Archive | March, 2012

Philosophy; Republicans for Environmental Protection (REP America)

31 Mar

Check them out. These Republicans know that you can’t be conservative without conserving something.

How does REP answer those who assert that no “real Republican” wants to protect the environment or believes in conservation? How do we respond to those who insist that we must choose between a strong economy and protecting our natural heritage?

1. We point with pride to the great GOP leaders of the past who fought to save natural treasures, signed landmark environmental protection laws, and established many of the policies we take for granted today. We remember Theodore Roosevelt, who established our unmatched system of wildlife refuges and national forests. We remind people that Barry Goldwater, the father of conservatism, was a lifelong conservationist (and also a REP member). We recall that Richard Nixon signed the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and also established the Environmental Protection Agency. We point out that Ronald Reagan fought for the Montreal Protocol, the most effective international environmental treaty ever adopted.

2. We talk of the bipartisan efforts of previous decades, which eliminated burning rivers, cleaned up smog, and preserved pristine wild lands for future generations.

3. We return to the traditional conservative ethic of stewardship, and keep alive the adage of conservative writer Russell Kirk that nothing is more conservative than conservation. True conservatives should safeguard the resources on which the health, security, and economic prosperity of present and future Americans depend.

via Philosophy; Republicans for Environmental Protection (REP America).

A Message From A Republican Meteorologist On Climate Change | ThinkProgress

30 Mar

I am a moderate Republican, fiscally conservative; a fan of small government, accountability, self-empowerment, and sound science. I am not a climate scientist. I’m a meteorologist, and the weather maps I’m staring at are making me uncomfortable. No, you’re not imagining it: we’ve clicked into a new and almost foreign weather pattern. To complicate matters, I’m in a small, frustrated and endangered minority: a Republican deeply concerned about the environmental sacrifices some are asking us to make to keep our economy powered-up, long-term. It’s ironic.

The root of the word conservative is “conserve.” A staunch Republican, Teddy Roosevelt, set aside vast swaths of America for our National Parks System, the envy of the world. Another Republican, Richard Nixon, launched the EPA. Now some in my party believe the EPA and all those silly “global warming alarmists” are going to get in the way of drilling and mining our way to prosperity. Well, we have good reason to be alarmed.

via A Message From A Republican Meteorologist On Climate Change | ThinkProgress.

The Most Transparent Administration Ever™ – Glenn Greenwald – Salon.com

30 Mar

The corpstate at work, hiding its actions behind a veil of secrecy and Obama even more than Bush.

It’s hard to overstate how difficult (and commendable) it is for the ACLU to endorse propositions such as “in some ways, [Obama’s] administration is even worse than the Bush team when it comes to abusing the privilege of secrecy,” or for its Executive Director to say things like: “I’m disgusted with this president.” The ACLU has long been one of the most admired organizations among liberals, progressives, Democrats, etc., and many of its donors, members, and the like do not want to hear that Obama is worse than Bush in many of these vital areas, or that his actions should provoke “disgust” (indeed, to this day — in fact, today — you still have Democratic partisans hilariously insisting with a straight face that, except for some people “of Arab descent,” there is not “a single freedom the administration has curtailed”). Not only are these remarkable statements from the ACLU a reflection of its typical organizational integrity, but they are also an obvious reflection of just how extreme and radical the Obama administration is.

via The Most Transparent Administration Ever™ – Glenn Greenwald – Salon.com.

The FDA Enters Withdrawal: The Future of Antibiotics on Farms – Robert S. Lawrence – Health – The Atlantic

30 Mar

As long as low doses of antibiotics may be continuously fed to food animals to prevent disease, the industrial operations that produce the majority of food animals in this country will continue to serve as giant incubators for antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

It is unclear whether the FDA still considers the use of antibiotics to prevent disease safe. The agency has acknowledged that feeding antibiotics to entire herds or flocks, for disease prevention and other purposes, “poses a qualitatively higher risk to public health” than treating individual sick animals. the FDA has nevertheless termed the preventive use of antibiotics “necessary and judicious.”

The use of antibiotics for disease prevention is only necessary because companies have chosen to raise food animals using methods that make them especially susceptible to infectious diseases. If we improved the diets and living conditions of the animals, we could prevent disease without compromising the effectiveness of antibiotics and putting the health of the public at risk.

via The FDA Enters Withdrawal: The Future of Antibiotics on Farms – Robert S. Lawrence – Health – The Atlantic.

The Revenge of Wen Jiabao – By John Garnaut | Foreign Policy

30 Mar

The final paragraph of a fascinating article about recent events  at the top and heart of Chinese politics. In this ‘too big to fail’ world, what happens in China affects us. They hold our debt, they manufacture our electronic goods.

Wen Jiabao sees Bo’s downfall as a pivotal opportunity to pin his reformist colors high while the Communist Party is too divided to rein him in. He is reaching out to the Chinese public because the party is losing its monopoly on truth and internal roads to reform have long been blocked. Ironically, he is doing so by leading the public purging of a victim who has no hope of transparent justice, because the party to which he has devoted his life has never known any other way.

via The Revenge of Wen Jiabao – By John Garnaut | Foreign Policy.

Did Magic Johnson Really Buy the Dodgers? | The Nation

30 Mar

Technically a private business, major league baseball couldn’t exist without publically-funded stadiums. Now the Guggenheim Partners has bought the Dodgers with Magic Johnson as figurehead.

Based on early reports, this is a highly leveraged deal and Guggenheim Partners are counting on securing a massive new cable television contract to pay back their costs. According to the LA Times, this will mean higher cable bills for all Angelenos whether you are a baseball fan or not. In other words, the cost of buying of the Dodgers will passed on to the already strapped city of Los Angeles. The real buyers, therefore, are not Magic and the Guggenheims but the people of Los Angeles, most of whom will never set foot inside the stadium.

via Did Magic Johnson Really Buy the Dodgers? | The Nation.

Rep. Bobby Rush kicked off the House Floor for Wearing a Hoodie

28 Mar

Seems there’s a regulation against hoods on the floor. If that’s the case I say, let’s be fair. Throw ’em all out! Well, almost all.

World’s cloud forests ‘headed for destruction’

28 Mar

Writing in the journal Nature Climate Change an international scientific team has warned of the near-total loss of one of the world’s most delicate ecosystems, the Mexican cloud forest, along with 70 per cent of its plant and animal species, as a result of human pressures.

“Cloud forests occur only at certain high altitudes and their species are exceptionally vulnerable to the loss of the cool, moist environment that sustains them,” explains lead author Rocio Ponce-Reyes of Australia’s ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) and The University of Queensland.

“Habitat loss and degradation by human encroachment are the main threats to cloud forests around the world at the moment,” says Ms Ponce-Reyes.

“However, given the narrow environmental tolerance of cloud forests, the fear is that human-induced climate change could constitute an even greater peril in the near future.”

via World’s cloud forests ‘headed for destruction’.

Worker Ownership For the 21st Century? | The Nation

28 Mar

It may not be the revolution’s dawn, but it’s certainly a glint in the darkness. On Monday, this country’s largest industrial labor union [United Steel Workers] teamed up with the world’s largest worker-cooperative to present a plan that would put people to work in labor-driven enterprises that build worker power and communities, too.

Titled “Sustainable Jobs, Sustainable Communities: The Union Co-op Model,” the organizational proposal released at a press conference on March 26 in Pittsburgh, draws on the fifty-five year experience of the Basque-based Mondragon worker cooperatives. To quote the document:

“In contrast to a Machiavellian economic system in which the ends justify any means, the union co-op model embraces the idea that both the ends and means are equally important, meaning that treating workers well and with dignity and sustaining communities are just as important as business growth and profitability.”

There’s ‘boots on the ground’ history behind the project:

It’s been a few years since the USW first became curious about the Mondragon cooperatives after they had a good experience working with GAMESA, a co-op friendly Spanish wind turbine outfit that opened up three plants in Pennsylvania. In 2009, with their Spanish colleagues’ help, Gerard sent a delegation to the Basque region of Spain to investigate Mondragon, now a $24 billion global operation. Since then, the USW has worked slowly with Mondragon and the Ohio Employee Ownership Center (OEOC) a university based coop-outreach center founded by one of the organizers of the Youngstown initiative, to fine tune the US version presented Monday.

For the details of the proposal, check out the model for yourself. The full text of the union co-op model is available at www.usw.coop or www.union.coop.

via Worker Ownership For the 21st Century? | The Nation.

Top general can’t spin Afghan failures – Afghanistan – Salon.com

27 Mar

The general’s candor sometimes belied his spin. While the Taliban has tried hard to infiltrate the Afghan forces, Allen said the insurgents accounted for less than 50 percent of “green on blue” attacks that have claimed the lives of 15 allied soldiers in the last three months. A majority of the attacks, he went on, have been perpetrated by Afghans whom he described as “self –radicalized.” He cited the influence of the viral video of U.S. soldiers urinating on dead Afghans, the burning of the Koran at a U.S. base, and “the recent events in Panjwai,” a delicate reference to the killing of 17 people by a U.S. army sergeant last week. In other words, the actions of the U.S. military are more effective than Taliban ideology in inspiring Afghans to kill Americans. This was less than reassuring.

I put that line in bold. It’s something the Ron Paul knows, and knows well. He’s the only one running for President who knows that.

via Top general can’t spin Afghan failures – Afghanistan – Salon.com.