on TV selling life insurance, doesn't he? ... He looks like that guy on a Father's Day ad for Norelco. ... He looks like a guy on cable urging you to tap your home equity. ... He looks like an American President in a Canadian movie. ... He looks like the medical expert in a Victoria Principal infomercial. ... He looks like the spokesman for senior lending networks. ... He looks like the guy who promises accident victims he'll get the money they deserve. ... He looks like the guy on the 'Just For Men' bottle." -- David Letterman
Rick Santorum likes to warn us about how the government is undermining our freedom. So what would he like to do? Get a God-fearing government that knows the right thing to do when it comes to legislating morality! Freedom from sin!
“If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything.” -- Rick Santorum, 2003
Circle of Blue Circle of Blue uses journalism, scientific research, and conversations from around the world to bring the story of the global freshwater crisis to life. Here you’ll find new water reports, news headlines, and hear from leading scientists.
Drink Water For Life The idea is simple. Drink water or other cheap beverages instead of expensive lattes, sodas, and bottled water for a set period of time. A day, a week, a month, Lent, Ramadan, Passover, or some other holiday period.
eFlowNet Newsletter From the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) this newsletter has lots of information about environmental flows and related issues.
Sustainable Water Resources Roundtable Since 2002, the Sustainable Water Resources Roundtable (SWRR) has brought together federal, state, corporate, non-profit and academic sectors to advance our understanding of the nation’s water resources and to develop tools for their sustainable management.