Global Warming: the Real, “Physical” Cliff

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While representatives in Washington debate the  “fiscal cliff” of their own invention, we are edging ever closer to a real, physical cliff:  extreme weather due to carbon emissions.  After almost entirely avoiding the issue of climate change and the need for pursuing alternatives to fossil fuels during the presidential debates, Hurricane Sandy hit with a vengeance to drive the point home how critical the situation is and I credit it with playing a role in defeating Republicans this November, particularly Romney.

Despite Sandy and the increasing urgency for action, the naysayers and dimwitted demagogues in Washington pretend that their made-up budget deadline is more important than attending the Climate Summit in Doha, Qatar.  Sen. Inhofe, true to form,  is reportedly questioning why anyone should attend the conference as the White House and Congress are embroiled in budget so-called “negotiations” (going nowhere as usual) and are conspicuously absent. Though the developing nations of India and China now are producing huge amounts of CO2, the U. S. remains the most flagrantly unrelenting in its refusal to ratify carbon reduction agreements, even though it has had the worst historical record of carbon emissions, and its inattendance severely thwarts worldwide efforts to change course.

I wonder if the moronic Inhofe is still declaring climate change a “hoax” in the wake of Sandy.  His state of Oklahoma has been experiencing record drought, like the rest of the Great Plains states: North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Colorado, but this hasn’t previously phased him.  It is curious to note that all these same states, with the exception of New Mexico and Colorado, voted for Romney, a climate denier, in the last election.  Perhaps the residents of these states, along with the disinformation-pushing Koch Bros., need to take a tour of the eastern seaboard, and witness the destruction firsthand so that they might be shaken awake, as every coastal state, from Maine to Florida, was affected, along with other northeastern states like Michigan and Wisconsin, as the storm traveled clear across the Appalachians.

Corporate agriculture, enabled by global-warming scoffing Republicans like Inhofe, will increasingly be attempting to profiteer off tragic disasters like megastorm Sandy, as Naomi Klein outlines in her book, “Shock Doctrine:  The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.”  You can bet that they will be pushing more and more GMO crops, hormones, and pesticides in order to try to circumvent nature rather than correcting the problem of burning fossil fuels.  This is equivalent to what the pharmaceutical industry does in pushing drugs that fool your body into thinking its ok rather than going after the cause of the illness and curing it.

We cannot look to our plutocratic government to lead nor can we hope for any solutions from the greed-driven corporate world.  As always, we the people are the ones who will effect real change by direct action and demanding that our government do what is needed, e. g.  institute serious emissions reduction, pursue clean alternatives to dirty energy,  and preserve tropical rainforests.  We must also end corporate “personhood” and money as speech, and stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership as they figure into this largely:  corporate “personhood” is the root problem behind all the others and the TPP would institute global corporate government and permanently hamper efforts to slow global warming or protect the environment.

Bill McKibben, who heads up 350.org, has been doing a “Do the Math” tour to help raise awareness regarding heating of the planet because of CO2 emissions and resulting climate change.  He has been encouraging students to pressure their college boards to divest themselves of big polluters, which has expanded into an effort at schools across the country.  This is how we get things done!  For more information on these issues, check out these links:

http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/fiscal-cliff-worries-overshadow-qatar-climate-talks-84588.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jerry-cope/president-obama-to-attend_b_2114201.html?utm_hp_ref=climate-change

http://news.yahoo.com/climate-change-threatens-long-term-sustainability-great-plains-130100922.html

To Fight Climate Change, College Students Take Aim at the Endowment Portfolio – NYTimes.com

http://www.350.org/nyt?akid=2535.725965.OzWAg4&rd=1&t=4

http://gofossilfree.org/companies/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtqSIplGXOA&feature=youtu.be

5 Election Day lessons for the GOP – The Week

The editorial staff at the Week’s examination of the GOP’s poor showing in the 2012 elections is rather superficial because the Republicans don’t need a face lift, they need a heart transplant. Their bone-deep misogyny and pandering to the radical religious right needs to to be excised and exorcised if they want to have any hope of appealing to anyone other than the lunatic fundamentalist fringe. Their “woman problem” (more accurately woman-hating problem) is their worst failing and should have been first on this writer’s list.

Romney signed his own political death warrant when he named blatant misogynist Paul Ryan as his running mate and continued to support Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock and didn’t denounce them and Joe Walsh for the  idiots they are when they made their ill-informed and outrageous remarks about rape, rape-induced pregnancy, and abortion.

The article in Reuters outlines the real reason Obama and so many other pro-choice Democrats, especially women, won:  women voters refusal to accept the war on women unleashed by the Tea Party Republicans.  The defeat of Romney/Ryan, Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, Joe Walsh, and the rabid Allen West and the election of pro-choice women like Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin, Heidi Heitkamp, Kirsten Gillibrand, Maria Cantwell, Tammy Duckworth, Dianne Feinstein, Carol Shea-Porter, Mazie Hirono, and Annie Kuster to the Senate for the first-time ever total of 19 pro-choice women (!) is abundant proof of this.

With the help of women, Obama wins a second term | Reuters

5 Election Day lessons for the GOP – The Week

Romney: 10 Really Important Reasons to Vote for Anyone Else!

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And by anyone, I mean even Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, or Barack Obama, though there are far better choices out there:  Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson, and Roseanne Barr for example.  I feel compelled to spell this out, especially since Romney is trying so hard to pretend he is someone other than who he really is, by listing the reasons he is the worst choice in my humble opinion.  When reviewing them, you may wonder why I have left out civil liberties, foreign policy, trade agreements, drug policy, and war.  This is because this piece is about reasons voting for anyone other than Mitt Romney, and Obama and Romney are both so disregarding of our civil rights, militaristic, devoted to continuing the destructive and pointless war on drugs, and ready and willing to enable corporate world government and a police state that Romney could not be singled out as worse, though on foreign policy his debate comments about “getting bad guys” reveal a more simplistic, comic book tone than Obama’s.

Ron Paul is only marginally better on most of these issues I have enumerated but infinitely better on war and civil liberties (except for women as he is anti-choice).   The only person running that is worse in most every way than Romney is Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party because he is right-wing-on-steroids crazy when you look at his voting record vs. what he says in the debates, where he comes across less extreme (kind of like Romney and Obama).  That should put this in perspective. Even so, voting for him means less chance of a Romney/Ryan win so I can still say for that reason, he is a better choice (only because he has a snowball’s chance in hell of winning). Remember you can write names in in many states, even if they don’t appear on the ballot!

Here are 10 reasons why anyone sitting on the fence should NOT cast a vote for Mitt Romney:

  1. Paul Ryan – the architect of the most severe austerity budget imaginable, anti-government fanatic, misogynist extraordinaire, self-congratulatory elitist, utterly confused religious zealot who simultaneously embraces fundamentalist Catholicism (except for the part about caring for the poor) and the ultra-selfish philosophy of the very damaged, anti-social, arguably sociopathic Ayn Rand (an atheist), oblivious to the inherent contradictions. Romney, with his corporate raider, fascistic, anti-human policies and questionable ethics, not to mention his polygamist father and beliefs that are viewed as cultish by the rest of Christendom, has picked an even more dangerously fringe running mate who would be a heartbeat away from being President, in addition to being set up for a White House run later if elected VP.
  2. Women’s Rights – If you are a woman or care about a woman—any woman, say your mother, sister, wife, daughter, grandmother, friend, or your housekeeper, Romney is a disastrous choice.  Romney not only has declared his intention to defund Planned Parenthood, supported employers being able to refuse to cover employees’ birth control for ‘moral’ reasons, continued to back the likes of Todd Akin and now Richard Mourdock and Joe Walsh with their abhorrent views on abortion and rape and rape-induced pregnancy, and vowed to work towards Roe v. Wade being overturned, but has even endorsed the crackpot idea of a Constitutional Amendment to endow “fetal personhood” on nonviable life, like gametes and zygotes, being included in the Republican platform, and has never supported Lily Ledbetter and equal pay.  Romney and Ryan don’t have “binders of women,” they are BINDERS of women!  They will not stop until women have no rights whatsoever and are barefoot and pregnant, dependent brood mares; if elected maybe Romney might provide some “sister-wives” to help out with the laundry and childrearing since he certainly won’t support day care.
  3.  The Earth – Fast track to environmental doom with resulting drought, famine, worsening storms, hurricanes, fires, and water shortages await if this demonic duo wins the White House.  Romney is a climate change denier and actively promotes nothing but dirty forms of energy like oil and nuclear power and environmentally devastating practices like clearcutting, drilling in the antarctic, mountaintop removal, and fracking, when clean alternatives are not only preferable and available but essential, and actually uses the term “clean coal,” an oxymoron if there ever was one, while being hellbent on dismantling all of our environmental regulations and agencies.
  4.  The 99% or the 47% – If you are a member of the 47%, or even the 99%, Romney clearly not only doesn’t care about you, he sees you as a “parasite” who wants to mooch off of him and his other plutocratic, capitalist multimillionaire/billionaire/multibillionaire friends.  If anyone is parasitic, it is these two guys who have lived off of the work of the 47% and the 99% their entire privileged lives.  Romney and Ryan will do everything in their power to amass more power and wealth for the 1% and themselves at the rest of our expense, and enable the so-called “job-creators” they promote to do exactly what they are doing now–sit on all their cash like the fat-cat hoarders they are.
  5.  The Economy and Income Inequality – Extremist, trickle-down, voodoo economics is what this man and his side-kick believe in, the same policies that will only increase the already huge divide between the haves and have-nots.  The pathetically inadequate health care reform bill, otherwise known as “Obamacare,” that has instituted a few much-needed reforms such as outlawing the practice of denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, Social Security, Medicare, and the entire social safety net will be under attack; tax breaks for the ultra-rich will not only be continued but likely increased while they pile on more taxes for the middle class and the poor; the already bloated military budget will increase (along with the deficit) and there are not going to be any jobs, not here anyway. Romney and Ryan believe in austerity, for everyone but the uber-wealthy and people like them who serve them; this is a rehash of Hoover’s policies that plunged us into the Great Depression and are currently causing financial collapse and social chaos in Europe.  A vote for Romney is a vote for Herbert Hoover.
  6.  Education – Romney believes in education for the 1% and those who can afford to go to an Ivy League school; everyone else doesn’t need an education because the fictional “jobs” he is going to provide won’t require one, especially if you have to commute to India or China. He probably “loved” his teachers at Harvard, but he doesn’t love the ones at your child’s grade school or those teaching at a community college, and you can forget about Title IX or Brown v. Board of Education because these rightwing people want to do away with equal opportunity.  If you think education should be less important than Halliburton’s profits, especially for girls and minorities, vote for this guy.
  7.  Theocracy, not democracy – These two men have no respect for the separation of church and state, support the blurring of these lines, and espouse beliefs that rationalize rule by the church.  Which one you ask?  Any of the authoritarian, fundamentalist, patriarchal religious sects will do as they all agree that basic human rights are expendable, such as sovereignty over one’s own body, right to make your most personal decisions regarding conception, whom you bed and whom you wed, what books you can read and films you can see, what words you can say and hear, freedom from religious tyranny, and so on.  The Bill of Rights (especially the 1st amendment) is basically superfluous to these people, except for corporations of course, though they love to abuse particularly the 10th and 14th amendments; only the 2nd amendment is exempt because corporations rake in obscene profits on firearms.  Obama has been a civil liberties nightmare also; he just isn’t as much of a Bible thumper as these two and doesn’t support their radical religious social agenda—nor does Biden, despite being a practicing Catholic.  You might as well vote for the Taliban as for Romney/Ryan as there is little difference.  Do we need more gun-toting religious bigots?!
  8. Corporate rule unchecked – The fact that corrupt billionaires like the Koch Bros. and Sheldon Adelson (a modern-day Meyer Lansky) support Romney and Wall Street has abandoned Obama for him says it all, this despite Obama’s letting banksters off the hook and caving in left and right to corporate demands. Romney, which someone pointed out can’t be spelled without “money,” is going to make sure that Bain Capital and its ilk are the bane of our existence because he is 110% corporate.  He thinks they should rule over every single aspect of our lives and continue to get government handouts in the form of subsidies and military contracts and pay no taxes in order to line the pockets of their shareholders while complaining about the deficit.  Corporations are not only “people,” they are the only “people” that matter.
  9. The Supreme Court – Mitt Romney has reportedly said that Roberts, Thomas, Alito and Antonin Scalia are his favorites.  Need I say more?  He apparently favors judges who give corporations free rein to wreak havoc on actual people and the environment, allow unlimited contributions from billionaires and super-pacs to elections as in the 2010 Citizens United decision because they claim money is speech, collude in the stealing of elections by ordering a voter recount to be stopped as in the 2000 elections, and who, like Thomas, don’t believe they need to report their wife’s income or recuse themselves from cases where there is a conflict of interest (his wife employed by the Susan Komen foundation and the Affordable Care Act ruling, for example).  What can you expect from a presidential candidate who doesn’t think the American public has a right to see his tax returns?  With him in the White House, he may be able to nominate up to FOUR justices to the Supreme Court, who we will have to endure for 40 or 50 years.  Remember Robert Bork?  He’s BA-A-CK as Romney’s top legal advisor!
  10. Oppression vs. Justice – that means people of color, LGBT people, women, workers, students, older Americans, the poor, the ill, virtually everybody but the privileged, entitled, ultra-wealthy, elitist 1% will be further disempowered, their rights trampled, their votes suppressed, and their lives and health degraded.  Vouchers for inadequate, for-profit healthcare (another oxymoron) at astronomical prices, no equal pay for women, no raise in minimum wage, corporate price gouging, GMO-engineered, pesticide, hormone, preservative-laden Frankenfood, exploitation of public lands, pollution of the air, water, and soil, privatized social security, corporate propaganda passing for news, no public television with quality programming or accurate, in-depth journalism, and limited legal recourse for injustice.

When considering for whom NOT to vote, Romney is at the top of my list; I hope you will consider putting him there as well and pick any of the others.  I personally am voting for Roseanne, the antithesis of everything Romney represents being a feminist, environmentalist, populist, pro-education, pro-worker, secular humanist (yes I used that wonderful term!), working-class, civil libertarian peace and justice advocate and the antidote to everything that is wrong with Washington.

Democracy Now’s Expanded Coverage of the Presidential Debates AKA: A Dog Day Afternoon

Since the third party candidates were again elbowed out of the debates by the two major parties, Democracy Now! included two of them, Jill Stein of the Green Party and Rocky Anderson of the newly-formed Justice Party in an expanded version.  Apparently Amy Goodman had asked the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, to appear but he reportedly had a scheduling conflict; no mention was made of Roseanne Barr, who is running on the Peace and Freedom ticket, a glaring oversight.  I personally am thankful that time was not wasted on Johnson who would likely have been spouting Libertarian ideology, essentially a Lite version of the Republican corporate propaganda, which offers no solutions in the real world, merely trying as it does to prop up a failing capitalist system (the so-called “free market”) and justify hyper-individualist and corporate greed a la Ayn Rand.

The main difference between the responses in this interview of the two corporate candidates vs. the third party ones is that the third party people are actually dealing with reality and telling the truth instead of trying to peddle an ideology and a bogus bunch of non-issues. I was struck by not only the similarities between Obamney/Rombama but how many times they emphasized them, betraying the fact that they have reached agreement in secret ahead of time on what they would not challenge one another (see http://www.democracynow.org/2012/10/3/ahead_of_first_obama_romney_debate re contractual agreement reached by Commission on Presidential Debates behind closed doors).

Romney at least was much more convincing with his reality spin (sprinkled with some very accurate and valid criticisms of “Obamacare,” namely the mandate and robbing Medicare in order to fund it) and came across as even likeable for once, while Obama had great difficulty trying to shine up a lackluster, pisspoor record and looked flustered and ineffectual, which he basically is, letting Romney totally off the hook for all his arrogant statements/behavior (the 47%, not turning in his tax returns, picking austerity promoter/woman-basher Ryan as his running mate, etc.).  Every dog, as they say, has his day, and Romney had his in this first debate.

Obama is such a sellout he didn’t even point out that it was the corporate interests Romney vaunts who insisted on the changes to the healthcare bill of which Romney is criticizing him, and his lousy performance is his own fault for being such a lapdog for the right wing.  It’s pathetic the way he keeps trying to get their approval by doing their bidding and then gets his feelings hurt when they kick him for it; he keeps waiting for the pat on the head that is never going to come from these 1%’ers and neocons.  I think his most fatal flaw is his need to be liked by the wrong people and not knowing who his friends are, or at least were.

Given the extremist right wing’s mendacity, underhandedness, hypocrisy, and cutthroat draconian mentality, anyone reasonably intelligent could have predicted they would do exactly what they have done:  use him as their tool for their own use and then blame him for going along with their agenda.  He needs to stop dancing with the devil, but the likelihood of that at this juncture is remote, since he has become more and more devilish the longer he has danced to their tune.

All he needs to do to regain his soul, as well as his dignity,  is get honest, abandon his foolish ambition to be a member of the white elite, face the fact that he would never be more than their police dog, embrace his poor but truly morally superior upbringing, and repent his failure to make good on his 2008 campaign promises and he could laugh off the right wing’s trying to make him their fall guy/whipping post for enabling them, turn on them and give them what-for, biting the hand that has fed him on table scraps.  That would really give the people some HOPE for a change!

Instead, he will almost certainly stick with the bullshit, be “pragmatic,”  try to justify the unjustifiable, and continue to beg for the approval of his corporate masters, being the docile, housebroken pet he is, and may likely go down, unredeemed, and in the process give us over to a reign of the Romney-Ryan demon duo and the greater evil since a majority of Americans are not yet awake enough to vote third party.

In the last analysis, the only real contrast was between the corporate elitist Republicrat puppets and the third party candidates, Jill Stein of the Green Party and Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party, real people addressing real issues, offering actual solutions, like the Green New Deal, and a good reality check on the corporate approved two-party doublespeak. It is regrettable that Roseanne Barr, the Peace and Freedom Party candidate, was not asked to participate–we would have heard an even more real, hard-hitting, truthful, down-to-earth treatment of the issues.

http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2012/10/4/expanding_the_debate_watch_democracy_nows_full_three_hour_special