Monday, September 30, 2013

Nuclear disaster

Dr. Helen Caldicott Talks Bluntly About Fukushima

Nicole Sandler interviewed Dr. Helen Caldicott this morning about what's going on at Fukushima. She tells Sandler Units 1, 2 and 3 have indeed melted down, possibly through the steel core and into the earth, and that reactor No. 4 is "on a knife edge." She says the nuclear power industry is reluctant to help because they don't want people to know just how bad it is.
We don't have a transcript, but it's well worth a listen.

The fixer!

In the news


The right attitude

FISA court ruling.

Christian Bible - not much morality

Religion - not working all that well

Shooting report

And the gun violence continues...

Guns and zombies

Gun lovers need their guns in case of zombie attacks. Their other fears are no more reasonable.

Republican definition of "human"

Louis CK: Life in America

Republican logic is illogical

Things our founding fathers said

“Knowledge and liberty are so prevalent in this country, that I do not believe that the United States would ever be disposed to establish one religious sect, and lay all others under legal disabilities. But as we know not what may take place hereafter, and any such test would be exceedingly injurious to the rights of free citizens, I cannot think it altogether superfluous to have added a clause, which secures us from the possibility of such oppression.”
~Oliver Wolcott, Connecticut Ratifying Convention, 9 January 1788

Climate change deniers

How Republicans create their propaganda.

GOP: A one-trick-pony

New GOP tactic - delay ACA for 1 more year.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fun facts about a government shutdown! (Click here to read the original article)

An actual fun fact
As we hurtle towards a Republican-driven government shutdown, did you know that:
  • Congress will still be paid.
  • Eight in 10 Americans oppose threatening a shutdown.
  • Congress will still be paid.
  • Forty percent of the 2 million federal workers will be furloughed.
  • Congress will still be paid.
  • Social Security checks and veterans' benefits could be delayed because of fewer workers.
  • Congress will still be paid.
  • All parks, museums and and monuments run by the National Park Service will be closed.
  • Congress will still be paid.
  • Major delays in processing applications for passports, visas, gun permits and mortgages.
  • Congress will still be paid.

News on gun violence

"Contrary to rhetoric, gun-free zones are not the problem." Oh, and gun retailers support background checks.

debunking myths smaller
Here is an email I just got from Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Debunking myths is a hobby of mine, so I had to share:
I want to bring to your attention to an updated analysis we're releasing that shows there have been nearly two mass shootings per month in the United States between January 2009 and September 2013. The survey can be found here.
Using FBI data and media reports, our report describes the more than 90 mass shootings that have occurred in this nearly five-year period. The FBI defines a "mass shooting" as any incident where at least four people were murdered with a gun. The survey's findings reveal a different portrait of mass shootings in America than conventional wisdom and previous media coverage might suggest:
  • Mass shootings represent a small share of total U.S. firearm homicides. Less than 1 percent of gun murder victims recorded by the FBI in 2010 were killed in incidents with four or more victims.
  • Military-style assault weapons or high-capacity magazines were used in at least 15 percent of the incidents. These incidents resulted in an average of 151 percent more people shot and 63 percent more deaths than in other incidents.
  • There is a strong connection between mass shooting incidents and domestic or family violence. In at least 57 percent of the cases, the shooter killed a current or former spouse or intimate partner or other family member.
  • Contrary to rhetoric, gun-free zones are not the problem. In all, 67 percent of mass shooting incidents took place wholly in private residences, while no more than 15 percent took place entirely in public places that were so-called "gun-free zones."
  • Those who serve and protect us are frequently the victims of mass shootings. In 14 percent of the shootings, law enforcement or military officers were targeted in the shooting or killed or injured responding

Does religion = fear of the unknown?


Are people of faith generally more stupid, or are stupid people more generally inclined to follow religion?

Shooting report

Too much shooting going on, not enough gun-control law passing going on.

Guns - not a safe bet

If you're going to have guns around, even paint-ball guns, be prepared for an accident.

No one ever said, "Conservatives are ethical."

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia warns Gov. Scott Walker on giving misleading data on WI economy

scott walker no jobs
For some inexplicable reason, WI Gov. Scott Walker is an early favorite for re-election (but not a lock). At this point Wisconsin gets what it deserves if they fail to get out the vote and defeat their should-have-been-recalled voter suppressing, privatizing, union busting governor.

And now that should-have-been-recalled, voter suppressing, privatizing, union busting governor is in hot water... again.

The Cap Times has the latest:
Top officials with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia are warning Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and others that they are misusing a monthly index produced by its top economists.

Walker in recent speeches has been touting figures from the “Philly Fed,” claiming they show Wisconsin’s economy as No. 2 in the nation. WMC has been using the same number in a series of advertising buys, thanking Walker for putting the state on the road to prosperity.

But officials with the Philly Fed, who have been following the situation in Wisconsin, issued a statement Friday saying it’s a misreading of their "Coincident Indexes" to try and compare one state to another.

IPCC: 'Unequivocal' human-caused global warming on course to raise temperatures above 2°C by 2100

heads in the sand for climate change
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis Friday. The 2,000-page report of Working Group I's fifth assessment (AR5) since 1990 makes it clear that those who have denied and continue to deny that human-caused global warming is happening have accomplished just one thing in their lying attacks on science: slowed attempts to do something about the climate crisis. Scientists who reviewed a boat-load of peer-reviewed journal articles for the IPCC assessment raised their level of certainty that humans are causing global warming from the 90 percent of the fourth assessment published in 2007 to 95 percent now:

In their starkest warning yet, following nearly seven years of new research on the climate, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said it was "unequivocal" and that even if the world begins to moderate greenhouse gas emissions, warming is likely to cross the critical threshold of 2C by the end of this century. That would have serious consequences, including sea level rises, heatwaves and changes to rainfall meaning dry regions get less and already wet areas receive more.

In response to the report, the US secretary of state, John Kerry, said in a statement: "This is yet another wakeup call: those who deny the science or choose excuses over action are playing with fire."

Things our founding fathers said

“No religious doctrine shall be established by law.”
~Elbridge Gerry, Annals of Congress 1:729-731

Another take on conservative logic.

Party line

For those of you old enough to remember - back when we shared our phone lines with neighbors? Pick up the phone and you might be listening in on a next door neighbor. Private lines were prohibitively expensive for the middle class customer.

Now we're back to party lines - and we have quite a few people sharing with us.

Conservative logic - shifting sands

Government shutdown

The Republicans are so filled with hate, spite and ignorance that they just don't give a shit what they do to the rest of us. For them, it's their way or the dumpster.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Some employers lying to employees (GASP!)

Some employers are cutting hours and cutting benefits to their employees, crying about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and the employees buy it, even though there's actual proof that the new health care system is resulting in lower costs.

Obamacare could save large employers billions in COBRA coverage

Cobra sitting on stack of money.
Who came up with that acronym, anyway?
You're probably not going to be hearing Republicans saying anything about this news in the debate over shutting down government to kill Obamacare.

Health-law provisions taking effect next year could save U.S. employers billions of dollars in expenses now paid for workers who continue medical coverage after they leave the company, benefits experts say.

Insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act are expected to all but replace COBRA coverage in which ex-employees and dependents can remain on the company plan if they pay the premiums. [...]

The average COBRA member cost his former employer 54 percent more—$3,800—than the average active worker, continuing a long-term trend, according to a 2009 survey by newsletter Spencer’s Benefits Reports. At one company in five, COBRA participants cost more than twice as much as active workers

College athletes

I've felt, for a long time, that college athletes should be paid at schools where the university makes money off of the kids. And on top of it, we often build huge, multimillion dollar stadiums for the schools with public financing (read: taxes).

Athletic Director Making $900K Wishes Unpaid College Athletes Would Shut Up Already (from Mother Jones)

During Saturday's college football games, 28 players at the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, and Northwestern University wore wristbands marked with "APU"—short for All Players United—as part of a movement calling for NCAA reform, including efforts to minimize brain trauma and care for players who sustain brain injuries, as well as more money in scholarship aid for athletes.
This didn't sit well with Iowa State University Athletic Director Jamie Pollard, who is making $900,000 this year thanks in large part to the sacrifices of the Cyclones' student-athletes (that figure factors in a one-time retention payment of $400,000 he got for sticking around for eight years). He went on a Twitter rant yesterday afternoon calling out protesters:
Yet to hear one realistic plan how to pay players without eliminating all other sports. Value of Education versus Arena FB or D League.
— Jamie Pollard (@IASTATEAD) September 25, 2013
Ask a student body member with thousands of dollars of debt at graduation how they feel about a student-athlete saying they should be paid?
— Jamie Pollard (@IASTATEAD) September 25, 2013
Athletic scholarships provide Accessibility and Affordability, two of our nation's biggest challenges facing higher education. #education
— Jamie Pollard (@IASTATEAD) September 25, 2013
Only one that is going to be paid from "pay for play" are the lawyers. Time for silent majority to stand up and value education!
— Jamie Pollard (@IASTATEAD) September 25, 2013
Pollard points out the long-term value of #education, but that's a tough sell to the 38 percent of Iowa State football players (and 50 percent of Iowa State men's basketball players) who don't graduate within six years, according to the NCAA. And take note, silent majority: Using increased TV revenue to pay for medical coverage and increased scholarship aid for athletes would have no bearing whatsoever on rising student debt.

He said government -

but perhaps he means big business?

Eric Cantor - the devil incarnate

Selective awareness part 2

This shouldn't even be a question.

Selective awareness

Is it a revolution?

The Stupids are thriving