Saturday, December 31, 2005

Why will 06 and 08 be different?

The Sideshow links to this Ghosts in the Voting Machines which gives a good account of recent news on the fraudulent elections of 00 and 04.

Kerry, apparently, tells Mark Crispin Miller that he believes the election was stolen and then later Kerry’s staffers deny he did.

If you are hoping for a long shot congressional sweep in 06 to save us from Bush/Cheney then you better hope for candidates, especially in key states, that are prepared to overcome the Rove vote fraud machine. Otherwise you can count on lots of narrow wins contrary to exit polls that continue the Republican majorities in both houses.

Mainstream media and most celebrity bloggers refuse to cover this issue because they are afraid of being ridiculed by Republicans and of losing their treasured, occasional chances to be on TV and celebrity panels. Talking about vote fraud determining the 00 and 04 elections means you will not be taken seriously by the insiders and above all entrance to the serious halls of inside is what so many apparently want above all else.

My guess is that lots of battles, large and small, have been decided by one party or another's fear of embarrassment and marginalization.

Friday, December 30, 2005

The disappearance of ice

The real story of our life times may not be that we stood idly by while our country quietly became a fascist-like state ruled by the fabulously wealthy corporate and media elites, while privileged Democrats sold their souls for a seat in the plutocracy. The real story may be that we all stood idly by while global warming became irreversible, natural ice disappeared, Katrina sized storms became the norm and it became clear that Earth would soon be uninhabitable.

It is on us, all Americans, that we tolerate the Bush regime and do not throw them into the street. We allow them to torture, wage criminal war, and abet the destruction of the habitability of the planet essentially unchallenged. It is not that we don’t know. We do. We all do.

Here’s a few paragraphs from “The Coming Meltdown” in the current New York Review of Books. The article is available in its entirety on line.

Climate change somehow seems unable to emerge on the world stage for what it really is: the single biggest challenge facing the planet, the equal in every way to the nuclear threat that transfixed us during the past half-century and a threat we haven't even begun to deal with. The coverage of Katrina's aftermath, for instance, was scathing in depicting the Bush administration's incompetence and cronyism; but the President —and his predecessors—were spared criticism for their far bigger sin of omission, the failure to do anything at all to stanch the flood of carbon that America, above all other nations, pours into the atmosphere and that is the prime cause of the great heating now underway. Though Bush has been egregious in his ignorance about climate change, the failure to do anything about it has been bipartisan; Bill Clinton and Al Gore were grandly rhetorical about the issue, but nonetheless presided over a 13 percent increase in America's carbon emissions….

… “Scientists are by training and nature conservative and...have probably underestimated our impact. Fifty years from now—I hope I'm wrong—I think you may be living in a world where you don't go outside between one and four in the afternoon.”…

…Every time she corners a scientist —the veteran Oxford environmental researcher Norman Meyers, the great diver and marine biologist Sylvia Earle, the eminent conservationist Russell Mittermeier—she asks, "Are humans a suicidal species?" They mostly dismiss her question with some reassuring words to the effect that we can still make up our minds to do better. But in fact it's a question that in some way or another needs to be near the center of our public debates. It rose for the first time in the wake of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; for a while, many people seemed to expect an Armageddon-like nuclear exchange, and then they seemed to discount the possibility. The attacks on New York and Washington at the beginning of this millennium have raised the question of our being a suicidal species again. …

The last paragraph:

…It is hard not to approach this year's oncoming winter in an elegiac mood, with the testimony of Thompson's ice cores and the Arctic sea ice data and Ehrlich's account making the season's natural and lovely darkness seem suddenly somber. We are forced to face the fact that a century's carelessness is now melting away the world's storehouses of ice, a melting whose momentum may be nearing the irreversible. It's as if we were stripping the spectrum of a color, or eradicating one note from every octave. There are almost no words for such a change: it's no wonder that scientists have to struggle to get across the enormity of what is happening.

It's now or never. For another angle on the mysterious bubble of complacency we live in, check out Roshi Bob.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

On the edge

If you are terrified about finances and think you are in that position because of unique personal failures, it is very likely not your fault and you are not alone..

I saw this Harvard Magazine article, “The Middle Class on the Precipice” on 3 Quarks Daily.

Here’s the first paragraphs:
During the past generation, the American middle-class family that once could count on hard work and fair play to keep itself financially secure has been transformed by economic risk and new realities. Now a pink slip, a bad diagnosis, or a disappearing spouse can reduce a family from solidly middle class to newly poor in a few months.

Middle-class families have been threatened on every front. Rocked by rising prices for essentials as men’s wages remained flat, both Dad and Mom have entered the workforce—a strategy that has left them working harder just to try to break even. Even with two paychecks, family finances are stretched so tightly that a very small misstep can leave them in crisis. As tough as life has become for married couples, single-parent families face even more financial obstacles in trying to carve out middle-class lives on a single paycheck. And at the same time that families are facing higher costs and increased risks, the old financial rules of credit have been rewritten by powerful corporate interests that see middle-class families as the spoils of political influence.