Fossil Men Refuse to Go Quietly

A polar bear swims recently in open water off the coast of Alaska. The shrinking sea ice increases the pressure on polar bears, who usually hunt on the ice.

A polar bear swims recently in open water off the coast of Alaska. The shrinking sea ice increases the pressure on polar bears, who usually hunt on the ice. (By Geoff York — World Wildlife Fund)

Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 31, 2008

CHICAGO — The American Petroleum Institute and four other business groups filed suit Thursday against Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director H. Dale Hall, joining Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s administration in trying to reverse the listing of the polar bear as a threatened species.

On Aug. 4, the state of Alaska filed a lawsuit opposing the polar bear’s listing, arguing that populations as a whole are stable and that melting sea ice does not pose an imminent threat to their survival. The suit says polar bears have survived warming periods in the past. The federal government has 60 days from the filing date to respond.

One of the plaintiff in Thursday’s lawsuit, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), lauded the choice of Palin as the Republican vice presidential nominee for reasons including her advocacy of Alaskan oil and gas exploration, which many fear could be affected by the bear’s protected status.

NAM and the petroleum institute were joined in the lawsuit by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Mining Association and the American Iron and Steel Institute. They object to what they call the “Alaska Gap” in relation to the special rule the federal government issued in May in conjunction with the polar bear’s protected status. The rule, meant to prevent the polar bear’s status from being used as a tool for imposing greenhouse gas limits, exempts projects in all states except Alaska from undergoing review in relation to emissions.

NAM Vice President Keith McCoy said the group sees the rule as unfairly subjecting Alaskan industry to greenhouse gas controls and also opening a back door for greenhouse gas regulation nationwide.

Gives new meaning to ‘blow hole’

Whale-Protection Cuts Sought
NOAA Scales Back Proposed 30-Mile Speed Limit Zones

Mama whale & calf

Mama whale & calf

One of the leading causes of death for right whales, this one with a calf off the coast of Florida in February 2005, is collision with a ship.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Bush administration yesterday proposed scaling back protected zones for endangered whales in the Atlantic Ocean, yielding to cargo companies’ concerns about new speed limits for ships in these areas.

The proposal, unveiled yesterday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, could end more than a year of wrangling between federal fisheries scientists and the White House over new measures to protect the North Atlantic right whale. About 300 of the whales remain, and researchers say their tiny population has been reduced further by fatal collisions with large ships.

WP

There they blow

Harpoon the whalers

Harpoon the whalers! A little butter, a dash of pepper … Mm-mm good!

The annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) has opened in Santiago without the usual war of words between pro- and anti-whaling nations.

Some campaigners in Chile’s capital complain dissent is being suppressed.

But Japan says anti-whaling countries will be able to pursue conservation goals more effectively if they accept that whaling can be sustainable.

Wealthy raping America

pigs

“There’s class warfare, all right,” Mr. Buffett said, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

NY Times

Growing Gulf Between Rich and Rest of US

by Holly Sklar

Guess which country the CIA World Factbook describes when it says, “Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20 percent of households.”

If you guessed the United States, you’re right.

The United States has rising levels of poverty and inequality not found in other rich democracies. It also has less mobility out of poverty.

Since 2000, America’s billionaire club has gained 76 more members while the typical household has lost income and the poverty count has grown by more than 5 million people.

Poverty and inequality take a daily toll seldom seen on television. “The infant mortality rate in the United States compares with that in Malaysia — a country with a quarter the income.” says the 2005 Human Development Report. “Infant death rates are higher for [black] children in Washington, D.C., than for children in Kerala, India.”

Income and wealth in America are increasingly concentrated at the very top — the realm of the Forbes 400.

You could have banked $1 million a day every day for the last two years and still have far to go to make the new Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans.

It took a minimum of $900 million to get on the Forbes 400 this year. That’s up $150 million from 2004.

http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Oct05/Sklar1005.htm

________________________________________________

http://www.demos.org/inequality/

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7180618

http://www.deloitte.com/dtt/article/0,1002,sid%253D15288%2526cid%253D113382,00.html

http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/p60191.html

http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:9ed2DSIN_kMJ:www.princeton.edu/~bartels/income.pdf+income+inequality+US&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=19&gl=us&client=firefox-a

http://nearing.newsvine.com/_news/2008/05/12/1484568-the-l-curve-income-distribution-of-the-us

Save the Internet: Take Action

Look at it this way: If the fat cats take over the Net, it will start to look like prime time TV — full of vacuous “reality” programs featuring no-talent buffoons fattening the wallets of brain-dead producers.

Noooooooo! It’s too horrible to contemplate. Act now, before it’s too late!

Save the Internet: Take Action:

Hang ‘Em High

“Internal memo: If we have to devastate the planet and kill billions to line our pockets, that’s a small price to pay.” [Ooh – ooh, let’s have some soccer mom say it.]

– Deleted scene, from America’s Energy Future, brought to you by the Oil and Gas Industry.

If Oil Industry Profits Are Up, Why Aren’t Gas Prices Down?

Could critics be right in accusing oil industry of gas price gouging? – KTKA.com


Please, God — damn them all to hell.

ATTN: Lewis Black re: Wal Mart

Brain-damaged woman at center of Wal-Mart suit

March 25, 2008

CNN

Debbie Shank breaks down in tears every time she’s told her 18-year-old son was killed in Iraq. Shank, 52, suffered brain damage in a car accident nearly eight years ago. It was the beginning of …

Walmart Successfully Sues Brain-Damaged

Worker For $469,216 [Walmart]

March 25, 2008

Consumerist / Ben Popken

A Walmart worker who was hit by a truck and left brain-dead-damaged has lost her final round of appeals and must repay the retailer $469,216. This is because she both had Walmart pay for her medical …

Wal Mart News » BuzzTracker News Headlines

Idiots from Hell

Global Warming Skeptics Insist Humans Not at Fault

   

Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 4, 2008; Page A16

When Christopher Monckton, who served as a special adviser to former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, ponders the current political push to curb greenhouse gases linked to climate change, he thinks of King Canute.

According to Monckton, Canute — the Viking who ruled England along with much of Scandinavia nearly a thousand years ago — took his courtiers to the ocean’s edge one day, set down his throne and ordered the tide not to come in. The tide, of course, came in, and the king got his feet wet.

The lesson? The king taught his advisers “humility,” Monckton said, by showing them that even he, a king, could not control nature. In the same way, he argued, modern-day politicians should not fool themselves into thinking that humanity is having a big impact on climate.

Monckton, along with other high-profile global warming skeptics such as University of Virginia professor emeritus S. Fred Singer and Virginia state climatologist Patrick J. Michaels, are gathered in New York this week for a conference aimed at challenging the idea that a scientific consensus exists on climate change. Sponsored by the Heartland Institute, a free-market think tank funded by energy and health-care corporations as well as conservative foundations and individuals, the 2 1/2 -day session poses a stark contrast to the near-unanimous chorus of concern expressed by top U.S. politicians and most of the scientific mainstream.

Criminal Justice

I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. (Thomas Jefferson)

“Psychiatric hospital beds are not profitable. In Virginia it costs $500 — an average of $500 a night to operate a psychiatric hospital bed. It costs $89 to have someone in jail. So it’s much simpler just to shuffle the mentally ill, close down the hospitals and move them into jails and prisons. That’s what we’ve done.

There are 300,000 people in this country with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and depression who are in our jails and prisons; 500,000 are on probation every year; 700,000 go through the court system. The largest public mental facility in the United States today is not a hospital, it’s the L.A. County Jail. That’s our system today.” (Pete Earley)


New Generation of Homeless Veterans

The Associated Press

Peter Mohan traces the path from the Iraqi battlefield to this lifeless conference room, where he sits in a kilt and a Camp Kill Yourself T-shirt and calmly describes how he became a sad cliche: a homeless veteran.

There was a happy homecoming, but then an accident car crash, broken collarbone. And then a move east, close to his wife’s new job but away from his best friends.

And then self-destruction: He would gun his motorcycle to 100 mph and try to stand on the seat. He would wait for his wife to leave in the morning, draw the blinds and open up whatever bottle of booze was closest.

He would pull out his gun, a .45-caliber, semiautomatic pistol. He would lovingly clean it, or just look at it and put it away. Sometimes place it in his mouth.

“I don’t know what to do anymore,” his wife, Anna, told him one day. “You can’t be here anymore.”

US Media Ignore Al Qaeda Torture Manual

I propose that sensible moderates everywhere do whatever they can to shatter the echo chambers on both left and right:

lgf: US Media Ignore Al Qaeda Torture Manual

This kind of groupthink is inexcusable. I watched a normally sensible guy interviewing Charles Krauthammer the other day. Krauthammer was arguing, rightly, that the recent turnabout in Anbar was huge. The interviewer said, without so much as a thought, OK, maybe it is a slight improvement — or words to that effect.

I wanted to reach through the TV screen and repeatedly slam the guy’s head into his desk. Meanwhile, subgenius politicians continue to drone on about our failure in Iraq.

Try to keep up, kids. Iraq and the Middle East have never known democracy as we do. It took centuries for us to evolve our practices. Trying to shake-n-bake a modern state in the region is just going to take more time than MTV might have you believe.