Saturday, January 23, 2010

Economic Eco-System is as Fragile as the Natural Eco-System

Economic Eco-System is as Fragile as the Natural Eco-System in that a few simple and apparently innocuous changes can bring about a collapse of that system. We constantly hear the refrain of how rich the US is and how it's shameful that we don't help our brothers in need. Well, here's a few quotes from Andrew Cuomo, the Housing Urban Development Secretary under Bill Clinton talking about forcing banks to give loans to unqualified people.

Some may say that the moneys involved in this example, 2.1 billion, is so insignificant in comparison to Enron and other scandals that it's not even worthy of being mentioned. These individuals forget that when the government forces one group of people, or one company, to act in a certain way others follow suit to avoid being put under the government's gun. The issue is not only this "paltry" 2.1 billion but all future business activity which was influenced by this and other actions.

You can see the entire CSPAN interview CSPAN: Housing Discrimination April 3, 1998

US Justice Department v Blackwater

Besides the obvious problems with the US Attorney General, get a load of this one, apparantly US government prosecutors
distorted testimony, violated its policies and withheld evidence during an investigation into a deadly 2007 shooting in Iraq [by Blackwater Contractors].
U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina threw out all charges against the five security contractors.

You can read more about this from the: Associated Press and the Wall Street Journal

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dr. Martin Luther King Day, I Have a Dream

Although I am against a national holiday for Dr. King, as I am against any congressionally mandated holiday, such powers not granted to the Institution, today is a day to respect his memory. I have a huge problem with his name being used to champion the current crop of "economic justice" charlatans and instead chose to focus upon his part in dealing with ending Jim Crow and healing the divide resulting from this country's original sin.

We have in this country let too many opportunities to solve this problem go to waste: from removing our opposition to the creation of the institution of slavery on our shores from the Declaration of Independence, to the shameful way we've been "solving" the problem over the last 40 years.

Nonetheless let's take this moment to praise Dr. Martin Luther King for what he accomplished. There are few speaches that match the power and beauty of his "I Have a Dream" speach. Here it is. It's certainly worth listening to, and thinking about, at least once a year.

and, for your viewing pleasure. Here's Malcolm X:

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Pat Robertson, Haiti and The Pact with the Devil

So Pat Robertson blames the earthquake in Haiti on the Devil. That's silly, stupid and offensive. The Haitian Amabassador goes on the Rachel Meadow show and comments on what Robertson said. The sad thing about the ambassador's response was that he NEVER refuted Pat Robertson. He goes into irrelevant tangents about the Louisiana Purchase and Simon Bolivar leading the revolutions against Spain; that the expansion of the US and the freedom of Latin America are results from the Haitian Revolution.

I looked around and almost without exception I see condemnation of Pat Robertson, well deserved by the way, and little comment regarding the Haitian's ambassador non-response. Rachel Maddow, with all her sass and snark, missed it as she described the Haitian ambassador, Raymond Joseph, as having "extreme exception" with the Pat Robertson comment.

She also purposely misrepresented Pat Robertson by saying that he blamed the earthquake on their slave revolt in the 1700s. He didn't blame it on the slave revolt -- he blamed it on their Pact with the Devil. A not so subtle difference for so "sophisticated" a commentator such as Rachel Maddow.

Looking around at blogs I found this: Balk writing at The Awlwrote the

"response by Haitian ambassador Raymond Joseph is so perfect—direct, intelligent, filled with more history in one minute than pretty much anything you see on most news programs all evening—that it deserves as much currency as it can get. It's a shame that we live in a world where something like this is both necessary and remarkable, but there you are."

You've seen the video. You decide. Did the ambassador address the remark by Pat Robertson?

Pat Robertson and Danny Glover, Who is Crazier?

Pat Robertson blames the earthquake on the Haitians making a pact with the devil to get rid of the French (a surprising number of Haitians agree with this!?!) and Danny Glover blames it on George Bush. 

I must say that these Pat Robertson pronouncements have become ordinary and have an internal logic. God sees all and knows all "not a single sparrow can fall to the ground" without God so knowing (Matthew 10:29). As an atheist I obviously disagree with God knowing anything and making a pact with the Devil and yet, as crazy as the previous two propositions are Danny Glover's rant is even crazier.

The earthquake in Haiti happened, according to Danny Glover,

because of global warming
because of climate change
climate summit in Copenhagen (lack of progress)

this is the response to
this is what happened
we have to act now

see 1:55

Obviously both are incorrect. All educated people know that this is all George W. Bush's fault.

Nihilist Republicans?

I've liked a lot of what Andrew Sullivan has said -- and disagreed with much as well. I was, for instance, really hopeful about Obama after reading his Atlantic piece about him. Of course further researched changed that.

In a new post, Obama's Tora Bora, Sullivan describes Republicans as "nihilist." What can possibly be nihilistic about being against socialism?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Martha Coakley and the First Ammendment

If for no other reason I'm dead set against Coakley for the following statement

INTERVIEWER: In the emergency room you still have your religion freedom.
COAKLEY: The law says that people are allowed to have that and so then you can have religious freedom...

In response to a First Amendment right she states "The law says that people are allowed to have that..." This is more than simply law; this is a case of fundamental rights not a matter of a speed limit where there are no Constitutional ramifications if the speed limit is set at 30 or 35 miles an hour.  Basic individual freedom is a central aspect of being an American.

We are a free people who have set limits on what our government can or cannot do. Imagine if Bush or Cheney had said "the laws says that people are allowed to have that ..." in regard to the 5th Amendment. Image the outcry.

Why is there no outcry here?

Go to .59 seconds.

The Problem with Roe v Wade

The problem with Roe v Wade is that it's become a catch phrase to mean abortion on demand. Even Attorney Generals who are nitpicky in some areas have accepted this wider definition. Listen to Martha Coakley below.

In talking about a bill that would allow Emergency Room personnel to chose not to provide contraceptives to rape victims because, as Catholics, it would be against their religion Coakley responds:

"If people believe that they don’t want to provide services that are required under the law and under Roe v Wade that they can individually not follow the law. ..."  (At .22 seconds below.)

There are plenty of problems with Roe v Wade, and even more in people's interpretations of it. Regardless of any interpretation Roe v Wade does NOT require that physicians or Emergency Room personnel provide contraceptives to rape victims or anyone else.

If Coakley was a Republican she would be made a laughing stock.

If Coakley was a Republican she would be made a laughing stock on the MSM. There would be 24 hours a day replays of her gaffs. And people call Sarah Palin stupid?

If Palin is stupid then so is Coakley. If Coakley is not stupid then how could anyone call Palin stupid?

Again, let me state that if Coakley was a Republican she would be made into a laughing stock.

FIRST, she says that there were no terrorists in Afghanistan the same week when 8 CIA analysts were killed by a suicide bomber; THEN she says she understands international relations because relatives live abroad and she talks with them; THEN she says that actually shaking hands with voters at Fenway is a bad idea; THEN she has TV ads where they misspell Massachusetts; THEN she considers all Catholics as unfit for ER jobs and describes a First Amendment Right - the Freedom of Religion - as "some law" and NOW, she dismisses Curt Shilling as a "Yankee Fan."

For those unfamiliar with baseball. Curt Shilling was a singularly important part of the Boston Red Sox getting to, and winning the World Series in 2004. This may seem unimportant, but it was a key event in Massachusetts, even non-baseball fans were aware that something important was happening. Boston was breaking "The Curse." Curt Shilling was one of the heroes of the day. A few years have passed; Curt Shilling is now a Republican activist and Coakley in an inane attempt in criticizing Shilling calls him a "Yankee Fan." See the interview. She doesn't seem to understand what she's saying.

Let's state this again. If she was a Republican the MSM would be cutting her to shreds and the meme "Republicans are stupid" would once again be filling the airwaves.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Why should I make the data available to you?

"Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it," Phil Jones, director of the Climate Research Unit at the U.K.'s East Anglia University, complained in 2005 when a fellow scientist inquired after the original data.

Hmmm. I thought one of the central tenants of the Scientific Process was what we now call "Peer Review?"