Posts Tagged ‘overpopulation’

HACKING JACK’S

June 13, 2011

[ ODD SHOTS and IDLE PENSEES Nr. 10!! (New old stuff)]

“Hacking Jack’s Fine Cigars” Sign, Futurama.

“I prefer the hands-on touch you can only get with hired goons.” Mr. Burns, Simpsons.

“God, give me strength to be what I want to be, and forgive me for being what I am.” Antonio Banderas, Desperado.

Q: What’s it like in your little dream world? A: A little humid. One nanobot to another, Jimmy Neutron.

“There’s nothing like a little bit of truth to sell a big lie.” Barnaby, MidSommer Murders.

Excessive greed precedes the collapse of civilization. Archeology hypothesis (Mayan/Roman, etc.).

No nation in history has ever escaped the consequences of its own hubris.

“Thank god we live in a country so hysterical over crime we can try a ten-year old boy as an adult.” Mr. Burns, Simpsons.

If you want fantasy, go to the movies, a singles bar, or church.

“Take Memoprove and forget memory problems!” T.V. ad. Blanks your mind?

“I don’t have time for this! I’ve got 75 shortcakes to strawberry!” Chef, Simpsons.

“Dead man’s nothing but a corpse. Nobody cares who he is now.” Sgt. Zack, Gene Evans, The Steel Helmet.

“Men fear death as children fear the dark.” Sir Francis Bacon.

“Those who seek justice, fall prey to it.” Character, The Reckoning. Tell George Bush.

“With the 14th moon, there’s always tomorrow and hope.” Millennium Actress.

Hope never filled a soup bowl.

Sign of overpopulation: everyone walking about in headphones to find “a bit of peace,” “relief,” and “escape.” (more…)

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THIS IS NOT A DRILL

January 26, 2011

The Last Bald Eagle, a Patriot's Dream

This is not a wail of sorrow, but a call to action and the elements of a plan. The Catch-22 is that each one of us, cliché, has to ACT, and oh, I wish it wasn’t so, because it’s nice just lying around, drinking beer, Chablis, so forth, munching chips, caviar, watching Oprah, whatever.

BACK STORY:

I became a genuine environmentalist while in the Navy in the second half of the Sixties. I did some South Seas reef diving and became a bogus shell collector, proud to take only “live” shells, boiling them clean when I got home, thinking that the conches smelled like particularly good seafood. The conches taught me what I needed to know. I found one lying on the sandy bottom, spotted more, and soon harvested five. Score! I took them home, and while they were boiling, did the research – which strikes me as humanity’s general approach to nature, learning about it after we’ve shot, stabbed, strangled and/or overbuilt it. On this occasion I learned that conches eat the brittle star, which eats live coral, exposing the reef to erosion, which exposes the island to the waves, which erode the island – no more island. I had helped to destroy the balance, enabling one species to overwhelm another, breaking the co-dependent chain that sustains all. My ignorance gave the planet deeper grief than could be guessed. Multiplied by a legion of ignorantly indifferent shell collectors, the islands were doomed. Adding greed and superstition to the equation, which institutionalizes and exalts ignorance, we have the entire human race’s approach to the planet today. Personal note, I never took another live shell.

Global warming, global dimming, and overpopulation beset us. We are overheating the planet, interfering with its rainfall, changing the ocean currents, destroying the bottom of the food chain, and breeding like rabbits. But, not to worry, it’s all in some cockamamie book or other; written by ancient nomadic desert dwellers that knew nothing about science, who maintained – unreasonably – that’s it’s all out of our control. Some supreme invisible sky being is “planning” everything for us and in the end, if you believe this drivel, all will come out just hunky-dory. It’s all for the best, just ask Pat Robertson, or any other nut bag right wing true believer.

The rich who benefit most from natural destruction, and all who help them, are intentionally committing high crimes and misdemeanors against life on this planet; they would be felonies if committed against human beings – “but we gotta kill those forests to feed all those babies” (lining fat pockets). Until it ends. Completely.

The numbskulls are corrupting our laws and tossing aside every value other than material profit and individual power, still subdividing farmland, planting high-rise condos on our waterfronts, eating the spoils of the global holocaust, and taking immense pride in their ability to waste gas and ruin the air in a Hummer, which they have somehow mentally transmuted to the end-all of human existence. Well, they’re about to find out how right they are. I hope those Hummers come with deep space life-support.

Many people care more about some redneck bastard’s paternity on Jerry Springer, than the planet’s survival (literally, “some redneck bastard”). Money, sex, drugs, and cheap thrills prevail – as commodity, as constant pastime, as life pursuit. It’s obvious that we’re much too stupid as a species to prevent our own extinction; it’s just too bad we have to take most other species with us when we go – bad sports us.

Alas, it was such a beautiful planet. Now, it’s on its way to becoming a lifeless and barren husk. Don’t think of it as desert, think of it as Palm Springs after all the water runs out. Mars is us.

According to the best science, we’ve got ten years left to take this issue on seriously and save our butts. It may well be less, no one can accurately predict the rate of decay. It will take most of us to accomplish any earthly salvation, but if we don’t confront and dispose of our garbage: religion; overpopulation; short-term economic self-interest; and our ostrich-like tendency to duck and cover in order to avoid seeing our approaching doom, we’re screwed.

We must stop over consumption, kick capitalism into a servant’s status in our democratic life, and curb the excesses of individual and tribal (read also national) self-interest, and put the societal kibosh on religious fanaticism – it is a mental disorder, pure and simple. Impossible, you say? That’s my point: good luck wishes and the spin of prayer are about all we seem willing to invest in our own survival. If it is impossible to resist, I want to use a different word than extinction, which the movies have helped us to accept as, oh, yes, inevitable, that. Suicide must apply, instead – insane self-extermination.

SOME FACTS:

WAYS TO REDUCE CARBON FOOTPRINTS: Abstracted:Not So Carbon FriendlyJennifer Anderson, Portland Tribune. Sound Off – www.portlandtribune.com

ACTION: Measure: Lifetime carbon dioxide saved in Metric Tons)

  • ·        Recycle newspaper, magazines, glass, plastic, and aluminum cans – 17 tons
  • ·        Replace old refrigerator with energy-efficient model – 19 tons
  • ·        Replace 10 incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient ones – 36 tons
  • ·        Replace single-glazed windows with energy-efficient windows – 21 tons
  • ·        Reduce miles driven from 231 to 155 per week – 147 tons
  • ·        Increase car fuel economy from 20 miles per gallon to 30 – 148 tons
  • ·        REDUCE NUMBER OF CHILDREN BY ONE 9,441 tons 

Data from U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s personal emissions calculator and calculations by OSU statistics professor Paul Murtaugh. Annual totals based on lifespan of 80 (female expectancy U.S.) Source: Paul Murtaugh.

Under current conditions, each child in the U.S. adds about 9,4441 metric tons of carbon dioxide to the parents’ carbon legacy during his lifetime. That’s 5.7 times more than the average childless person. A child born in China has a fifth of the impact of a child born in the U.S. The carbon legacy and greenhouse gas impact of having a child is almost 20 times more important than other ecologically minded lifestyle choices like driving a fuel-efficient car, recycling or being energy-efficient. The same conclusions roughly apply to fresh water consumption.

MORE RAGING GOOD NEWS:

DROWNING – In 1994, the Smithsonian‘s Wilson Quarterly stated, “Some of the environmental changes may produce irreversible damage to the Earth’s capacity to sustain life.” The island of Tobago in the Caribbean is being inundated by 3-4 feet per year (ten times faster than ten years ago) and is expected to lose 30-40 feet per year in the next ten. “Science and technology may not be able to prevent either irreversible degradation of the environment or continued poverty for much of the world.”

Seven Feet Not Only Possible, But Likely

It’s been widely acknowledged that the IPCC estimates from 2007 are too conservative when it comes to sea level rise. Unofficial updates to that research, publicized in March 2009 at the Copenhagen Climate Congress, said at minimum the world is likely to see half a meter, with more than a meter well within the realm of possibility. A new piece in Yale Environment 360 goes beyond that.

The world’s major coastal cities will undoubtedly receive most of the attention as sea level rise threatens infrastructure. Miami tops the list of most endangered cities in the world, as measured by the value of property that would be threatened by a three-foot rise. This would flood all of Miami Beach and leave downtown Miami sitting as an island of water, disconnected from the rest of Florida. Other threatened U.S. cities include New York/Newark, New Orleans, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Tampa-St Petersburg, and San Francisco. Osaka/Kobe, Tokyo, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, London and Nagoya are among the most threatened major cities outside of North America

Preserving coastal cities will require huge public expenditures, leaving smaller coastal resort communities to fend for themselves. Manhattan, for example, is likely to beat out Nags Head, North Carolina for federal funds, a fact that recreational beach communities must recognize when planning a response to sea level rise.

Which brings up the appalling fact that many cities are developing public housing in floodplains. It may be just in time for property developers to cash in before the land goes under. Will we, the dense public, be invited to bail out subsequently sinking subsidized housing? Will we eventually build seawalls thirty feet high at public expense to protect uninsurable money pits?

SUFFOCATING – We may not have to worry about that. If the Arctic becomes six degrees warmer, half the world’s permafrost will likely thaw, probably to a depth of a few metres, releasing most of the carbon and methane accumulated there over thousands of years say experts on permafrost. Methane is a 25 times more potent warming gas than carbon dioxide (CO2). This why some climate scientists call for a rapid phaseout of fossil fuels, recommending that emissions peak by 2015 and decline three per cent per year.

Meanwhile, energy experts believe a new generation of low-cost, thin-film solar roof and outside wall coverings being made today has the potential to eliminate burning coal and oil to generate electricity – if governments have the political will to fully embrace green technologies. Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/09/20-2

We have to stand up to those fossil fuel giants and make them stand down. They are working against all life as we know it. There is NO excuse for it.

GROWTH and DEVELOPMENT – As to population, experts predict twice as many people in the United States by the year 2050. More babies are being born today than during the so-called “Baby-Boomer” generation and we ain’t seen nuthin’ yet! The ridiculous taboos around the issue of human population – usually “politically correct” arguments of small practical value – are a direct threat to our own dear, precious, misdirected, unthinking selves. We’re breeding ourselves out of room.

No brainer: unchecked growth demands greater and greater amounts of shrinking resources. The scale of many of our dilemmas – e.g. public health and housing – is attributable to too many people competing for too few resources in too small a space. Get a clue! It would seem, therefore, that some education and some action on this issue might be in order. Yet, religious institutions militantly urge membership to procreate, and sponsor armies of child-producing sectarian immigrants. Business leadership focuses on lower wages, larger markets and plentiful cheap labor. Timorous local, state and federal elected leaders bicker over tax-funded population education, and resist tax-funded birth prevention. We argue over sex education, birth control, and abortion while our overcrowded house burns down. But we can get kiddie porn on the Comcast cable monopoly!

The nation has conducted the biggest prison-building program in history, even as the hard crime rate falls. This may be due to “effective community policing,” but it is also systematic suppression of a youthful surplus male underclass without family wage jobs. Statistically, economic development largely benefits a relatively small group of players: nine-tenths of the people grin and bear eroding livability, falling wages and rising prices in a rat race fueled by non-productive speculation. We have, created whole new crimes – e.g. “simple” marijuana possession – and longer “minimum” sentences to keep our disaffected unemployed off our city streets.

For many leaders, there is no apparent alternative. Most business, elected and mainstream media leadership extols an almost mystical faith in “growth,” pursuing mythical future taxes that can never catch up with the infrastructure stresses the growth produces – particularly as corporately manipulated voters cut off tax money via “popular” ballot initiatives, and corporate lawyers run loops around the bureaucrats, do-gooders and the long-suffering public.

HOPE, THOUGH – We can turn the whole thing around right now if we have the courage to do it. We can join action committees, raise our voices in common cause to insist on green jobs, rebuild our decaying infrastructure and repair the damages of unchecked “growth and development;” there’s plenty of money, and posterity in that. Let’s clean up the Super Fund and Brown Sites – there’s work there for generations and we can charge the polluters for the damages – why shouldn’t they pay for their own destructive mess? Franklin Roosevelt improved our National Parks; they all need a spruce up right now. We can make the corporations pay us to reforest the slopes and lands they have butchered in their quest for the almighty dollar. We can make them pay a fair price for the minerals and resources they tear out of public lands for $5 per acre; why are we giving away our gold in the ground without a public cut? Cries for private enterprise are all well and good, but the public has a collective need for a life free from want and fear – have we forgotten that? Why should we let one class of narrow-minded, mean-spirited, selfish people stand in the way of the rest of humanity and planetary survival? What is this, Easter Island all over on a global scale? Let’s build those damned statues, gang, it’s all they’ll remember us by, whoever they may be. What a race of wusses we have become. Bawk-bawk-bawk, hear the chickens squawk.

RELATED:

“We have it in our power to remake the world!” – Thomas Paine, American author, patriot, founder.

NOTABLE FINAL THOUGHTS:

In 1956, C. Wright Mills wrote in the Power Elite:

“Two things are needed in a democracy: articulate and knowledgeable publics, and political leaders who, if not men of reason, are at least reasonably responsible to such knowledgeable publics as exist. Such a public and such leaders – either of power or of knowledge – do not now prevail, and knowledge does not now have democratic relevance in America.”

The rich are generally blind or indifferent to the social consequences of ignoring the welfare of the general citizenry. In the end, we all pay for their selfish indifference. If we, the people don’t get smart pretty quickly, we, the people will perish much sooner than expected, and NOT due to any particular plan, but simply because of plain old human selfishness and self-deception. The rich will succeed in killing us; our only consolation is that we will take them with us. Won’t we?

The time for each one to reach one, each one to teach one, is NOW.

“Act. There may be no result in your lifetime, but without action, there will be no result at all.” – Mahatma Gandhi.

Worthy and Effective Progressive Volunteer Action Groups:

 

  • AVAAZ
  • http://www.moveon.org/?skip=1
  • Center for Biological Diversity
  • MOVETOAMEND

     

    Eve of Extinction

     

    IS IT SAFE TO COME OUT, YET?

    July 30, 2010

    OUR SHAME

    Oil Leases Cancelled in Gulf, Atlantic
    The Center for Biological Diversity applauded this Wednesday when the Obama administration cancelled two offshore oil and gas lease sales: one in the Atlantic, off Virginia, and one in the western Gulf of Mexico. The Atlantic lease sale was in a controversial area approved by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for expanded offshore oil development after the Bush administration lifted the Atlantic drilling moratorium. The lease sale in the Gulf was scheduled to take place next month. In cancelling the sales, the government admitted it needs more time to improve the safety of offshore oil and gas development and provide greater environmental protection to  substantially reduce the risk of catastrophic events like another massive oil spill.
    “President Obama’s decision to cancel these lease sales recognizes that risky offshore drilling needs reform,” said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans director at the Center. “In light of the BP oil spill, the president should pull back from the entire plan to expand offshore drilling and instead pursue clean energy.”

    Check out our press release and learn the latest on the Gulf disaster. Then take action to tell the administration to end all dangerous offshore drilling.

    LIFE INSURANCE FOR THE PLANET:

    There is no life insurance policy for planet earth.  The fate of our planet is painful to think about.  It is decades since we first became concerned about pollution, water scarcity, wastes, pesticides, overpopulation and erosion.  Under Ronald Reagan the country turned away from such problems, but today they are the problems we fear most.  They are global and potentially irreversible.  They include the build-up of greenhouse gases, the thinning of the ozone layer, destruction of rain forests and accelerating extinctions of other species.  Some would say they are impossible to stop.  The world’s economy is built into them.

    Yet, as Jonathan Weiner writes in The Next One Hundred Years, the changes trouble even those who try to ignore them and worry only about whether the old garage is sagging or the mortgage is due.  A question mark curls above our roofs and makes a mockery of our hopes.  If the earth is falling apart, there go the plans for summer vacation.

    As we locally chop down trees and cover arable earth with concrete, we should bear in mind the ecological limits of what we do.  The same is true of the industry we attract and of the population we propose to support in our regional environment.  In Multnomah County, Oregon, they plan to add more hundreds of thousands of people by deliberate design, less an act of planning than of whistling while walking through the graveyard.

    There are public policy questions that have not been adequately presented and debatedLocal media, elected officials, governmental staff and economic development and business communities have consistently pursued the “cutting edge” of the latest “growth opportunities” without equally weighing the adverse impacts potential in each of these proposed, but too often unrelated developments.  Never has the time for comprehensive and thoroughly cooperative deliberation and action been more urgent.

    Common needs for clean air, clean water and a livable future have been subordinated in the rush to insure our immediate economic well being.  While motives may be benign, it is patently obvious to all but the most self deceiving or self serving that we are in the midst of a global crisis which calls for a philosophy which protects, defends and advances the common interest. In the context of a rapidly diminishing resource pool, in the face of rising and conceivably irreversible environmental damage, it is beyond foolishness to persist in an economic expansionism that degrades and erodes the livability of our common home.

    All local elected officials should plan from a basis which explores the possibility of sustainability, including revenue sharing to decrease conflict over development opportunities and inappropriate public incentives which pit one community against another.  No jurisdiction should function without regard for its neighbors and friends and our shared earth.

    Never in world history has humankind been so powerful in its geophysical impact on the planet.  As hard as the weaning may be, business as usual no longer makes sense.  If we are, as some scientists term us, homo sapiens sapiens, man the doubly wise, let’s prove it before we lose it.

    Choices.

    LET’S HEAR IT FOR BIOMASS!

    “To the massmoss with this wingéd fruitcake!” – The Tyrant, Barbarella.

    Hemp biomass for fuel would be cleaner and more economical than any other source.  Corn is the least efficient and most costly.  Hemp is easily grown almost everywhere, and completely renewable.  It is a carbon sink, cleaning the air.  10,000 acres of hemp yields as much paper as 40,000 acres of wood pulp.  It gives a far greater yield per acre, and is better for the overall health of the land.

    Sources below will tell you what there is to know in great well-documented detail.  Plus, you get to “meet” Jack Herer – a man the mystics call a “great soul.”

    Emperor of Hemp – narrated by Peter Coyote, VHS, DVD, 59 min.  Bill Maher calls it “A triumph for the open-minded.”  The story of Jack Herer, author of:The Emperor Wears No Clothes, best selling book that blows the lid off the anti-hemp conspiracy and explains all there is to know about one miraculous plant.  Available at the web site: www.emperorofhemp.com; Jack Herer’ web site home is athttp://www.jackherer.com/Both are also available through www.Amazon.com

    VIDEO: Obama Preserves Inherited Bush Abuses Friday, July 30, 2010 by The Rachel Maddow Show. http://www.commondreams.org/video/2010/07/30-0

    DEAD BROKE EMPIRE CROWD

    November 3, 2009

    Negative Horizon

    Our Economy Was a Scam and Now We’re Dead Broke By Joe Bageant, JoeBageant.com.

    America is broke. And the easy credit, phantom “growth” economy has been exposed for what it was: a credit scam.

    When Barack Obama took office it seemed to some of us that his first job was to get the national silverware out of the pawn shop. Or at least maintain the world’s confidence that it was possible for us to get out of debt. America is dead broke, the easy credit, phantom “growth” economy has been exposed for what it was. A credit scam. Even Hillary Clinton and Obama’s best efforts have not coaxed much more dough out of foreign friends. But at least we again have a few friends abroad.

    So now we must jackleg ourselves back into something resembling a productive activity. No matter how you cut it, things will not be as much fun as shopping and speculative “investing” were.

    The fiesta is over, the economy as we knew it is dead.

    The national money shamans have danced around the carcass of our dead horse economy, chanted the recovery chant and burned fiat currency like Indian sage, enshrouding the carcass in the sacred smoke of burning cash. And indeed, they have managed to prop up the carcass to appear life-like from a distance, if you squint through the smoke just right. But it still stinks here from the inside. Clearly at some point we must find a new horse to ride, and sure as god made little green apples one is broaching the horizon. And it looks exactly like the old horse.  READ MORE:

    http://www.alternet.org/politics/143521/our_economy_was_a_scam_and_now_we%27re_dead_broke

    6 Signs That the American Empire Is Coming to an Early End By Michael T. Klare, Tomdispatch.com.

    The day of America’s global pre-eminence is over. We must face the new global realities.Posted October 27, 2009.

    Memo to the CIA: You may not be prepared for time-travel, but welcome to 2025 anyway! Your rooms may be a little small, your ability to demand better accommodations may have gone out the window, and the amenities may not be to your taste, but get used to it. It’s going to be your reality from now on.

    Okay, now for the serious version of the above: In November 2008, the National Intelligence Council (NIC), an affiliate of the Central Intelligence Agency, issued the latest in a series of futuristic publications intended to guide the incoming Obama administration. Peering into its analytic crystal ball in a report entitled Global Trends 2025, it predicted that America’s global preeminence would gradually disappear over the next 15 years — in conjunction with the rise of new global powerhouses, especially China and India. The report examined many facets of the future strategic environment, but its most startling, and news-making, finding concerned the projected long-term erosion of American dominance and the emergence of new global competitors. “Although the United States is likely to remain the single most powerful actor [in 2025],” it stated definitively, the country’s “relative strength — even in the military realm — will decline and U.S. leverage will become more constrained.”

    That, of course, was then; this — some 11 months into the future — is now and how things have changed. Futuristic predictions will just have to catch up to the fast-shifting realities of the present moment. Although published after the onset of the global economic meltdown was underway, the report was written before the crisis reached its full proportions and so emphasized that the decline of American power would be gradual, extending over the assessment’s 15-year time horizon. But the economic crisis and attendant events have radically upset that timetable. As a result of the mammoth economic losses suffered by the United States over the past year and China’s stunning economic recovery, the global power shift the report predicted has accelerated. For all practical purposes, 2025 is here already.  READ MORE:

    http://www.alternet.org/world/143514/6_signs_that_the_american_empire_is_coming_to_an_early_end

    Apocalypse Soon: Halloween Interview on Overpopulation with Kierán Suckling

    Scared of ghosts, goblins, and jack-o-lanterns? None of those are on the Santa Fe Reporter‘s list of the top five environmental horrors. But human overpopulation is. “Apocalypse Soon: Today’s Environmental Horrors Could Lead to a Scary Sci-Fi Future” interviews Center for Biological Diversity director Kierán Suckling. Click below to read the whole article. Here are few excerpts:

    “Virtually everything that is destroying wildlife habitat and the environment is driven by overpopulation,” Kierán Suckling, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity, says.

    “Whether it’s too many people diverting water out of the Rio Grande or too much wood use leading to the logging of old-growth forests, the bottom line is there are too many people using too many resources to be able to have a healthy environment.”

    “It’s great to focus on reducing our carbon footprint, but…unless we start reducing the footprints to begin with, we and other species are not going to survive on this planet.”

    “The majority of environmental groups avoid addressing overpopulation like the plague. I think that’s largely because they lack the courage of their convictions. They are fearful that in saying that [we are overpopulated] they will be viewed as being anti-human somehow–as if squalor and overpopulation are somehow pro-human.”  READ MORE:

    Read the Santa Fe Reporter interview and learn what the Center’s doing to confront the overpopulation crisis head-on.

    Septic Truck

    BANKERS and TEABAGGERS

    October 28, 2009

    Brotherhood

    Thousands March in 3-Day Showdown with Banking Industry By Kari Lydersen, AlterNet.

    Tired of bailouts and fat paychecks for those that created the economic catastrophe, marchers made clear demands to tame an out-of-control financial system.

    Workers gave pink slips to the country’s top bankers Tuesday morning to culminate three days of protests, billed as the Showdown in Chicago, during the American Bankers’ Association’s annual meeting.

    Before a jeering and cheering crowd of 5,000 union members and activists, Armando Robles, president of UE Local 1110 and a leader of the Republic Windows factory occupation last year, attached big, fluorescent pink slips to larger-than-life cutouts of retiring Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf and JP Morgan Chase CEO James Dimon.

    The three CEOs were probably among the bank officials meeting in the Sheraton behind the stage that featured speeches by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Change to Win Chairwoman Anna Burger, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and workers and community leaders.

    After “firing” the bank CEOs, Adam Kader of the workers group Arise Chicago presented a notice that the banks’ $17.8 trillion “loan” in taxpayer-bailout funds is due since, he said, banks have not complied with the conditions placed on the handout by the people.  READ MORE:

    http://www.alternet.org/workplace/143547/thousands_march_in_3-day_showdown_with_banking_industry

    Tea Party Movement Returns, This Time with Much More Dangerous and Explicit Rhetoric By Frank Schaeffer, AlterNet.

    It’s not too hard to guess where talk of ‘Judgement Day’ can lead to in the context of a right-wing, gun-loving movement.

    According to the “Tea Party” website, Tea Party Express II: Countdown To Judgment Day” is underway. Here’s how their website describes it:

    All throughout the recent Tea Party Express national bus tour we kept receiving calls from people around the nation who lived far away from the route our buses took across America. We vowed at the time to keep the Tea Party Express effort alive — and that’s exactly what we are doing.Join us from October 25th to November 11th, 2009 as we tell Congress and the White House: “Enough!” Let’s stand up and stop the bailouts, cap and trade, out-of-control spending, government-run health care, and higher taxes! We’re back and determined to take our country back!

    What will happen on their predicted “Judgment Day”?

    If you buy the biblical spin of the Religious Right folks — that make up the bulk of the Tea Party movement — the implication is clear: Jesus will soon return, send all Democrats, gays, blacks, progressives, liberals, college-educated unbelievers, etc., to Hell, while saving what Sarah Palin calls “us” “Real Americans” — in other words unreconstructed frightened and resentful white lower middle class Americans.

    (As a former right wing evangelical anti-abortion leader who built a good career from these folks — until I quit in disgust with myself, the anti-American nature of the movement and the takeover the Republican Party by extremists — I know of what I speak.)

    If you put the secular/right’s “tree-of-Liberty-must-be-watered-by-the-blood-of-tyrants-Timothy McVeigh spin on the Judgment Day scenario; then there will soon be a hoped for bloody day of reckoning for the occupant of the White House.

    http://www.alternet.org/rights/143554/tea_party_movement_returns%2C_this_time_with_much_more_dangerous_and_explicit_rhetoric

    The Case for Marijuana Legalization and Regulation By Paul Armentano, AlterNet.

    An exclusive look at the historic testimony prepared for a special hearing on legalizing marijuana to the California Assembly.

    The following is the testimony NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano will deliver on Oct. 28 to the California Assembly Public Safety Committee’s special hearing on “the legalization of marijuana: social, fiscal and legal implications for California.” Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, sponsor of AB 390, The Marijuana Control, Regulation and Education Act, is the chairman of the committee.

    By any objective standard, marijuana prohibition is an abject failure.

    Nationwide, U.S. law enforcement have arrested over 20 million American citizens for marijuana offenses since 1965, yet today marijuana is more prevalent than ever before, adolescents have easier access to marijuana than ever before, the drug is more potent than ever before, and there is more violence associated with the illegal marijuana trade than ever before.

    Over 100 million Americans nationally have used marijuana despite prohibition, and 1 in 10 — according to current government survey data — use it regularly.

    The criminal prohibition of marijuana has not dissuaded anyone from using marijuana or reduced its availability; however, the strict enforcement of this policy has adversely impacted the lives and careers of millions of people who simply elected to use a substance to relax that is objectively safer than alcohol.

    NORML believes that the state of California ought to amend criminal prohibition and replace it with a system of legalization, taxation, regulation and education.

    The case for legalization and regulation

    Only through state government regulation will we be able to bring necessary controls to the commercial marijuana market. READ MORE:

    http://www.alternet.org/drugreporter/143558/the_case_for_marijuana_legalization_and_regulation

    30 Reasons Fox News Is Not Legit By Eric Boehlert, Media Matters for America.

    Fox News routinely, and blatantly, breaks the code to which ethical journalists are supposed to aspire. READ MORE:

    http://www.alternet.org/media/143541/30_reasons_fox_news_is_not_legit

    Why Won’t Obama Send Condolence Letters to the Parents of Soldiers Who Have Committed Suicide? By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!.

    The bereaved parents of Chancellor Keesling, a US soldier who took his own life in Iraq, wonder why the death of their son is treated differently than other mortalities.  READ MORE:

    http://www.alternet.org/world/143557/why_won%27t_obama_send_condolence_letters_to_the_parents_of_soldiers_who_have_committed_suicide

    Apocalypse Soon: Halloween Interview on Overpopulation with Kierán Suckling

    Scared of ghosts, goblins, and jack-o-lanterns? None of those are on the Santa Fe Reporter‘s list of the top five environmental horrors. But human overpopulation is. “Apocalypse Soon: Today’s Environmental Horrors Could Lead to a Scary Sci-Fi Future” interviews Center for Biological Diversity director Kierán Suckling. Click below to read the whole article. Here are few excerpts:

    “Virtually everything that is destroying wildlife habitat and the environment is driven by overpopulation,” Kierán Suckling, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity, says.

    “Whether it’s too many people diverting water out of the Rio Grande or too much wood use leading to the logging of old-growth forests, the bottom line is there are too many people using too many resources to be able to have a healthy environment.”

    “It’s great to focus on reducing our carbon footprint, but…unless we start reducing the footprints to begin with, we and other species are not going to survive on this planet.”

    “The majority of environmental groups avoid addressing overpopulation like the plague. I think that’s largely because they lack the courage of their convictions. They are fearful that in saying that [we are overpopulated] they will be viewed as being anti-human somehow–as if squalor and overpopulation are somehow pro-human.”

    Read the Santa Fe Reporter interview and learn what the Center’s doing to confront the overpopulation crisis head-on.

     Wamm2

    POLLUTER BORN EVERY MINUTE

    September 14, 2009

    Coming to America -Triptych

    [See also POLLUTER BORN EVERY MINUTE reprise for full post]

    TOO DAMNED MANY PEOPLE

    WAYS TO REDUCE CARBON FOOTPRINTS:

    ACTION: (Measure: Lifetime carbon dioxide saved in Metric Tons. Data from U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s personal emissions calculator and calculations by OSU statistics professor Paul Murtaugh.  Annual totals based on lifespan of 80 – female expectancy U.S.  Source: Paul Murtaugh).

    Recycle newspaper, magazines, glass, plastic, and aluminum cans – 17 tons

    Replace old refrigerator with energy-efficient model – 19 tons

    Replace 10 incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient ones – 36 tons

    Replace single-glazed windows with energy-efficient windows – 21 tons

    Reduce miles driven from 231 to 155 per week – 147 tons

    Increase car’s fuel economy from 20 miles per gallon to 30 – 148 tons

    REDUCE NUMBER OF CHILDREN BY ONE  – 9,441 tons

    Under current conditions, each child in the U.S. adds about 9,4441 metric tons of carbon dioxide to the parents’ carbon legacy during his lifetime.  That’s 5.7 times more than the average childless person.

    A child born in China has a fifth of the impact of a child born in the U.S.

    The carbon legacy and greenhouse gas impact of having a child is almost 20 times more important than other ecologically minded lifestyle choices like driving a fuel-efficient car, recycling or being energy-efficient.

    The same conclusions also roughly apply to fresh water consumption. Fresh water has been and will continue to be cause for international conflict. The amount of fresh water on planet earth is finite and we’re running out.

    Many children are born to people who are not ready or willing to raise them.

    Many parents are less ecologically responsible out of convenience, e.g. using disposable instead of cloth diapers; buying an SUV instead of a compact (“The family is so much safer.”  Not in the long run, Mom; bad choice for the grand children too, if any).

    Abstracted: “Not So Carbon Friendly” Jennifer Anderson, Portland Tribune.  Sound Off – Comment: www.portlandtribune.com

    TIME IS SHORT

    According to the best science, we’ve got ten years left to take this issue on seriously and save our butts.  It may well be less, no one can accurately predict the rate of decay.  It will take most of us to accomplish any earthly salvation, but if we don’t confront and dispose of our garbage, which includes, but is not limited to: religion; overpopulation; short-term economic self-interest; and our ostrich-like tendency to duck and cover in order to avoid seeing our approaching doom, we’re screwed.

    We must stop over consumption, kick capitalism into a servant’s status in our democratic life, and curb the excesses of individual and tribal (read also national) self-interest.  Impossible, you say?  That’s my point: good luck and the spin of prayer is about all we seem willing to invest in our own survival.

    Homo sapiens, Man the “wise,” we called ourselves; Homo sapiens sapiens, man the “doubly wise” some scientists call us now.  Yeah, right.  First step: pick up the shovel and find a place to pitch in; there’s a lot of work to do quickly, and it must be done well.  No me-first crap, one for all and all for one.  Meet you in the trenches.

    A GOOD Place to Start: Center for Biological Diversity

    Slaughtered Dolphins - Japan

    Japanese fishermen riding a boat loaded with slaughtered dolphins at a blood-covered water cove in Taiji harbor, Japan’s Wakayama prefecture. US environmentalist Ric O’Barry has filmed dolphin hunting at the town of Taiji as an eco-documentary called “The Cove” which has started screening in the US.(AFP/HO/File)

    Published on Friday, September 11, 2009 by Agence France Presse

    Japanese Town Starts Dolphin Hunt Under global Spotlight by Kyoko Hasegawa.

    TAIJI, Japan – To animal rights activists it’s a cruel and bloody slaughter; for Japanese it’s a long tradition: this week fishermen in a picturesque coastal town embarked on their annual dolphin hunt.  Every year, crews in motorboats here have rounded up about 2,000 of the sea mammals, banged metal poles to herd them into a small, rocky cove and killed them with harpoons, sparing a few dozen for sale to marine aquariums.

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/09/11-4