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.
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
I’m allergic to cats—even pictures of cats make me wheeze. But I like the expression “herding cats” to describe organizing uncoöperative characters, and it’s also a nice metaphor for this President dealing with this particular Congress over the so-called fiscal cliff (among other things). So I took one for the team.
"Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a function." - Garrison Keillor
"Was it a good idea to spend taxpayer dollars on electric cars in Finland, or on windmills in China? Was it a good idea to borrow all this money from countries like China and spend it on all these various different interest groups?"-- Paul Ryan
"We can’t expect entrepreneurs and businesses large and small to take their life savings or their companies’ money and invest in America if they think we’re headed to the road to Greece. And that’s where we’re going right now unless we finally get off this spending and borrowing binge." - Mitt Romney
CANTON, OH—According to eyewitnesses at the scene, an unkempt and thoroughly disheveled Mitt Romney gave an impassioned campaign speech Monday to a group of bewildered shoppers inside a local Safeway.
Sources confirmed the filth-covered former presidential candidate walked into the store unannounced early yesterday evening, went to the store’s cereal aisle, and started to play Kid Rock’s “Born Free” on a portable boom box, enthusiastically waving and pointing to no one in particular.
"As president, I will create 12 million new jobs." - Mitt Romney, during the second presidential debate "Government does not create jobs. Government does not create jobs." - Mitt Romney, 45 minutes later (Oct. 16, 2012)
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
"The ads they run are not generic party ads or issue ads—they are 'Bill-Clinton-is-the-best-thing-since-twist-off-caps' ads and 'Bob-Dole-is-the-cause-of-halitosis-and-genital-warts' ads... (I personally doubt the genital wart claim, but...) — Jim Hightower,If God Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates
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:
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
At least those of us in the other states aren't subjected to the inane political ads for president.
"I should tell my story. I'm also unemployed." —GOP presidential candidate and former MassachusettsGov. Mitt Romney (R), speaking in 2011 to unemployed people in Florida. Romney's net worth is over $200 million.
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'.
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.
Speth is one of our foremost environmental lawyers and advocates.
These two passages struck me:
It is simply unimaginable that American politics as we know it today will deliver the transformative changes needed. Political reform and building a new and powerful progressive movement in America must be priority number one. Above all else, we must build a new democratic reality—a government truly of, by, and for the people.
The most important prodemocracy reform is to undermine the power of money in our elections and in lobbying. The emphasis of campaign finance reform should be on encouraging small donor contributions and public funding of elections—the democratization of campaign finance itself.
Looks like a book worth reading.
Be thankful that I did not title this post 'Also Sprach Speth'.
"In America, anyone can become president. That’s the problem." -George Carlin
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
Catch this graphic sign displayed at a recent University of Oklahoma rally against a 'personhood' bill being considered by the Oklahoma State Senate. That's State Senator Judy McIntyre (D) holding the sign, which she got from a protester.
Are there any unintended consequences of these 'personhood' bills? Read this.
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
You can see the original photo here and also read why a female witness was not asked to testify.
Two women actually did testify, both from conservative Christian colleges - Calvin College and Oklahoma Christian University. Read morehere.
Seems to me that President Obama's original proposal enhanced religious freedom, as it would have forbidden Catholic Church-run institutions - hospitals, schools, etc. - from denying its employees, many of whom are not Catholic, access to contraception coverage in their health insurance plans. It said nothing about requiring the Catholic Church to rescind its (neanderthal) policy forbidding birth control (except for the 'rhythm method' and abstinence) for Church members.
Obama's policy might cut down on the number of abortions, too. Duhhh....
Make no mistake about it: this fuss over contraception - and abortion, too - is about power over, and control of, women - pure and simple.
I thought we had a come a long way; sometimes I think I am back in 1960, where the Republican presidential candidates are.
But what do I know? I'm not a Republican male.
"If men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament." - Title of a book by Helen Forelle and Janet Leih (1991)
Thanks to Jerry Sehlke and Natalie Burtenshaw for this item.
Fascinating map created by Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto. It covers the period from 1945 through 1998.
From the WWW site:
Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto has created a beautiful, undeniably scary time-lapse map of the 2053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998, beginning with the Manhattan Project's "Trinity" test near Los Alamos and concluding with Pakistan's nuclear tests in May of 1998. This leaves out North Korea's two alleged nuclear tests in this past decade (the legitimacy of both of which is not 100% clear).
Each nation gets a blip and a flashing dot on the map whenever they detonate a nuclear weapon, with a running tally kept on the top and bottom bars of the screen. Hashimoto, who began the project in 2003, says that he created it with the goal of showing"the fear and folly of nuclear weapons." It starts really slow — if you want to see real action, skip ahead to 1962 or so — but the buildup becomes overwhelming.
"Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war that we know about peace, more about killing that we know about living." -Gen. Omar N. Bradley
"They're not 'bombs'; they are 'devices'! They are only called 'bombs' when we drop them from the sky." -an especially irritating Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory physicist, educating yours truly on the correct nomenclature for nuclear devices, 1976
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.