Sunday, January 29, 2012

Oh, heck, it is only one half a degree, what the heck is the big deal? It isn't as thought the ice caps are melting!

Nine (click title to entry - thank you) of the top ten warmest years in the modern 
meteorological record have occurred since the year 2000. Last year was another one of them, coming in at 9th warmest since 1880....

1880 is an interesting choice.  Ever hear of The Industrial Revolution?

1859: Edwin Drake drills first oil well (click here) in Titusville, Pennsylvania - start of commercial exploitation of petroleum.

Amazing, 1859 and the world is STILL using oil as a form of energy.  I don't really call that an improvement.

1860: Road Locomotives Act restricts speed of road vehicles to 5mph.

5 mph.  Hm.  

Horses speed varies with their stride length,(click here)  body build, and other factors, but here is a basic idea of how fast-- in miles per hour-- horses move at their various gaits:

Walk: Roughly 3-4 MPH. A pleasure show horse can go as slow as 2 mph. Gaited horses-- who do not trot-- can do a 'running walk' as fast as 15 mph.

Trot: The trot is roughly 8-10 MPH. Again, a shorter striding horse could trot slower, and a horse with a long stride could move faster.
Canter/Lope: 10-17 MPH.

Gallop: This depends on the horse's condition and athletic ability. Some horses are not built to run fast an may only do a fast canter at their best; however, the gallop is about 30 mph. Thoroughbreds, which are bred for running distance but not speed, have been clocked at over 40 MPH. Quarter horses, bred and raced for short distances at speed, can reach 50 MPH in short bursts according to the AQHA's website.

Why bother?  An engine was that important and an improvement?  Well, I guess it all had to start somewhere.  Like Alternative Sources of Energy, huh?

1861: Start of the American Civil War, cutting off raw cotton imports from the Southern states of the US and bringing three years of short time and hunger for Lancashire cotton workers.

I think it was the hunger that really pissed them off.  Capitalism is a bitch.

1869: Suez Canal completed. In the United States, Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads meet to complete the first American trans-continental line.

There ya go, carbon deposits in the air from sea to shining sea.

1876: Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) patents the telephone - and predicts that, one day, "every city in the United States will have one.". 

Who knew it would set the world free via Twitter?

Nicholas August Otto's gas engine becomes prototype for the modern internal combustion engine.

The Internal Combustion Engine, what did they know and when did they know it?

1877: Jesse Boot opens chemist's shop in Nottingham, using mass-selling techniques to found the first chain stores.

Good ole' Jesse Boot, what would Wall Street do without him?

1879: Tay Bridge disaster in Scotland - 70 die as bridge collapses while train is crossing.

You mean to tell me there were no engineers that didn't see this coming?  Wow.  I guess that is when 'triangles' became a fascinating engineering miracle.

1880: Invention of electric light bulb.

1884: Charles Parsons patents the steam turbine.

1885:  Karl Benz produces his first petrol-powered motor car. Welsbach invents the incandescent gas mantle.

Reduced to camping equipment.  It is the safest place for methane gas, considering the mess they get from hydraulic fracturing.  Indeed.  Camping.  I like it.

1888: Nikola Tesla invents the alternating-current electric motor. 

George Eastman designs the hand-held Kodak camera. 

Digital is the trend today.  I still have my 24 mm cameras.  I use them all the time.

John Boyd Dunlop invents the pneumatic tire.

Amazing what they can do with rubber.  What was old is new again.  Bicycles is where it's at for many people in the year 2012.  There are bicycle lanes all over the cities these days.  Dunlop would be proud. 

1892: Rudolf Diesel patents his heavy-oil engine.

There is those new diesel standards by then EPA Secretary Christi Whitman.  

Hey, R-E-G-U-L-A-T-I-O-N-S.  Considering Nixon passed the Clean Air Act it would seem Obama is more Republican that anyone care to say.  In the recent decades in the Republican camp it takes a woman to realize how important it is to actually breath clean air.  Lungs are important.  Unfortunately increased allowances in arsenic by Bush on the first day of office actually can be a cause of lung cancer.  So, if a President wants to promote cigarette smoking and deter lawsuits for lung cancer, confusing the issue by increasing allowable arsenic levels in community water supplies was an interesting move on Bush's part.  Just one of those things that happens when Republicans are in control  He wasn't a smoker by the way, but, he was a recovered alcoholic.

May 24, 2003
Elizabeth Shogren
Times Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — In an administration committed to reducing regulations, (click here) Christie Whitman won approval of some of the toughest antipollution rules put forward in recent years.
During her nearly 2 1/2 years as Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Whitman won approval of three sets of strict regulations governing harmful pollutants from diesel-powered vehicles....
1880, interesting time in the world.  Best estimate of global population was in 1850 (the half decade) when it was 1,171,000.  Imagine that?  A million and three quarters was the population in 1850. In 1880, there were 50 million throughout North America.  There were considerable tropical forests and jungles then, too.

An honest man. Self-deprecating. Ownership of the problem. Free advise by speaking truth to power.

Stop Coddling the Super-Rich (click title to entry - thank you)

"...Stronger economic growth is not just about economics. Growth unleashes human potential...."

Let me see if I get this right. 

Republican policy put the USA into peril using exactly the 'mind speak' within this editorial.  If the Republicans actually believed in growth, they would never have allowed the citizens of this country to be abandoned in 2008, leaving no credit access to any consumer yet alone 'sincere small business' owners.  

Republican need to try to reach beyond their handicaps and admit they don't know what to do for any economy including state economies.  Just because Republicans don't know what to do doesn't mean doing nothing is the best idea.  I have to admit, Republicans do make an interesting political strategy of incompetence.

A New Strategy for Economic Growth (click title to entry - thank you)

Growth is not just about economics. Growth unleashes human potential.


As the economy continues to struggle, we are reminded of a course offered at Yale University titled "Grand Strategy." Drawing on a weighty curriculum of history and philosophy, the course seeks to train future policy makers to tackle the complex challenges of statecraft in a comprehensive, systematic way. Clearly, U.S. economic policy is sorely lacking an effective grand strategy, and we are likely to endure high unemployment, weak economic performance and trying financial markets until such a strategy is articulated and pursued.
Policy makers should cease the barrage of ad hoc, short-term policy initiatives. Is increased federal spending across government agencies a grand strategy? How about checks in the mail to spur spending? Cash for clunkers to move auto inventories? Fast trains and faster Internet? Mortgage modification programs and fleeting tax credits to re-stoke home ownership?
Inducing consumers to do today what they would otherwise do tomorrow is hardly a grand strategy. Hundreds of billions in "stimulus" spending has stimulated little but more debt. Forty-eight months have passed since the onset of the financial crisis, 26 months since the recession technically ended. Yet job creation remains remarkably weak, and markets deeply uneasy.
We can't go on like this.
The debt-limit debate caused policy makers to recognize what citizens already knew: We must put our fiscal house in order. Cutting spending is essential. But we will never cut our way to prosperity.
So, what should be the economic grand strategy? In a word: growth....

Stop risking women's lives while treating them like chattel enforced by violence.

Unsafe Abortions Rates on the Rise.  New Global Analysis.

(CBS/AP) Abortion rates (click title to entry - thank you) are highest where the procedure is illegal, according to a new study. The study also found nearly half of all abortions worldwide are unsafe, with the vast majority of unsafe abortions occurring in developing countries....

Are abortions on the rise worldwide? (click here)

Some folks might guess "yes" as a sign of the changing times, but a new study in the Jan. 19 issue of The Lancet found the opposite. Analyzing global data from 1995 to 2008, researchers found abortion rates have remained relatively stable since 2003. Still, abortion rates vary greatly across the world - and in some cases are higher in countries where abortion is illegal. Where in the world are abortion rates highest? Keep clicking to see the regions - as defined by the United Nations - in order of lowest to highest abortion rates among women ages 15-44 years...

If the abortion rate globally is stable then there is going to ALWAYS be a statistical amount of women seeking abortions.  There is really no need for Anti-Abortion groups to continue their political rant.  They have to realize there will always be a population of women with unwanted pregnancy.  I have never understood the label "Pro-Life" of these groups, because, the question always arises to me as to whom they are Pro-Life for, it certainly is not women.

Article Date: 19 Jan 2012 - 10:00 PST
New figures from the Guttmacher Institute (click here) and the World Health Organization (WHO) show that after a long period of decline, the global abortion rates have steadied. From 1995 to 2003, rates dropped from 35 per 1000 women of childbearing age to 29 per 1000, whereas the new study shows the 2008 rate is stable at 28 per 1000. 

The United Nations says the slow down coincides with a plateau in the uptake of contraceptive use in developing countries, where there has been a big contraceptive drive in the last couple of decades, partly because of HIV 
and partly because of over population issues....

The Anti-Abortion Political Campaign is irrelevant. They endanger lives and stop NOTHING.  There will always be a statistically reliable number of women seeking abortion.  Lack of availability of safe abortions is an assault against women's lives.  There is absolutely nothing Pro-Life about Anti-Abortionists.

Abortion rates are highest in countries where procedure is illegal (click here)

Until Former Speaker Gingrick brought up the name I didn't know he was so hated. Good heavens.

I am quite sure there is an uptick in his book.  I don't know if that was the Former Speakers intention, but, I am sure there is a new wave sweeping the nation.  I mean why bring it up if they hate the guy, there are going to be more disciples than ever.  I never read the book and I am not going to.  I have a lot of reading to do and this is not on the list.  Heck, I have to finish reading The American Job Act.

It is really a shame the Republicans believe making up faux fear is the best way to win an election.  Amazing.  They call that politics?  

I don't consider a man that was "The Father of Empowerment" a dangerous or indecent man.  I find his values moral and his methods desperately necessary.

Newt Gingrich keeps likening President Obama to radical community organizer Saul Alinsky. But Gingrich seems to have adopted Alinsky's tactics himself, as has the tea party. Mainstream Republicans aren't happy.

By Brad Knickerbocker, Staff writer
January 28, 2012
“The centerpiece of this campaign, (click title to entry - thank you) I believe, is American exceptionalism versus the radicalism of Saul Alinsky,” Gingrich said in his South Carolina primary victory speech, a charge he finds constant ways to repeat. "Saul Alinsky radicalism is at the heart of Obama,” he said on CNN....
...So who was Saul Alinsky?
Born in Chicago in 1909 to Russian immigrant parents, Alinsky worked his way through the University of Chicago, then dropped out of grad school to organize the poor in the city’s slums, demanding better working and living conditions. He went on to do the same thing in other US cities....
Anyone who knows anything about the Jewish-American experience in the early 20th Century, it is well known they were activists in their own lives to establish their place in the USA and develop their own social worth.  Another example of an activist Jewish community was in the South, in New Orleans.  Below is a link to an essay about Mississippi Jewish Immigrants.  The Jewish Communities in the South didn't discriminate against African Americans in the early 20th century.  That, itself, was revolutionary and there were many raised eyebrows about this relationship between the two ethnic communities.  
...Jewish immigrants from Germany and Alsace (click here) settled in Mississippi in the 1840s. They were joined by Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of the Jewish immigrants initially worked as traveling peddlers. Since most Jews had been legally prevented from owning land in Europe, they had no experience with farming. Legal discrimination had made it hard for Jews in Europe to rely on someone else to support them economically, so they learned to support themselves through business ownership. When they came to Mississippi, they drew on this entrepreneurial experience and became involved in commerce. Peddlers went from town to town, providing necessary supplies to farmers and their families. Often the peddlers received merchandise from wholesalers in Memphis, Tennessee, or New Orleans, and traveled the state looking for customers....

...Jewish civic involvement was not unique to Mississippi, as Jews across the South were elected to public service positions. One reason for this acceptance was that Jews assimilated to Southern culture. While remaining faithful to their unique religion and culture, Mississippi Jews have worked to lessen the barriers and differences between themselves and their Gentile neighbors. They have embraced the cultural values of the region, for better or worse....

The only people that won't admit there has always been a place for "Movers and Shakers" in the USA are those that want a 'stable' playing field for promotion of their monetary fortunes, like Mr. Forbes.  When will the Republicans stop rewriting history?

Hunger in America, it is never a transient condition.

76 percent (10 million) (click here) of client households served are food insecure, meaning they do not always know where they will find their next meal.  
Hunger in America 2010 (click here) is the largest study of domestic hunger, providing comprehensive and statistically-valid data on our emergency food distribution system and the people Feeding America serves. Hunger in America 2010 is extremely detailed, drawing on data from more than 61,000 interviews with clients and surveys of 37,000 feeding agencies.

The report shows that hunger is increasing at an alarming rate in the United States, and our network is expanding its reach in response:
  • Feeding America is annually providing food to 37 million Americans, including 14 
  • million children. This is an increase of 46 percent over 2006, when we were feeding 25 million Americans, including 9 million children, each year.
  • That means one in eight Americans now rely on Feeding America for food and groceries.
  • Feeding America's nationwide network of food banks is feeding 1 million more Americans each week than we did in 2006.
  • Thirty-six percent of the households we serve have at least one person working.
  • More than one-third of client households report having to choose between food and other basic necessities, such as rent, utilities and medical care.
  • The number of children the Feeding America network serves has increased by 50 percent since 2006....

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows (click title to entry - thank you) are proud to announce they will present a check to Project MANA for $11,040 as a result of their “Food Fight” donation drive. The two resorts engaged in a friendly competition to raise money for Project MANA in early December. Each resort donated $500 to get  the “Food Fight” started and encouraged guests to participate and make a donation to help alleviate hunger in the community during the holiday season....

Project MANA (click here)

Project MANA (Making Adequate Nutrition Accessible) is the hunger relief organization serving the North and West Shores of Lake Tahoe and Truckee, which includes the coverage of three counties in Northern California and one county in Northern Nevada.  Since its inception in 1991 Project MANA as responded to the emergency food need of the homeless, the elderly, the homebound families in need, children and single parents....

Do loggers really hate Old Growth Forests? Or. Ah. Don't they know what they are actually doing?

...But the towering cedars, firs, hemlocks, and spruces (click title to entry - thank you) which have served as the owl's habitat, also have become a primary source of timber for a multi-billion dollar logging industry. Over the last 150 years, as a result of heavy logging, these ancient forests have dwindled. Only about 10% of the forests remain, most on federally owned lands. And as the forests have dwindled, so too has the number of spotted owls. Biologists estimate that only 2,000 pairs survive today....

The exact number of spotted owls is difficult to track.  No one knows how many there are but scientists document a downward trend.  The decline is most severe in Washington - about 7 percent a year.

This Spotted Owl has been banded for protection.  It will provide valuable information to those trying desperately to safe them from extinction.  This owl and the Old Age Forests where it lives are endangered today as direct result of greed and Wall Street.

Where are the ethics?  Why is there no respect for life over profits?  Oh, there isn't.  Make no mistake.  Besides nature, Americans learned the ruthlessness of the Health Care Insurance Industry priorities placing profits over human life.  So, ah, like, what is this mess already?

Spotted owl is a kind of forest animal that can only breed in old-growth forests-forests that have never been touched by human activities. In order to breed successfully and gather enough food for its young, a single pair of spotted owls needs about 100 acres (40 hectares) of old-growth forest. Spotted owl populations have declined as old-growth forests have been cut down.

The Northern Spotted Owl is an INDICATOR species.  The fact it is now endangered loudly states the condition of the forest.  The decline of the Northern Spotted Owl is due to human exploitation and NOT natural processes.  Its habitat, the Old Age Forests, have been decimated.

Northern spotted owl marks 20 years on endangered species list (click here)

Published: Friday, June 25, 2010, 8:20 PM     
Updated: Saturday, February 05, 2011, 3:44 PM

Eric Forsman was a 21-year-old undergraduate working the summer at a Forest Service guard station in the Willamette National Forest when he first heard an odd barking call. 

Curious, Forsman scouted and listened hard, eventually realizing he was hearing a bird he had never heard before. Later that summer, his first northern spotted owl flew in. 

The owl, characteristic of its breed, showed little fear. It gave Forsman a "big brown-eyed look." 

"Once I heard what they sounded like," he says, "I started looking for them." 

What Forsman and fellow researchers found after that summer of 1968 led to the owl's listing as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act on June 26, 1990 -- 20 years ago today....

Every State in the nation needs to take a firm stand for Clean Energy Solutions of Wind and Solar!

Golden-Glow Flowers, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina, USA

Like, get for real already.

...Statements from the attorney and groups involved follow:  (click title to entry - thank you)

“This settlement phases out some of the oldest, dirtiest, and most inefficient coal plants in the Carolinas,” said John Suttles, a senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center who represented the groups in court. “In addition to protecting people’s health and saving lives, it also will save ratepayers’ money by paving the way for a more efficient and sustainable energy future.” 

“This settlement ends another chapter in the history of polluting coal generation that jeopardizes our health, air and water," said Michael Regan, director of energy efficiency for Environmental Defense Fund. "In the future, energy conservation and new technologies will provide North Carolina with reliable energy while protecting our families and economy.” 

“The air quality improvements that will result from this settlement will provide present and future generations with substantially cleaner air in the region,” said Don Barger, NPCA’s Southeast Regional Director “The health of our people and parks, including Great Smoky Mountains National Park in particular, will long bear witness to the benefits realized from transitioning away from coal.” 

“North Carolina has long been a clean air leader, and today's settlement is another important step forward for the Tarheel State. This settlement is critical for the health of North Carolina's families. Coal-fired electricity is the primary source of toxic mercury pollution and is a leading trigger of asthma attacks. These retirements will allow North Carolina to move beyond coal, and focus on clean energy solutions like solar and offshore wind," said Mary Anne Hitt, Director of Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign....

I haven't seem him clean toilets yet.

Romney pumped his own gas at a stop on his bus tour.  (click here)

Why do I feel as though I can't ever relate to this guy?

Romney would rank among richest presidents ever (click title to entry - thank you)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Just how rich is Mitt Romney? Add up the wealth of the last eight presidents, from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama. Then double that number. Now you're in Romney territory....

Karl Rove's America - How much has it changed?


Published: July 15, 2005

John Gibson of Fox News says that Karl Rove should be given a medal. I agree: Mr. Rove should receive a medal from the American Political Science Association for his pioneering discoveries about modern American politics. The medal can, if necessary, be delivered to his prison cell.
What Mr. Rove understood, long before the rest of us, is that we're not living in the America of the past, where even partisans sometimes changed their views when faced with the facts. Instead, we're living in a country in which there is no longer such a thing as nonpolitical truth. In particular, there are now few, if any, limits to what conservative politicians can get away with: the faithful will follow the twists and turns of the party line with a loyalty that would have pleased the Comintern.

I first realized that we were living in Karl Rove's America during the 2000 presidential campaign, when George W. Bush began saying things about Social Security privatization and tax cuts that were simply false. At first, I thought the Bush campaign was making a big mistake - that these blatant falsehoods would be condemned by prominent Republican politicians and Republican economists, especially those who had spent years building reputations as advocates of fiscal responsibility. In fact, with hardly any exceptions they lined up to praise Mr. Bush's proposals.

But the real demonstration that Mr. Rove understands American politics better than any pundit came after 9/11.

Every time I read a lament for the post-9/11 era of national unity, I wonder what people are talking about. On the issues I was watching, the Republicans' exploitation of the atrocity began while ground zero was still smoldering.

Mr. Rove has been much criticized for saying that liberals responded to the attack by wanting to offer the terrorists therapy - but what he said about conservatives, that they "saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war," is equally false. What many of them actually saw was a domestic political opportunity - and none more so than Mr. Rove.

A less insightful political strategist might have hesitated right after 9/11 before using it to cast the Democrats as weak on national security. After all, there were no facts to support that accusation.

But Mr. Rove understood that the facts were irrelevant. For one thing, he knew he could count on the administration's supporters to obediently accept a changing story line. Read the before-and-after columns by pro-administration pundits about Iraq: before the war they castigated the C.I.A. for understating the threat posed by Saddam's W.M.D.; after the war they castigated the C.I.A. for exaggerating the very same threat.

Mr. Rove also understands, better than anyone else in American politics, the power of smear tactics. Attacks on someone who contradicts the official line don't have to be true, or even plausible, to undermine that person's effectiveness. All they have to do is get a lot of media play, and they'll create the sense that there must be something wrong with the guy.

And now we know just how far he was willing to go with these smear tactics: as part of the effort to discredit Joseph Wilson IV, Mr. Rove leaked the fact that Mr. Wilson's wife worked for the C.I.A. I don't know whether Mr. Rove can be convicted of a crime, but there's no question that he damaged national security for partisan advantage. If a Democrat had done that, Republicans would call it treason.

But what we're getting, instead, is yet another impressive demonstration that these days, truth is political. One after another, prominent Republicans and conservative pundits have declared their allegiance to the party line. They haven't just gone along with the diversionary tactics, like the irrelevant questions about whether Mr. Rove used Valerie Wilson's name in identifying her (Robert Novak later identified her by her maiden name, Valerie Plame), or the false, easily refuted claim that Mr. Wilson lied about who sent him to Niger. They're now a chorus, praising Mr. Rove as a patriotic whistle-blower.

Ultimately, this isn't just about Mr. Rove. It's also about Mr. Bush, who has always known that his trusted political adviser - a disciple of the late Lee Atwater, whose smear tactics helped President Bush's father win the 1988 election - is a thug, and obviously made no attempt to find out if he was the leaker.

Most of all, it's about what has happened to America. How did our political system get to this point?