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Job Bonanza: Drill the Whales

5:10 am in Uncategorized by Ruth Calvo

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The present right wing obsession with EPA as the enemy has created a number of ugly sights.   Some of them are the destroyed landscape that fracking has produced.   The other is the political faction that will promote the most obvious lies to excuse decrying the population that prefers scenery to fumes.    It’s almost funny to watch the results, here with Rand Paul insisting that asthma is the result of clean air, and pollution its cure.

Long, long ago and far, far away, the land we’re now fracking had lots of space and scenery, and, as schoolchildren, the now-aging population sang about ‘purple mountains’ majesty’  without a sneer about tree hugging.   Along came the family car with its network of highways, and we started to ruin it.

When the auto industry was young, it was necessary to choose the fuel that all of us would use to power the new mode of transportation.   Whale oil was getting a bit shaky, vegetable oil interfered with food production, but beneath the earth there was this slimy waste product nobody wanted, it was cheap because it was a nuisance.

Texans knew of the oil that lay beneath the ground in the state for decades, but this was often seen more as a problem than a benefit because it hindered the digging of water wells. Rancher W. T. Waggoner, who later became an influential oil businessman, struck oil while drilling for water in 1902, and was quoted as saying “I wanted water, and they got me oil. I tell you I was mad, mad clean through. We needed water for ourselves and for our cattle to drink.”[21]

The auto manufacturers tooled up to use fossil fuels.   On the side, oil drilling became another boom, and wells obliterated whole communities as people discovered that instead of dirt farming, they could drill in their dirt. Read the rest of this entry →

Food Sunday: Organic Farming Arouses Wingnut Urge to Make More Bucks

2:22 am in Uncategorized by Ruth Calvo

Killer veggies Attack

(Picture courtesy of flickr.com.)

Sometimes the constant push to make another nickel off of any distress is simply downright appalling.  People are dying, so now we can make another buck, comes the raptor screech on the right.   Organic gardening really pulls their chain.   The vision of normal people doing simple things that make their life pleasant without recourse to the chemical product industry really makes the right wingers mad.

The recent outbreak of salmonella in Europe, that killed folks, was a great break for the need to produce another buck for the PTB.   Every crisis an opportunity.

Organic gardening as a danger and subversive, even pinko,  jumps onto the scene.  The moonie recidivist community was busily at work at the Washington Times political ad machine.  (The link is to MediaMatters, don’t worry about clicking on it.)

Right now, someone nearby is buying organic bean sprouts. It may be the last thing he ever does. Last week’s E. coli outbreak in Germany – potentially traced to an organic farm — was more deadly than the largest nuclear disaster of the last quarter-century.

[...]

The scale of the danger we ignore by pretending organic food isn’t a business like every other is nearly unimaginable. According to World Health Organization statistics on E. coli deaths, in just the past two years, more people have been killed by the disease than all fission-related events since the dawn of the nuclear age — even if you include the use of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The time has come for even the mighty organic lobby to accept the precautionary principle — the idea that it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to organic farms’ potentially deadly practices. Until we know for certain that the outbreak could not have been caused by the suspect organic farm, we must act to protect the public from the unknown risks of organic practices.

First, the Obama administration needs to impose a timeout in the expansion or opening of any new organic farms while regulators and federal safety experts examine the ongoing dangers presented by organic food.

The core of organic farming is the rejection of a century’s worth of scientific advances. The same risks that Christian Scientists take with their own children when they reject modern medicine, organic farmers are eager to take with your children when they reject modern agriculture. [The Washington Times, 6/8/11]

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You Really Don’t Want Rick Perry in the White House

12:49 am in Uncategorized by Ruth Calvo

Primary begins.

(Picture courtesy of flickr.com.)

The Götterdämmerung that is the Republican Party’s campaign for the presidency in 2012 has been wild enough to give hope for a round of presidentin’ to everyone who’s enjoyed a few minutes in media’s glare.   That includes TX gov. Perry, recently much touted for offering to secede, and throwing court challenges against EPA’s right to protect TX citizens from the polluters that fund his campaigns.

It is no secret that this state has a lot of business pleasing qualities, such as a total lack of state income tax and of environmental protections.  Famously, we were the first to give industry self-regulation.   Now while reported pollution of air and water is significantly improved, actual figures from the field show our cities are unlivable.   Of course, we knew that.   Texas leads the nation in shunting back any potential services for the working people that it lives off of.

What this nation really doesn’t need is another TX governor exporting the wild and wooly creations of this corporate welfare haven to the national level, at great cost to public interests.

Those celebrating him as the architect of our low-tax state would be forced to acknowledge that this is nothing new, and that Texas is also an extreme low-services state, with serious consequences for Texas families.
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Government Shutdown Prevention Act: April Fools!

6:00 am in Uncategorized by Ruth Calvo

Clowns at Work

(Photo courtesy of garryknight on flickr.)

Today the House is considering taking up the act which Rep. Cantor described as an act that would become law if the Senate failed to act on it.   Naturally, by now there is no one who has even listened to news as background noise who doesn’t realize that that is totally absurd.   No bill becomes law because of a House vote alone.   None, that is, while even a semblance of constitutional government is still in effect.

Now you can watch the House do its number on the provisions of the bill, which have nothing whatsoever to do with jobs creation, that thing the members elected by teabaggage announced would be their complete focus in office.  Asked by Rep. Ellison what the jobs created by the bill numbered, the TP party led by Rep. Woodall could not produce an answer.

The mockery of actual congressional action that is going on now reflects the huge problems facing the members recently elected in response to promises of jobs, promises their own policies cannot fulfill in the real world.   John Boehner is more than the usual hue from his contortions trying to keep a rational surface on their foolery.

This is the tightrope Boehner is walking as he tries to navigate the first of three successive skirmishes over the federal budget. An overwhelming majority of Americans want House Republicans and Senate Democrats to strike a deal that keeps the government’s lights on. But any pact Boehner can broker risks running afoul of the movement that helped propel his party to power — not to mention many of his own members.

Though he praised the Tea Party on Thursday, appeasing them isn’t Boehner’s chief concern. A CNN/Opinion Research poll released this week found that just 32% of respondents had a favorable view of the movement, down from 37% in December. Still, a wide swath of Boehner’s conference buys into the Tea Party’s parsimony. An agreement that lops off anything less than the $61 billion House Republicans promised during the campaign — or one stripped of several controversial policy riders — will spur some GOP defections, perhaps enough to force the House Speaker to court moderate Democrats in order to pass it.

The joke is on voters who elected government officials whose platform was totally contradictory to what they actually intended.   In Wisconsin, the recall efforts are increasingly promising as the public rejects action that belies what they were told they were voting for.  In Ohio and Michigan, as well as other states, efforts to recall liars are a little behind Wisconsin but are enthusiastically received by voters who see they were misled.

The mummery going on on the House floor today is yet another contortion of the role members were elected to play.

A spokeswoman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told Talking Points Memo’s Brian Beutler that the GOP leadership hopes the legislation will inspire the Senate to pass a budget bill “so that we can work quickly to resolve any differences… If they… fail to act, passing this bill would at least keep the government open.” Beutler describes the bill as “messaging legislation–to make House Republicans appear sincere in their desire to avoid a government shutdown, and putting pressure on Senate Democrats and the White House to act.”

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Speaking Out Against the Hatemongers

8:55 am in Uncategorized by Ruth Calvo

Last night, Keith Olbermann had the temerity to put his neck on the scaffold for wingnuttery by speaking out against their race-baiting manipulation of facts to enrage their audience. His words were strong, and they should have been. The masquerade of news that is the right wing network does real damage to our society.

"…thanks to the perpetual fraud machine that is Fox news, and the scum that is this assassin Breitbart, there will be a portion of this country – the mindless, the hateful, the reactionary, the racist – to whom she is ever convicted and ever imprisoned. I have sat behind this desk for seven years and pushed back at these counterfeit journalists, as a man might stand at the shore and try to push back the tide.
(snip)
Let me make this utterly clear: what you see on Fox news, what you read on right wing websites, is the utter and complete perversion of journalism. And it can have no place in a civilized society."

While we on the liberal, rational, side of the internet hesitate to go to extremes in expressing distaste for lies and hatemongering, Keith Olbermann last night gave voice to something so true and so pressing that it has made itself into a threat against democracy.

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Michael Steele, Victimizing Party Members

8:00 am in Uncategorized by Ruth Calvo

The following questionnaire was delivered to an elderly person in the 4th congressional district of Texas, over the signature of the RNC’s chairman Steele, purporting to be a poll on recipients’ reactions to the “Obama Agenda”. It claims that without a big contribution, ‘even $30’, the “Obama Democrats will dig in, using their massive fundraising network to mount an all-out propaganda campaign to obscure their actions in Washington and hide the fact that their agenda is dictated by, and benefits, the special interests that bankroll their election campaigns”.

Naturally, the following poll is a total obscuring of Democratic actions and platform, and any contribution received would have been obtained by fraud. The disregard for truth is prevalent, as usual, in the party that has no proposals of its own that bear up under public scrutiny. Lies are the only way to curry favor with a public the party betrays and abuses.

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