Climate Change: Deniers on the Run?

Call me naive or whatever, but me thinks that enough citizens have seen enough to believe that something has to be done, even if it’s too late, about the consequences of neglect. Climate change is happening, it’s real, and we’re losing time. At the very least, send the foolish deniers packing.

climate-rallyPresident Barack Obama
(State of the Union Address, 2/12):

“We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science and act before it’s too late. I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago. But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will.”

Sierra Club legislative director Melinda Pierce:

“Congress is a place where good ideas go to die. There is a tremendous amount that his administration can do without Congress. He has the authority. He doesn’t have to wait for Congress.”

So, let’s roll.

CNN: Environmentalists fill National Mall to fight climate change

159 thoughts on “Climate Change: Deniers on the Run?”

  1. very timely from wapo this morning:

    When Thomas Steyer — a San Francisco billionaire and major Democratic donor — discusses climate change, he feels as if one of two things is true: What he’s saying is blindingly obvious, or insane.

    I feel like the guy in the movie who goes into the diner and says, ‘There are zombies in the woods and they’re eating our children,’ ” Steyer said during a recent breakfast at the Georgetown Four Seasons, his first appointment in a day that included meetings with a senator, a White House confidant and other D.C. luminaries.

    It’s a somewhat shocking statement for someone who’s in the running to succeed the cerebral Steven Chu as energy secretary. Granted, he’s a long shot — the leading contender is MIT professor Ernest Moniz, who served as the department’s undersecretary during the Clinton administration — but his backers say his strength lies in combining business savvy with an activist’s passion.

  2. Oh dear, besides cold protesters, the “thumbs up” took a beating over night. I guess people waited until the cloak of darkness to come out to vote. Maybe the lines were too long at their voting place. They need to fix that.

    I guess people just don’t want to be judged. Ya get no thumbs up and you’re judged, as not being as good. Some of us can handle that better than others. I can always count on Tony, no matter how dumb something that I said was, to give me an atta girl. The faster he does it, the more I worry because he is just sooo nice and good. Son, ya got some good karma coming.

    And protestors, battling the cold to make their point…just goes to show ya how committed they are. I’m not that committed to even going to my bathroom until the room warms up here.

    Jace, a big TU, thumbs up on your Debold comment last night. And a big FU on the other one. You can’t really be sure what that stands for. May not be something you’re familiar with. Don’t judge me.

  3. And those of you who say you liked being able to give a thumbs up, sure ya do. It’s certainly easier being the one grading the paper than the student getting graded. Ponder that. I’ve always said that it’s far easier to criticize than to create. And I got to be the teacher for years but was a student for much longer.

  4. And as far as more people starting to get in line on this climate changes thing…I am one who pays attention to signs from the Universe. Call me crazy. Those two coincidences the other day…that might just be the Universe not being real happy with us. Someone needs to look for a note attached to one of those pieces of the meteorite. There may be a note that says…next time I won’t miss.

  5. The Climate deniers have merely switched to their backup positions for doing nothing.

    A. It might be changing but it is a cyclical event and nothing can be done about it

    B. If it is man-made, even if the US makes changes nothing will happen in India or China -the real source of the trouble.

    It’s just -re-messaging the gooper approach to making themselves more appealing

    CNN oy vey
    If there was ANY doubt they want to be the Enquirer of the air -today Soledad O’Brien is wearing a black leather outfit unzipped practically to her navel
    I read somewhere they would be focusing less on political speculation – if this is the change yikes.
    The cruise reporting was among the worst I have ever seen
    rush to judgement, inflammatory statements, and trying to lead interviews into inflammatory statements and mostly getting it all wrong.

  6. Nothing is likely to change (except the climate) as long as people can get elected to public office by being (or imitating) ignorant redneck a-holes.

  7. And before any idiots are allowed to express their opinions they should say if they have received money from the Koch brothers –primary funders of climate change denial

    CNN has on Connie Mack and Mary Bono Mack as the new face of the goopers now that they have gotten rid of the frozen face They are just as unreasonable but following the new playbook they look and sound more reasonable

  8. Carol

    Thanks for that! Very kind of you to say.. Oh and yes, phone coverage is most important.. Here along the Central Florida coast Virgin gets all bars of signal for me.. I tried the phone out from Best Buy on the promise that if it didn’t work well for me i could return it with in 30 days.. When i was satisfied i ported my number to the phone.. Walmart offers a 14 day return policy…

  9. Tony, a little difference between the central Florida coast and the La swamp. Not a lot of gators here subscribe to cellular service.

  10. “Jace, a big TU, thumbs up on your Debold comment last night. And a big FU on the other one. You can’t really be sure what that stands for. May not be something you’re familiar with. Don’t judge me.”


    No offense intended, no judgements made, to you or anyone else.
    As you could plainly see, I simply had too much time on my hands. My apologies. 😉

  11. ignorant redneck a-holes.”

    Those politicians are ‘not’ imitating anyone, except each other. Those ‘so-called ignorant rednecks‘ you’re demeaning don’t even vote in ‘any’ election.

    The quote Craig cited from Melinda Pierce: “Congress is a place where good ideas go to die” tells us the reason things aren’t happening. They all have their hands out, and their vote goes to the highest bidder.

  12. I thought your list was hilarious, Jace.

    I’ve always found it difficult to find offense in anything you say.

  13. It’s certainly easier being the one grading the paper than the student getting graded. Ponder that. I’ve always said that it’s far easier to criticize than to create.

    Loved that post, Carol (as well as many of your others). Good to read you here.

  14. Ya know I love you Jace. That’s why I’m playing with you. You gave me the last laugh for the evening last night. Appreciated it. Always good to go to sleep with a smile. The only way I’ll get one.

  15. As usual, Tony. Great links and such upbeat comments. I’m always so happy to see you here.

  16. And I needed a laugh after watching last night’s Downton Abbey. For my take on it, visit “The Swamp”. Sniff, sniff.

  17. There has to be some percentage in trying to convince the naysayers that research and creation of alternate energy sources and smart grid delivery could lead to lots of jobs and the votes and dollars to go to the politician that makes it happen.

    Congress Critters vote their own pocket books not the voters.

  18. If you believe God or gods are running things down to throwing lightning bolts at sinners, you cannot accept climate change. You pray harder for weather. Rain, sun, less pests, etc. You do a rain dance and sacrifice a human via the shaman to appease the angry gods in order for good weather.

    Personally, I like the Mother Nature tradition and fairy tale. Father Universe is always attacking her since the separation of the Big Bang.

    And when all is said and done, we have to listen to science…that same science Faux News has been beating about the head because it is completed by flawed humans. Mostly, god-less scientists. War on Christmas, that sort of thing.

  19. What surprises me about the climate change deniers, is the fact that if we took climate change seriously, and undertook an all out program to mitigate it, there would be some serious money to be made.
    These folks are usually the first in line when there is money on the table.

  20. “Congress Critters vote their own pocket books not the voters.”

    Hear, hear!

  21. In reading the comments from yesterday, this little tidbit jumped out and bit me: “There now are 40 cities that contain at least 10 million people.” This may be the ultimate in we have met the enemy and he is us. Unfortunately, bumping off 3 billion people would probably not be very popular with the relatives but Mother Nature just may do it for us unless we stop pissing her off.

  22. And who created science Blonde?

    Here’s my take on the last BIG asteroid hit. God created dinasaurs. She saw that they were a tad too big and the trees too small. Like any woman, she reserved the right to change her mind. And then there was the do over, BANG.

  23. Any serious government response to climate change would immediately be held hostage by deficit hawks, regardless of how many jobs it created or tax revenue it generated.

    They would hold it hostage until Hell froze over, or earth, which ever came first. Probably the latter.

    Their response would be, ‘eliminate Social Security’ then we can talk about climate change.

  24. Have you seen how other countries ‘steward’ their corners of the planet?! They rape the hell out of it, all in pursuit of the high standard of living we enjoy, with our cell-phone chargers, and computers, and tablets, and SUVs, et cetera. This is an easy issue about which to be strident without being able to make any real difference.

    I appreciate the President’s “green” energy initiatives, but from what I’ve read, they aren’t amounting to much, most notably in the “Solyndra” case. As far as the weather events he cites in the quote in today’s original posts, individual episodes aren’t indicative of any larger trends, so that’s just political opportunism in trying to use them to compel some sort of change. Capping CO2 a la McCain/Lieberman? Sure, as soon as China signs on.

  25. Speaking of “Ignorant redneck a–holes”

    No sooner said than done. Enter Lindsay Graham.

    To avoid a March 1 sequester, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) suggested on Fox News Sunday that Congress save money by cutting the Affordable Care Act instead.

    “Here’s my belief: Let’s take Obamacare and put it on the table,” he said. “People are leaving the private sector because their companies can’t afford to offer Obamacare. If you want to look at ways to find $1.2 trillion in savings over the next decade, let’s look at Obamacare. Let’s don’t destroy the military and just cut blindly across the board.”

  26. TU to CT, Jace, and the rest of the posts today. My essay (post) blew up. I hope this one goes through ok.

  27. Exchamp,

    Great point. I am not sure that China gives a rats ass about climate change. They are after a standard of living at home and and a big place on the world stage.
    The occasional freak snowstorm is way down on their list of priorities.

  28. Eprof,

    Thanks. Resend the essay I always look forward to reading your thoughts.


  29. China is definitely bearing the brunt of their irresponsible industrial planning (or lack of it), with exploding cancer and respiratory-disease rates, and waterways that look and smell like sewers, so those facts can be of some consolation, if you’re into schadenfreude. Sometimes, I am!

  30. “… individual episodes aren’t indicative of any larger trends, so that’s just political opportunism in trying to use them to compel some sort of change.”

    Champ, I think you hit the nail on the head there.

    Looking at things from the general populations point of view, I think another term other than ‘Climate Change’ would make things more understandable to most. I mean, what we’re actually talking about is pollution, and just about everyone knows that ‘pollution’ is a bad thing.

    Like Jamie said a while back, most people don’t understand the difference in ‘climate’ vs. ‘weather. So when they hear the term Climate change, they’re not taking in all the intricacies of the concept/reality. That’s why it’s so important for the governments to create laws to better control ‘pollution’.

    When you say something like the following “Human activities that result in the release of these greenhouse gases well beyond natural levels include things like deforestation, burning of fossil fuels, changes in wetland construction, and so forth”, then people get the general idea.

    That statement gives us the answers to some of the things that are causing the problems and at the same time the solutions. They need to put it in terms that people take seriously, while at the same time reassuring us that there are solutions.

  31. “exploding cancer and respiratory-disease rates”

    We’re seeing that ‘here’ too.

  32. all about what battery? I missed something.

    Mankind still can’t build a lightweight, high-capacity/high-output battery. That’s why the battery array in an electric car weighs hundreds of pounds and costs $10000. That limits innovation, but supposedly, a battery of the type that would save humanity violates the laws of physics, so…

    Bear in mind, I’m no electrical engineer.

    (If you’ll remember, McCain proposed offering a competitive prize to the first entity to produce a battery that met higher efficiency standards when he ran for Prez in 2008)

  33. ““exploding” cancer? wo…I don’t want that”

    LOL, Sturge!!
    Is there any other kind.

  34. ah…I see…..although a minor nitpick as to weight…given the weight of SUV’s and Hummers and other large vehicles I can’t see the hundreds of pounds for a battery would be all that prohibitive….just from the weight standpoint, of course.

  35. “Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse. — Adlai Stevenson”

    …. love the quote from your link, Jace.

  36. Sturg… lol… as a redneck yourself… I guess you’d know an a-holic one when you see it… 😉

    Unfortunately, human behavior is such that we usually keep doing things that are bad for us until it’s too late. I knew someone who put the cigarette to the hole in his neck even though the hole was there because of cancer caused from smoking. I’m sure all of us here could give lots of other examples.

    But with that said… I do admire those that braved the cold this weekend to March on DC. I liken this to the gun control debate…. just because we won’t have perfect solutions, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

  37. Climate change deniers are the symptom, not the cause.

    If people no longer buy those lies, the lie machine will produce others that have the same goal.

    What is the goal? To continually increase and protect the wealth and power of the upper class. Energy corporations are just tools for that, as is an electoral system where money trumps the will of the people.

    The news media corporations propagate the lies and lay out the carefully limited “terms the debate.’

    What we have do, to have a decent and “sustainable” society, is to reduce, if not remove, the power of money in politics. If we can’t do that, a bunch of crazy rich people will destroy the planet.

    Their ONLY motivation is greed. They can’t take it with them, but they don’t care. They just want more, more, more and the rest of us, including future generations, be damned.

  38. “What we have do, to have a decent and “sustainable” society, is to reduce, if not remove, the power of money in politics.” -Nash

    I think you’d have an easier time passing a camel through the eye of a needle.

  39. Not having the thumbs up thingie facilitates more communication. Instead of punching the little thumb thingie, you have to say something. I, for one, appreciate having you communicate.

  40. Why do reactionary people call Al Gore a liar? He seems to get the blame, still, for “lying” about global warming, when onsite reports featuring scientists with core drillings show rapid warming and melting of the polar and northern ice caps and icebergs. It’s so obvious, with 2012 being the hottest global year EVER. Yet, people like Frank Beckmann, who’s a Detroit right-wing WJR-AM 760 talk show host, delight in telling their listeners that global warming is a hoax.
    All it takes is a cold day in winter and these idiots are out poking a finger at Al Gore and his “crazy, nutty global warming agenda.”
    It’s Al Gore and a whole lot more, you repugg dumb asses!
    Wake up and smell the boiling-over hot coffee!

  41. Excellent Comments today re: Money-Power-Media-Politics and the fact that Climate Change is a global issue, not simply domestic.

    I can support and vote for people who share the same outlook on this subject and I can choose not to watch/read the various Media operatives who don’t; I can choose not to buy products produced by Koch Bros and those like them. A few dollars here and there might not seem like much, but when a few more people x a few more x a few more do the same, it adds up. As was stated here by others earlier, people may not matter to Big Corps, but money does.
    I keep my thermostat at 55°. Yep, it’s cold outside: it’s Winter. 15° above zero right now. I deal with it. Spring, then Summer eventually come.
    Speaking of Summer, I don’t use an airconditioner. I open the windows. When the humidity gets bad, the fan goes on, but just as needed. And I enjoy the heat, because I remember that in a few months it will be 15°….
    Reuse, Recycle. Our ancestors did – they had to. Commonsense living.
    Consider your diet: Personally, I don’t eat meat. But to those who do, maybe have a few more meatless meals.
    Buy local when possible. Eat better and support a neighbor’s business.
    These are a few ideas individuals can do to help this beautiful planet. On a daily basis, we can make it happen.

  42. sjwny said…and I totally agree….

    I can choose not to buy products produced by Koch Bros and those like them. A few dollars here and there might not seem like much, but when a few more people x a few more x a few more do the same, it adds up. As was stated here by others earlier, people may not matter to Big Corps, but money does.

    Here’s a product list

    and there is an app for that

  43. I’m not the host here but I’ll borrow a little niceness from Tony and say..a big thumb’s up for everyone who commented today. You are each one of the brave 9% who risked putting your thoughts and ideas here for everyone to judge. Was it 9%??

  44. I did vote “no” on both the thumbs up and the side bar thingy. I did use the feature… mostly with newbies posts as a way to encourage them to continue to comment.
    But, IMO, it meant most of us were no longer welcoming newbies in our posts… guess just hitting the thumbs up was easier. I agree with Carol… we now have to communicate if we really like something. IMO, the comments about Nash’s post are an example of that.

    KGC & sjwny… I used to love Brawny paper towels… I stopped buying them the second I found out they were made by a Koch Bros. industry.

  45. I voted “no opinion”. Can you believe that? That’s one reason I laughed so hard at Jace’s comment last night.

  46. KGC & RR,
    Same here – I now consider WHO the money is going to before I spend mine. This is how we got in this mess in the first place. Big Money/Big Corps relies on our ignorance.

  47. ha, just as well thumbs up got the thumbs down in our poll. That plugin got pulled from WordPress directory, so couldn’t reinstall it anyway. i do like ct’s point that without it more people will register their praise in writing. I’m like Sturg, I would have thumbs-upped Nash’s latest gem and probably not taken the time to say so, as I’m now doing

  48. Jace, my lost post was all about the freezing winter we have had here in southern AZ. I’ve lost more than half of my queen palms, cactus, vincas, citrus trees, and ground covers. This is the first time this has happened in the nine years we’ve lived here. Everything is brown with little or no green around. True, we’re not experiencing winter like most of the other parts of the country but with temps in the teens it’s a most unusual time for us. The snowbirds are really questioning why they came to AZ this year. Climate change? Don’t know, but certainly different and a trend to watch in the future. How are things in the Bullhead City area?

  49. trying out a new image uploader (the old one wasn’t up to date with latest WordPress version)

    this pic from our back deck in DC

    Click image for full-size (try it and you can see the birds overhead)

  50. ok that image upload worked. downside of this one is you can only upload .jpg (JPEG) images. that’s the most common but obviously leaves out a lot of file types. nice ffeature of this one — it posts thumbnails, meaning that you can click a picture to see it in full size

  51. To balance all my criticism (let’s face it, it wasn’t a great SOTU address, as evidenced by the Presidential quote in today’s post), the most effective measure to mitigate CO2 emission that could be undertaken, already has, with increased mandatory efficiency (CAFE) standards to be applied to cars sold in the U.S., which last I read was something like 55 mpg by 2025, or something like %5 a year, which is pretty aggressive. So, there’s a positive.

  52. I was really surprised that their is any controversy about the like button…I only see it a very positive thing…I defer to Craig’s judgement about this and other things…I will miss the like button…

  53. jamie’s

    “There now are 40 cities that contain at least 10 million people.”This may be the ultimate in we have met the enemy and he is us.

    succinctly nails it.

    and along with that train of tho’t, i would add over population to chloe’s 10:29 list of human activities that result in unnatural levels of toxicity and cause depletions of vital necessities to keep this planet healthy.

  54. another feature i’ve added — IF you want an email when others post comments on a thread, check the “Notify me …” box below the “POST COMMENT” box. IF NOT, just don’t check it — and if you change your mind, each email includes an unsubscribe button

  55. Thinking and speaking about the battery puzzles is made more difficult by adopting mccain’s (Big Oil’s) false paradigm.

    The real battery problem is in storing the power of the sun for use at night. Liquid metal batteries appear to be the solution to the puzzle. Liquid metal connected to solar would produce energy far healthier than nukes or coal at a cheaper price.

    The special puzzle about motive energy has for the most part been solved by Toyota. The Prius has given drivers double the mileage per gallon of other cars in its class for fifteen years. And, it is not a short range car. A plug-in e85 Prius would consume about 1/12 of the fossil fuel used by similar vehicles. The final piece of this puzzle is the speed at which eCars recharge. If the driver of an eCars or Hybrids could ‘refill’ with the ease and speed that one refills a Fossil Car, there would be little market for the latter.

    A Coal/Nuke tax dedicated to proliferating Solar collectors and Liquid Metal Batteries, coupled with a gasoline tax dedicated to subsidizing eCars, Hybrids, and proliferation of charging stations would make America energy independent in decade.

  56. If there is anything that can truly be called ‘classic trail mix thread’ yesterdays and today’s are examples.
    These are the types of discussions and comments that drew me here originally, and keep me coming back. 😉

  57. EProf,

    We have had much the same in BHC. Unusually cold winter, with some pretty hard frosts. Many of the plants will need to be cut back due to frost damage.
    Wind has been more prevalent, generally out of the North and colder than usual.
    Snowbirds returning home early,in search of better weather. 😉

  58. httpv://

    we all have one address
    and that address is planet earth

  59. Craig, pretty sure it was at my end for the lost post. I hit submit and the big error page came up and asking about a diagnosis from Microsoft. Craig, will you email me your snail mail address so that I might submit my subscription. I don’t do Paypal, et al, online.

  60. The Upper Midwest has had 1 colder than average winter in the last 15 years. 2010-11 was a horrid winter. However, last year Autumn progessed into Spring with less than a week of Winter. 14 of the last 15 have been warmer than the declining average.

    To find a record of consecutive colder than average winters one has to look back nearly 30 years.

  61. experimenting with scrolling feature on the sidebar displaying excerpts of most recent comments. want something on the front porch for lurkers to see what’s happening in comments

  62. I like the new “Now on the Trail” feature. Sort of like the ticker tape headlines outside News buildings. Getting swanky around here :)

  63. eprof, didn’t you hear? Your lousy steenkin’ weather is GOD punishing the baseball owners who left Florida and “Irsay’d-O’Malley’d” it west, leaving the Grapefruit League a shadow its former self. 👿

  64. “The Kardashev scale is a method of measuring a civilization’s level of technological advancement, based on the amount of energy a civilization is able to utilize. The scale has three designated categories called Type I, II, and III. A Type I civilization uses all available resources impinging on its home planet, Type II harnesses all the energy of its star, and Type III of its galaxy. The scale is only hypothetical and in terms of an actual civilization, highly speculative; however, it puts energy consumption of an entire civilization in a cosmic perspective. It was first proposed in 1964 by the Soviet astronomer Nikolai Kardashev. Others have extended the scale to even more hypothetical Type IV beings who can control or use the entire universe, or Type V that control collections of universes. Metrics other than pure power usage have also been proposed, such as ‘mastery’ of a planet, system or galaxy rather than considering energy alone,[1] or considering the amount of information controlled by a civilization rather than the amount of energy.”

  65. Basically, we have to get to a Type II civilization classification, without destroying ourselves first, and then we can start shipping excess population to Mars, Europa, and the like. Sounds like fun, eh?

  66. Champ… ROFL!
    It sounds like Scientology. I’m reading Lawrence Wright’s new book on Scientology entitled “Going Clear” now. It’s amazing to think what a charismatic person can persuade others, particularly the young, to believe.

  67. Yep, blame Stoneham and O’Malley. Yep, spring training started this week. Daytime temps have been reasonable in the 60’s and low 70’s this week. It’s the overnights. Plant killers.

  68. In my lifetime it has been pretty much accepted, that even during good economic times there is always a certain level of unemployment that is to be expected.Perhaps three or three and a half percent.
    Unemployment now seems to be stuck at somewhere around eight percent. The government either can’t or won’t enact measures to bring down unemployment, and business would rather sit on large amounts of cash rather than reinvest it in new plant and equipment that might create additional jobs. Consumers don’t have enough disposable income to spur economic growth through spending.

    Question for all those here. Is high unemployment the new normal, or will we return at some point to the traditional accepted levels of unemployment?

    I would be curious to know your thoughts. 😉

  69. RR, I’ve been hearing a lot about that book (put it on our “Let’s Read” list in sidebar). Write us a book report if in the mood, would make a fine “Trail Mixers Say” post.

  70. I believe Carol ask how the Russians got so many videos of the meteor
    Well here is the answer.

    Many of the detailed video images viewed around the world on Friday showing the explosive meteor in Russia can be traced to what may seem like an unlikely source: the country’s reputation for crazy motorists, stupefying traffic accidents and corrupt police officers. This has led many drivers in Russia to install dashboard cameras, which document every minute on the road.

  71. Champ

    Given the plunging population growth rates, there may not be any excess population by the time we reach a type II civilization. So far there has been no bottom with many countries crossing into negative growth rates.


  72. Craig… one of the things that is most interesting to me is that the book starts out telling the tale of a 21 yr old male, who in 1975, had someone come up to him in a mall and put Hubbard’s book, Dianetics, into his hands. He was a very troubled soul and fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

    I was 21 in 1975… and Rick and I were newly married. We lived in Worcester Mass. at the time. And Rick, while on a lunch break in a mall, was approached by someone who put Dianetics into his hands. He brought it home and I read it.
    My response was “I don’t know who this Hubbard guy is, but this book is full of shit and I believe he’s a fraud”.

    The difference I think is that I was happy, thought the world was our oyster, and was looking forward to my future with Rick. People such as Hubbard, IMO, prey on troubled youth who are looking for someone to give them quick and easy answers to their problems.

  73. RR says: “People such as Hubbard, IMO, prey on troubled youth who are looking for someone to give them quick and easy answers to their problems.”

    There ya go, nailing what ails society as much as just about anything else — Frauds with “answers”

  74. I want to send the House Majority to colonize Pluto. There they could demonstrate what unbridled enterprise without taxes, government, co-operation, and civility can achieve.

    Give each of them a trench tool and a bag of Monsanto seeds, and then evict them from the ship.

  75. Jace,
    Great question (timely,too.)
    I did my taxes today. Each year I look at last year’s tax forms to compare. I’m OK, moving forward each year. I know this is not the same for many of my friends. I have co-workers who live paycheck to paycheck and use government programs to get by. Creaking ahead, not quite stagnant. Not quite the American dream, either.
    Looking at RR’s comment about charismatic people from a different angle: this country responds to strong Leadership and strong personalities. Not only do we need competent people to govern, we need people who make us interested in being governed. It makes a difference.

  76. Hey Carol, last 8 weeks have been pretty intense for me so any regular contribution during the night shift has been difficult. Finally got the son and his family out of the house and into his own house after a move from Melbourne. Kids are all back at school after summer holidays so no more daily baby sitting the grandchildren. And our final good deed was to look after the dog of her indoors’ ex who was going in for a shoulder reconstruction. Dog gone. At the end of all of that, her indoors and I have fled to our little sea side resort and haven, Narooma, for some well deserved R&R. No kids, ankle biters, animals or pesky family, just us.

    So now I have time to fire off the occasional posts.

  77. And finally, about climate change.

    We have an old folk song that articulates climate extremes experienced by the folks in the 1800’s – called the Queensland Drover. One verse goes:

    I come from the Northern Plains
    Where the girls and grass are scanty
    Where the creeks run dry or ten feet high
    And it’s either drought or plenty.

    You can see a performance with the Singing Budgy at an outback concert. Onya Kylie.


    I may not be a skeptic, but extremes are what we put up with in Oz since records were maintained.

  78. I was hoping for a Grover sighting.

    Spent last night reading about James Buchanan. Is it true he vetoed a Bill to create more colleges because he thought “we already have too many educated people”?

  79. Reminder: Our new image uploader only posts thumbnails (to save page-building time), but you can click the pics to see full-size. (And only .jpg pics can be uploaded, they consume less time and space — there are plenty of image converters out there to change other file types into jpegs)

  80. BillW… that wine and cheese look fine to me… of course, if the wine were red… it’d be perfect… :smile:

    I’m going to watch Rachel Maddow’s special “Hubris” tonight.
    I read that book a couple years ago. And yup… speakin’ of frauds… IMO, the selling of the Iraq War qualifies.

  81. Folks, I have just finished a small research piece on the last Zeppelin raid over London on the night of 19 October 1917. At focus of the story is the Kingston Family of Hither Green and Kapitänleutnant Waldemar Kölle, the commander of L45.

    This might seem like a walk down history lane but the reach of the morality is real today.

    First the Kingston Family of Hither Green. On the night of the raid, the mother decided to visit the air raid centre to see if the all clear was given. She left her 8 children in their house thinking they were safe and she was facing danger. When she returned home, a 300lb bomb had destroyed her house and killed all 8 of her children.

    See: The KINGSTON Family.

    Then we have the washup with Kapitänleutnant Waldemar Kölle who was captured by the French the next day and, along with his crew, held as POW’s till the end of the war. His crew was released but Kölle was held at the French prison of Roanne pending extradition to Britain to face war crimes charges for murdering civilians under Article 228 of the Versailles Treaty. Kölle was released without charge in 1921. There was no way to establish that he had a reckless indifference to human life.


    At the moment, it is considered to be a legitimate military action to target civilians with the express purpose of killing and maiming as many of them as possible. We have a century of experience with this concept and we, as humanity, are now questioning very deeply this morality. One response from the US has been the invention of the smart bomb and drones. This has done a lot to dampen the debate as far as the US military actions are concerned. In contrast, both Israel and the Gaza Strip Palestinians seem to be caught up in the old way of thinking which degrades both sides moral standing. We see the Syrian regime of Assad lose international credibility through the use of indiscriminate killing of its own population.

    That we are having this debate tends to indicate the revulsion most people have with this technique of war. The debate began with this particular incident. From that we can see how responses have been framed in the context of the moral debate over civilian casualties during times of conflict.

  82. Hope everyone had hoe cakes for breakfast in honor of George

  83. I am now auto-generating avatars for those who don’t have them (tired of looking at that boring generic ones), but if you want to create your own, here’s how

    or see “CREATE YOUR AVATAR” under the Help button above

  84. btw all, if you create your own avatar give it some time to take effect. system has to go back and add the new icon to all of your past posts, which can take a while

  85. It’s a dragonfly Craig. Gravatar made me cut the wings off. Living in Florida, you should know what a skeeter looks like.

  86. Right now on msnbc Dick Cheney is getting his ass kicked by David Corn and Michael Issikoff…we were led to war on a pack of shameful lies and more lies. Cheney should have paid for his crimes in a prison, or if your mindset is really vengeful, swung like Adolf Eichmann did back in 1962. At least 100,000 innocent Iraqis died under Cheney’s orders.
    USA does not punish any war criminals with rank and money.
    This post is dedicated to Anon.

  87. Isn’t it interesting that the man has to have an artificial heart? How appropriate is that?

  88. OK, if everybody else is going to have goofy avatars I think I will just hide over here in the shadows

  89. My dragonfly is not goofy Jack, she’s my mama. Right after my mama died, I was sitting out on my back step at my house, crying. A beautiful dragonfly landed next to me. I looked down at it. It was looking up at me. It’s little lips were moving. Promise I didn’t hear it say anything but it seemed to want to. For a good while after that, I kept having these unusual encounters with dragonflies. My sister did also. I later read that some native Americans consider the dragonfly to represent the souls of the dead. I drew that dragonfly with watercolor pencils. It’s mama.

  90. Carol
    A dragon fly is never goofy.

    And thanks for the story on your dragon fly.


  91. Mama woulda got a kick out of being called goofy though. She had a good sense of humor.

  92. CT, I have a lot of dragonflies that swope down over the pool, grab a drink, and then fly back and forth until they are thirsty again. I’ll never be able to watch my dragonflies again without thinking of your story and your connection to your mother. Wonderful!

  93. Sjwny,

    I think that many in power, not all mind you, but many have lost the ability to be outraged by the current state of the unemployed and under employed. The blame the victim meme has taken hold at a number of different levels.
    I begin to feel as though that there is a certain segment of the population that is desirous of a large and permanent underclass.
    40 hours a week for both husband and wife will no longer buy the American dream. Too many live just one medical emergency or one large repair bill away from a disaster.
    If by 2016,unemployment were down to six and a half percent, both republicans and democrats would see it as a great accomplishment, and campaign accordingly.
    I am not convinced that the will exists either politically or socially to address high unemployment.

  94. Watched the Maddow special tonight.
    Did not see too much that was new, but like a car wreck I just couldn’t look away.

    We now live in a world where such words as integrity,duty, and public service have no meaning.

    We also live in a world where rat fuc-ing an entire country will get you a soft retirement, but getting an occasional blow job will get you impeached. :sad:

  95. Ha!
    Yes, I must remember to thank Craig for that.
    The green was the perfect touch. :)


  96. Ct,
    I have dragon flies and hummingbirds both around my postage stamp bit of greenery in the front yard.
    Love em’ both. 😉

  97. oh brother!

    I wish I didn’t hate Harry S Truman so , but I know too much. It seems impossible this racist backwards hateful spiteful little piece of shit was President when I was born. It’s true.

  98. Guys, your dragonflies aren’t my mama. You’ll have to figure out who they are, especially if they feel a little familiar or seem to be interacting with you.

  99. I bet y’all have had a dragonfly land on your shoulder and look ya right in the eye. You probably just didn’t notice, but I bet you do next time it happens.

  100. jace, you hammered that 11:54 PM nail straight home, sir.
    For working people , ones by circumstance and chance who just didn’t have time or chance to go to post high-school education palaces, the American Dream has been about two hopes: one, hope the one rich uncle with the real estate and the farms leaves you a piece in his will , and two, hit the lottery. I can’t hit the Big One and all my elders are long dead. My inheritance, total, from the preceding generation of family members? Some coffee cups and saucers. Life can be a dream; dream on.

  101. I just took a slow look at all 50 photos in The Atlantic. I lived through that time, mostly from a distance , discussing those events in current events class, which we had once a week in lieu of regular US history class. I was just starting high school.
    The monk’s self-immolation was a tough one to understand for an Indiana teenager. The racism that figured in many of these pictures pained us, but as kids all we could do was to speak up in class against the wicked ways of the world. The war , well, I always felt that was crazy-wrong. My opinions were formed when I was 12, 13 years old and my step-grandmother would listen to her Zenith (the quality goes in before the name goes on) radio and shake her head and vent against the government for sending even the first advisers to Vietnam. She was a very old lady by then and she use to tell me how the French had been “kicked out of there” and the US had no business over there. She made sense to me, but my history teacher didn’t like me talking like that in his class. He was a Marine in WWII , My County Right or Wrong. Almost everybody felt that way. Duped.
    Even now , and I have posted comments here at The Trail before about this, I shuddered , just a few minutes ago when I saw the photo of the Birmingham church where four little girls were murdered. I always remember the date…September 15, 1963, three days before my 14th birthday. I remember the stunned outrage I felt that night when I turned on my Crosley radio and heard the news. Well, fifty years have passed and the pattern for the USA is apparent. We invade. We kill. Poverty-stricken people stay that way. Republicans hate to see anyone making $9 per hour for unskilled work. We now set records , not for the wealth of the nation, but for how fast we can empty the treasury into ratholes like “The Region” . Goddam ‘em anyway.

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