Friday, August 11, 2006

Things Schumer and Biden Might Want To Think About

Week after week, Jamison Foser writes really good stuff. You should go read the whole thing, but here's a taste from this week:

Whether Bowers meant it or not, his post also suggests a danger to the party if Democrats do not unite behind Lamont. The people who supported, worked, volunteered, and voted for Ned Lamont chose to work within the Democratic Party rather than leaving it. They chose to abide by the results of the primary, win or lose. Now that Lieberman has decided not to do so -- and a scattered few Democrats have announced their support of his independent candidacy -- some Democrats may wonder why they should support future Democratic primary winners in other races. If Lieberman prevails, or even continues with the support of other prominent Democrats, how will Democratic Party leaders have any moral authority to urge moderates and progressives not to vote for the next Ralph Nader? How can they ask the party to unite behind conservative nominees? And how many Democratic candidates would win a three-way race that includes a candidate running to their left?

Hope Is the Thing With Feathers That Perches In The Soul, Or That Buries Seeds, Or That Puts Bumper Stickers On Cars. I May Be Confused.

Every year at New Year's, when I'm dutifully vowing to save more money, sign up for a yoga class, and eat more fiber, my brilliant friend Elizabeth makes a totally different kind of resolution. She resolves to do something really fun. One year, she resolved to learn how to make perfect cocktails -- and, believe me, she does. One year, she resolved to learn to ride a motorcycle -- and she does. This year, Elizabeth resolved to try all of the DC restaurants in the Washingtonian's 100 Best Restaurants List that she hadn't already tried.

Today, because I'm the kind of really good friend who can always be counted on to help her pals meet their goals, I joined Elizabeth for lunch at one of the places on her list -- Le Paradou. As the name implies, it's French. Located over near the now-deserted Capitol Hill, Elizabeth and I basically had the restaurant to ourselves. I had the Homard du ''Maine" ti au Beurre de Sauternes, Gingembre et Zestes de Pamplemousse (Roasted ''Maine" Lobster with Sauternes Wine Butter, Ginger and Grapefruit Zest), which was amazing (but Janni, and, you know that I love you, but the quotation marks around "Maine" are a bit too much; I'm just saying) and the Carre d’Agneau Roti, Puree d’Aubergines et Confit de Tomates, Jus aux Olives (Rack of Lamb, Eggplant Puree, Tomatoes Confit, Olive Jus). We split a very nice cheese tray. I'd go back, especially for the "Maine" lobster.

Afterwards I got into a cab to head back to the real world (aka that pleading I still need to write. Dorothy Parker once dismissed herself from her guests when she needed to finish a bit of writing by announcing, "I have to go upstairs and do that fucking thing, and I don't mean Allen" (her husband at the time, who hadn't come downstairs to join the guests). I would neeeeeever refer that way to some writing that I need to get done. Out loud) and the cabbie had the radio on. There's a certain group of cab drivers in DC who keep xian radio on in their cabs, hoping to convert the heathens during the 15 minutes that we're sitting in the back seat of the cab checking our Blackberries. For all I know, it may even work on occasion. Just as I got in the cab, the announcer said, "Can a mouse be a farmer? Find out in Our Creation Minute." So I put down the Blackberry and listened. Turns out that there's a species of mouse living in the Amazon jungle and that there are also seeds in the Amazon jungle that would be poisonous to this mouse. So the mouse finds the seeds, buries them, just as the squirrels bury acorns in my yard, and then -- here's the beauty part -- eats the seedlings when they sprout which, it turns out, are NOT poisonous.

So I'm listening and thinking this is pretty neat; here I was watching squirrels bury acorns this morning and here I am hearing about mice burying seeds this afternoon and maybe the Universe is trying to tell me something, although I don't think it's, "Hecate. Bury your food!", but I could be wrong. But then the narrator of Our Creation Minute says, "Evolutionists assert that learning how to farm was a turning point in human evolution. How is it then that this little mouse already knows how to farm? The ONLY OBVIOUS answer is that the Creator imparted this bit of wisdom to the mouse when he created him." And you know, obvious as that answer may have been, it wasn't the answer that occured to me. Sweet Kali dressed in madras! Apparently Americans really ARE incapable of even semi-logical thought. I hope when those farmer mice from the Amazon take over the Earth, they teach their children how to think.

So, by then, we were almost all the way to my office and the cab slowed down to let me out and, right there, in front of my office, was a car with a bumper sticker that said: "WWWD? What Would Weicker Do?" Maybe there's hope after all.

It Gets Pretty Fucking Old After A While

This shit has just got to stop. The Dispatch reports that the ACLU is suing on behalf of Foundray Loving, Olivia Shelltrack and their school-age children [who] are facing fines of up to $500 per week for living in their five-bedroom home in the [Black Jack] suburb of 6,800 because Loving is not the biological father of Shelltrack's oldest child, and the couple are not married.

"The government has no business saying two consenting adults cannot live with their own children," said Tony Rothert, legal director for the ACLU of Eastern Missouri.

Explain to me again how they're the "family values" crowd. They want to run this family out of their home, or break it up. Maybe they should just send the oldest kid off to an orphanage?

Not to mention, the Supreme Court already held this kind of bullshit against the law, oh, like, dog's years ago.

A Creed Outworn, My Sweet Round Ass

Some Wordsworth. Just because.

"The world is too much with us; late and soon"

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. – Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

May The Goddess Guard Him. May He Find His Way To The Summerlands. May His Friends And Family Find Peace

I wish that I could draw cartoons. I'd draw one of St. Peter ushering Mr. McCullough to the lunch counter in heaven.

The LAT reports that Robert McCullough, who led a group of black students in a landmark 1961 civil rights protest, choosing to serve jail time on a chain gang for the crime of sitting at a whites-only lunch counter in South Carolina, has died. He was 64.

LAT recounts how, [g]iven the option of paying a $100 fine or serving 30 days in jail, the Rock Hill students broke with earlier protesters and chose to serve the time, even though it meant an ordeal on a chain gang.

The Rock Hill group's sacrifice "made electrifying news" within the protest movement, author Taylor Branch wrote in his book "Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63."

"The obvious advantage of 'jail, no bail' was that it reversed the financial burden of protest, costing the demonstrators no cash while obligating the white authorities to pay for jail space and food," Branch wrote.

McCullough, who was selected as the group's leader, "did all the detail work and made sure everything was in place," said protester David Williamson. "He was like our teacher."

Another member of the group, Thomas "Dub" Massey, 18 at the time, said McCullough helped him recognize that what was happening at lunch counters was wrong.

"After talking to Robert, I felt like I needed to be involved and be part of the change. He said, 'It's not just about you, Dub. This is for all of humanity.' "

Global Climate Change Is Killing Americans

The NYT has a sobering article about all the deaths in California that resulted from the recent heat wave.

Some particularly scary facts: Many who died were middle-aged, not old and infirm.

Many were used to California heat and had lived and worked there for years.

Officials are attributing some of the deaths to the fact that the planet is no longer cooling down at night, as it used to do. Thus, those whose bodies are stressed by heat during the day aren't getting a reprieve at night that allows them to recover.

Some of the dead are veterans, unable to afford air conditioning. Too bad all the money spent on yellow plastic Support-the-Troops "ribbons" for SUVs didn't go into a fund to actually, you know, support the troops when they come home.

Of course, we could just do like the wingnuts and celebrate global climate change. No, we can't.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


I woke up this morning to see the squirrels digging holes all over my front lawn, burying the first of this year's acorns. I love to watch them, even though I know they're not good for my lawn. Isn't it funny how some people say that humans are the only animals that "plan ahead" and "understand temporality"? The squirrels were having so much fun doing what they do. It made me think.

There are a lot of really crappy things going on in the world right now. It can be easy to forget that we do have cause to celebrate, as well. HoJo Lieberman got his ass handed to him by the bloggers and netroots this week. The polls for this November could hardly be more promising. A mere 33 percent of Americans approve of George Bush's handling of EVERYTHING from the war in Iraq to his dog Barney. Thanks primarily to Al Gore, more and more people are waking up to the need to take global climate change seriously.

And, it's Friday.

It Is Doable; It Just Takes A Little Will

There's a fascinating -- and very encouraging -- article in today's WaPo concerning Chicago's serious attempt to turn itself into a green city. The article documents gardens on the roofs of city buildings -- which keep them fifty degrees cooler in summer than regular roofs. Additionally, [o]n other downtown rooftops, tall corkscrew-shaped turbines will bridle the winds that race across the plains. A new roof on Chicago's vast convention center will channel 55 million gallons of rainwater a year into Lake Michigan instead of overburdened storm drains. The article notes that, Chicago has planted as many as 400,000 trees, according to city spokesmen. It employs more arborists than any city in the country. There are 2.5 million square feet of green roofs completed or under construction, boosted by expedited permitting and density bonuses for developers who embrace the concept. And, [o]n other fronts, the city provides 10,000 bike racks and announced a goal of quintupling bike lanes to 500 miles by 2015. The city spent $3.1 million on a bike station at Millennium Park that has 300 indoor bike spaces, along with lockers and showers.

The interesting thing, to me, anyway, is how multifaceted Chicago's approach is. In addition to the above steps, [e]arlier this year, the city issued $1 million in grants for solar thermal panels that generate hot water. Staffers focused on high-volume water users, including laundromats and health clubs. For the past year, the city has waived a service fee -- typically $5,000 to $50,000 -- for developers willing to install a green roof. The projects are assigned to reviewers empowered to expedite approval.

Michael Yannell intends to take advantage of initiatives for the "net zero energy use" house he is building in Ravenswood. If all goes well, the house will generate more energy than it needs. He expects a property tax break and a $5,000 grant for a rainwater collection system.

Hello? Anybody Think We Might Want To Do Something About This NOW? No? OK, Well Then Everyone Should Go Bike Riding And Fishing For Ten Days.

EEI's newsletter reports that: U.S. Hit New Electricity-Use High for Week Ending Aug. 5

According to an EEI report, the U.S. set yet another record in electricity consumption – 98,583 GWh for the week ending Aug. 5. The previous record was set for the week ending July 22 – 96,314 GWh, Dow Jones Energy Service reported.

Wrote the newswire: "News of the new power demand record had gas traders revising their forecasts of government data due Thursday describing last week's gas activity. Rather than a small gas storage injections for the week ended Aug. 5, many traders and analysts are now anticipating a withdrawal of gas from storage."

In a statement, EEI President Tom Kuhn said: "Once again the nation’s electric system withstood a severe test. Apart from some localized outages, the system worked, the power remained on and the transmission grid was resilient."
Dow Jones Energy Service , Aug. 9.

I haven't changed," Lieberman explained in an interview aboard his campaign bus Friday. "Events around me have changed."

Motherfucking Morons on a Motherfucking Editorial Board!

Kay Graham, I'm sorry to have to do this to you, Sweetie, but you're going to have to disturb your rest and come back from the dead to scare the everloving bejebuz out of these fucktards. It's their only hope.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


I love Lewis Black. I do. I just love him.

Permit me to repeat my oft-repeated offer: Mr. Black, Oral sex. Bear your love child. Dress up as the french maid/the grecian slave girl/the haughty lawyer/the wicked witch (ok, some require less dress-up than the others). Your choice. Name the place. I don't make this offer for just everyone, you know.

May The Goddess Guard Him. May He Find His Way To The Summerlands. May His Friends And Family Know Peace

LAT reports that Murray Bookchin, an anti-capitalist thinker who in the early 1960s was among the first theorists to bring ecology into the political debate, arguing that economic policies based on profit were harming the environment, has died. He was 85.

Interestingly, "I don't regard people as a cancer on the planet," Bookchin wrote in a publication called Green Perspectives. "The real cancer that afflicts the planet is capitalism and hierarchy."

To ecologists whose world view is primarily spiritual, he added, "I don't think we can count on prayers, rituals and good vibes to remove this cancer; I think we have to fight it with all the power we have."

A typical response from a bio-centrist: "Compost the word 'anarchy' and do something real."

Katrina Messenger says that the best spell for a new job is filling out a job application. I don't believe that I ever had any real disagreement with Mr. Bookchin, no matter how much he may have wished to pick one with me.

Thank you for bringing the relationship between capitalism and the destruction of the environment to the forefront, Mr. Bookchin. I will miss you.

The NYT Embarasses Itself

OK, then. No big problem, but, apparently, NO one at the NYT can write even semi-coherently about country music. Primarily because, they are completely incapable of distinguishing between pop music and country music.

Part Of Being A Good Lawyer Is Knowing How The Opposition Thinks. And I Fancy Myself A Good Lawyer, If Passing Grade (Pace, Ms. Parker) Is Minus-B

So, I'll go on record here, and I may live to eat my words come November, but I think the Lamont campaign will be studied for a long time by people who care about how to run campaigns. Sure, in some ways, the Connecticut situation was unique. You have a blue state w/ one of the most red incumbent "Democrats" imaginable running. Still, for an unknown to come from behind the way that Lamont did -- and to do as many things right as Lamont did, from shutting up while Bill Clinton, et al. supported HoJo to the ad where HoJo morphed into Bush -- that's worth studying.

The general consensus for November is that Dems try to tar the Republicans with Bush (I'd like to know how many AOL and Google searches were run today for pictures of Republican Candidate X hugging/shaking hands with/ standing within 100 yards of Bush -- I've been running a few, myself, on George Allen!) and that Republicans try to run as "W Who?" independent types. That's easy to figure out.

What I find more intriguing is what this does to the 2008 elections, starting this winter on a tv set in your abode. If you're John McCain, what lesson do you take from Lamont's win? From his campaign?

The Republicans have set 2008 up to be a very interesting campaign, from a campaign wonk's perspective. No VP who wants to run, so no one close to the president who can reign him in (Condi. Sweetie. You didn't really think . . . . Oh, you poor deluded girl. And now the NeoCons are leaking EVERYWHERE against you. Call Gwen. She can relieve the tension. But stay out of Georgia Brown's on restaurant week. T-O-O P-U-B-L-I-C). So McCain wants his goddamn turn at bat and, heavens knows, the boy's kissed more Bushbutt than Jeff Gannon in order to get it. But if you're John Bigjowls McCain, what are you thinking today?

I'd love to hear your comments.

On Not Keeping One's Powder Dry

Whew! That was quite an evening and quite a victory celebration. Now, quick, someone go around and gather up the scotch bottles and put them in the recycling bin. Get the drunken ferrets out of the shower and back into their cages. Brew a pot of coffee and splash some cold water on your face, because we've got work to do.

Hillary was first out of the box to support Lamont -- as she'd said that she'd do if he won. She put her money where her mouth was and cut him a big check. Hopefully, Peter Daou can convince her to spend some time stumping for Lamont. It would do both of them good.

As kos noted last night, we need to contact Harry Reid and demand that, now that he's turned his back on the Democratic Party, Lieberman must lose his party privileges, including committee assignments. Here's how to get in touch with Mr. Reid: Click here for e-mail. Or contact him by phone or snail mail at one of his offices:

Carson City
600 East William Street, #302
Carson City, NV 89701
Phone: 775-882-7343 / Fax: 775-883-1980

Las Vegas
Lloyd D. George Building
333 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Suite 8016
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Phone: 702-388-5020 / Fax: 702-388-5030

Bruce R. Thompson Courthouse and Federal Building
400 South Virginia Street, Suite 902
Reno, NV 89501
Phone: 775-686-5750 / Fax: 775-686-5757

Rural Nevada Outreach Contact
Susan Lisagor
Phone: 775-686-5750 / Fax: 775-686-5757

528 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-3542 / Fax: 202-224-7327
Toll Free for Nevadans: 1-866-SEN-REID (736-7343) -Restricted to calls originating from area codes 775 and 702

Reid Newsroom
(202) 224-9521

I expect Mr. Reid to be reluctant to do the right thing. The MSM -- and Joe Lieberman -- have given him cover by portraying Ned Lamont and his netroot support as crazy, unhinged, whackos, even though, as Jamison Foser notes, being against Bush's war is a majority position in America.

The CW is that the Democratic powers-that-be can't be too tough on Lieberman on the off chance that (1) he wins and (2) the Dems are so close to taking back the Senate that they need Lieberman and (3) that being nice to him now means that he'll caucus with them then. The CW, in other words is that the Democrats need to keep their powder dry and do nothing to discipline someone so self-centered that he's willing to tear the party apart for his own ego. The CW is bullshit.

Democratic Party, quit keeping your powder dry. There may be some wisdom to keeping your powder dry in the early days of a war. We're not in the early days. We're just about finished and the other side has conquered the valley, the hill, and the castle. You've been keeping your powder dry for so long that the other side is about to capture your fully-stocked powder keg warehouse and your secret stash hidden out in the woods. Most of us no longer believe that you even remember how to load your muskets, you've been keeping your powder dry for so long. We think that you believe that there's some intrinsic worth to dry powder, separate and apart from using it to blast enemies and traitors from here to smithereens. There isn't.

It's time to wake up and make an example out of Joe Lieberman, who believes that he has a divine right to continue to occupy a Senate seat, regardless of whether or not the people of Connecticut want him to represent them. It's time to wake up and make an example out of Joe Lieberman who thinks there's something wrong with running a "partisan" (translation: Democratic) primary campaign. It's time to wake up and make an example out of Joe Lieberman, who tells Democrats not to dare to dissent from Bush's illegal war, but then bitches and moans that the voters won't let him "dissent" from the majority opinion that this war sucks. It's time to wake up and make an example out of Joe Lieberman who, after the voters of Connecticut speak, says that he won't allow that result to stand. He's sure learned a lot from his kissing cousin about ignoring election results, hasn't he? I'll tell you what the Democrats can't allow to stand: that attitude about voters.

Don't keep your powder dry on this one, Democrats. The netroots -- and yeah, we're crazy! crazy! crazy! extreme, mean, killing machines, we're every bit as dangerous as you think we are -- know where the powder is stored and we're about to organize a sneak attack on the warehouse and use it ourselves if you aren't going to do anything with it but keep it dry. We'd rather blow it up than watch you save it for that not-too-distant day when the other side's army comes marching in and takes it away from you to use on us.

I'm just saying.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Bye, Joe!

Lieberman loses.

Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Write This Off As A Freak Heat Wave And Go Back To Business As Usual

ABC is reporting that: Whatever climate scientists may currently disagree about (and good scientists are always disagreeing about something) virtually all of them have long since agreed that human activity -- burning fossil fuels -- has been making the global temperature go up. And now they have two very sobering, visual ways to explain how.

Describing how new supercomputers make it possible to show on a globe how hot the Eart will be in a given number of years, ABC explains that: A number of these spheres are now being installed in museums around the United States and the world, so the world can see what it's in for.

With green and blue for cooler temperatures, scientists and regular folks can watch the digitized projectors paint the globe, starting in 1870. Along about 1990, the globe grows yellower -- warmer -- and is entirely yellow by 2001.

Then comes the sobering part. Red, for much warmer, starts to appear in North America -- and other continents -- and by 2051 the United States is almost entirely red.

That's only 45 years from now, when today's toddlers will barely be in middle age.

And, Even scarier is the other sight, about 20 meters down off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif.: bubbles, millions of bubbles of methane -- 20 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

The methane is bubbling up naturally from some of the enormous natural undersea reservoirs of the gas mostly locked into the frozen mud under the sea floor.

Scientists have just released video showing how, for the first time, they have been able to measure these natural up-wellings to tell whether, if large amounts of this methane ever thawed out from its deep sea beds, it would reach the atmosphere, rather than being absorbed in the water, and thus make the earth even hotter.

The findings of oceanographer Ira Leifer et al, published in a strictly peer-reviewed scientific journal, are that it would do just that.

In other words, all that undersea methane is a potential "positive feedback" of catastrophic proportions.

If warming currents, such as those already detected by scientists at depth, begin to thaw these methane beds, it will make the atmosphere, and consequently the sea currents, even warmer, and melt out more methane.

A number of scientists tell me that would take the Earth up into temperatures humankind has never experienced -- and probably could not survive.

They believe it's happened for natural reasons before -- before, for example, the Jurassic age, when dinosaurs, but no humans, roamed the earth.

That's why they insist we must stop the unnatural burning of fossil fuels -- oil, coal and gas -- which risks giving such a methane mega-burp an artificial kick that could -- hard as this is to take in -- end civilization.

May The Goddess Guard Her. May She Find Her Way To The Summerlands. May Her Friends And Family Know Peace.

The LAT reports that life-long foe of capitalism and champion of the working class, Dorothy Healey, passed away. She joined "the Young Communist League in 1928, when she was 14" according to the LAT.

Thanks for being an example, Dorothy. You done good.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Dear Joe: A GOP Love Letter


Please go to the polls tomorrow and vote for Ned Lamont. There are dead children in Iraq who deserve it

A Witch Does Church Lady

Well, now, isn't that conveeeeeeeeeeenient? Of course, I'm a cynical old bitch who lived through the economical withholding and "plant outages" in California, so I'm sure there's nothing going on here. As if.

OK, Then. I've Eaten The Last Chicken Wing I'll Ever Eat

WaPo says:

U.S. Soldier's Confession Described in Rape, Murder Trial
By Joshua Partlow
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 7, 2006; 6:30 PM

BAGHDAD Aug. 7-- A U.S. soldier charged with the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and three relatives confessed to army investigators how he and his comrades hatched the plot over a morning of whiskey, card games and hitting golf balls.

Spec. James P. Barker, 23, provided the graphic admission in an interview and sworn statement, Army investigator Special Agent Benjamin Bierce testified at a hearing Monday in Baghdad to determine whether the soldiers should face a military trial.

Later that day, Barker and three other soldiers donned black masks and entered the girl's home in Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad -- a few hundred yards of where the soldiers were manning a vehicle checkpoint, said Bierce.

Three of them -- Barker, former Private Steven D. Green, and Sgt. Paul E. Cortez -- took turns sexually assaulting the girl in her living room, before Green shot her with an AK-47 several times, said Bierce, citing Barker's June 30th statement. Then, Barker poured lamp kerosene on her and someone set her on fire.

Barker, in his statement, said he was in the living room with the girl when he

heard gunshots in the bedroom where the soldiers had corralled her mother, father and younger sister. Then, Green came into the living room looking agitated and said words to the effect of:

"They're all dead. I just killed them," Bierce testified, citing Barker's statement.

After the March 12th murders, the soldiers went back to their checkpoint, where Barker grilled chicken wings, Bierce testified.

Fourteen years old. She was 14 years old.

Thanks, George. Thanks, Cheney. Thanks, Sandra Day. Thanks.


Damn. M. Macha Nightmare really makes me wish that I had one of these.

i will keep saving for landscaping. I will keep saving for landscaping. I will keep . . . .

I'm usually able to talk myself out of things. Do you do that, too?

Change The World, Rearrange The World

Please come to Camp Casey.

Cindy Sheehan, aka a modern-day Demeter, simply rocks. She rocks the big rocking rocks like a rocking rock star.

By Cindy Sheehan

So your brother's bound and gagged
And they've chained him to a chair,
Won't you please come to Chicago just to sing.
In a land that's known as freedom how can such a thing be fair?
Won't you please come to Chicago for the help that we can bring.
We can change the world rearrange the world.
It's dying---to get better!
Chicago, Graham Nash

This song was written almost 40 years ago when it also seemed that our world was in flames and dying. Thousands of people heeded the call to head to Chicago to demonstrate at the DNC. I can remember, even as an 11 year old, watching the TV in horror as members of the Chicago PD ferociously beat protesters with their night sticks and I was revolted when my friend Genie's mom Maxine yelled, "Hit the goddamn hippies harder!" I can also remember thinking that the people who were there were extremely brave and they must have cared deeply about ending the war in Vietnam. When I travel the country and talk to people in the anti-war movement, many of them say, "If there were only a draft, people would get off of their butts and protest the war like we (they) did during Vietnam."

Anybody got some vacation time? If not you, who? If not now, when?

Dead Zone

Environmental News Network is reporting that the oxygen-free dead zone in the Pacific Ocean that is causing death to sea life along the Oregon Coast is due to global warming and is growing. Scientists studying the 70-mile-long zone of oxygen-depleted water, along the Continental Shelf between Florence and Lincoln City, conclude that it is being caused by explosive blooms of tiny plants known as phytoplankton, which die and sink to the bottom, then are eaten by bacteria which use up the oxygen in the water.

The recurring phytoplankton blooms are triggered by northerly wind, which generates a process known as upwelling in which nutrient-rich water is brought to the surface from lower depths.

"We are seeing wild swings from year to year in the timing and duration of the winds that are favorable for upwelling," Jane Lubchenco, professor of marine ecology at Oregon State and a member of the Pew Oceans Commission, said from Corvallis. "This increased variability in the winds is consistent with what we would expect under climate change."

Deep water fish, such as ling cod, wolf eels and rockfish, are showing up in Oregon tide pools, apparently driven toward shore by the advancing dead zone, said Lubchenco.

Although the dead zone has been documented along 70 miles of coast, dead crabs and fish also have been showing up along Washington's Olympic Peninsula, Barth said.

"If we continue like we are now, we could see some ecological shifts," Barth said. "It all depends on what happens with the warming and the greenhouse gases."

Anyone know what percentage of the world's food comes from the sea? We're already endangering whole populations of fish and seaweed (a major source of food in, for example, Japan) with overfishing and pollution of the seas. Now dead zones, caused by global warming caused by global climate change caused by greenhouse gases threaten to kill even larger percentages of the fish that are left. Just as the global population gets even larger and crops worldwide wither due to -- you guessed it -- global warming caused by global climate change caused by greenhouse gases. So if we can't eat fish and we can't eat plants, I guess we can evolve to digest the plastic crap we buy from WalMart. Or not.

New Nukes?

I think this is actually a good thing. EEI is reporting that the growth of renewable energy may make it financially unattractive for the energy industry to build more nuclear power plants: Market Changes Could Disturb Nuclear Renaissance Predictions

Power industry experts said predictions of a wave of new nuclear plants - helped by federal insurance for the first six plants to be built - overlook uncertainty over the influence of markets and the role of new energy-efficient technologies, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Sunday.

Bob Simon, the Democratic staff director of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, cautioned that the growth of renewables could lessen any dependence on nuclear. Simon also noted that any breakthrough in the use of LEDs for lighting could drastically alter demand, and predicted that power markets will be in "a very dynamic situation going forward," making long-term forecasts difficult.

Simon said: "At this point, it looks like the competition will be between clean coal and nuclear in the immediate future," he said. "But we don't know what effect other market factors will have on this calculus, factors like development of renewable fuels and energy efficiency."
Atlanta Journal-Constitution , Aug. 6.

Nuclear energy is generally baseload energy -- you can't ramp nukes up and down very fast, so you generally turn them on and leave them on, adding more power from plants such as gas or hyrdro that can turn on and off as needed. Nuclear energy has one thing going for it -- it doesn't emit greenhouse gasses. But it has lots of problems. It's expensive. And it creates waste that is terribly dangerous for thousands and thousands of years. No one wants to store it in their backyard. Nor do we really even know that it can be stored completely safely. So if we're reaching the point where LEDs for lighting (conservation) and wind power (renewables) can make it less financially attractive to build new nukes while still meeting our needs for energy, that would actually be a good thin.

Anybody Know Where We Can Find A Spare $18 Billion? Oh, Yeah. We've Wasted Far More Than That Fucking Up Iraq! Oh, Well.

Today's EEI newsletter reports:

New Record Power Usage of 360,609 GWh Set in July
U.S. News & World Report noted that U.S. power demand hit a record 360,609 GWh in July, up 17.7 percent since the same period in 2000. The news magazine said the all-time mark came as the U.S. was bolstered by a stronger grid and a smothering heat wave.

EEI spokesman Jim Owen was quoted as saying: "We continue to live in ever bigger houses with more electronic technologies, like ... home theaters and multiple computers and subzero refrigerators. All that stuff incrementally drives a lot of demand." Added the news magazine: "That's true even though most kitchen appliances, he points out, are four times as efficient as they were a generation ago."

The news magazine wrote: "Cambridge Energy Research Associates, a leading consulting firm, noted that hot weather causes more incidents of equipment failure in electricity distribution systems. CERA says demand has reached levels that were not expected for another three or four years, and it estimates that $18 billion in annual investment in electric power systems is needed to prevent outages."
U.S. News & World Report , Aug. 4.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

When God Doesn't Get Laid

Prominent Pagan Phyllis Curott send out a long e-mail concerning the crisis in the Middle East to a Listserv that I'm on. Here's an important part of the letter:

The other day we were talking about the contents of an ad to be run in major newspapers, calling for peace. I joked to Michael that this war is what happens when God doesn't get laid, and Michael laughed, saying that I should put that in an ad in the NYTimes. Some people would be offended, some would laugh, but how many would really understand the sorrowful truth behind the humor?

God is alone, and so are we. The world is out of balance. In the beginning, the Bible says that: "We created humanity in our image, man and woman we created them." WE in OUR image. In the beginning there was God *and* Goddess, El as God is referred to early in the Bible, *and* Asherah as the Canaanites (Uritic) *and* the early Israelites both called their Mother Goddess. In the beginning, there was unity, there was balance, and there was love. But over the years that balance, the essential wholeness that is divine love was lost.

It seems to me, that is the real but hidden force driving this world-threatening dispute. That is the source of the wound at the center of Western Civilization. It is a wound that grew out of three compounding cosmologies where "we" became "He"--a solitary, often angry, punishing and absent Father God, a wound shared by all three religions--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

When God exists without Goddess, masculine without feminine, when the world exists without
the presence of the Sacred, humanity without divinity, confusion, pain and violence are the consequences. When religions justify killing because they have the "One True Way," they have no way at all. They are no longer religions; they are nothing but depraved politics.

When we cannot see the Divine in one another, we give ourselves license to kill. Were we to recognize the Divine in one another, we would be empowered to love.

George Bush -- World Class Coward

NYT reports that Cindy Sheehan's back in Crawford with Bush.

Sheehan, for me, personifies the Goddess Demeter. The mother who lost her child and wouldn't quit, wouldn't make nice with the other gods, wouldn't "just accept it" and go away until she got an answer. I admire her. I think she scares the crap out of George Bush, that big bully. Demeter got her answer in the end. I hope Ms. Sheehan does as well.

Red Rover, Red Rover, Let Ned Lamont Come Over

So I see that Atrios is trying to lower expectations for this Tuesday's primary election between Ned Lamont and Joe Lieberman. (I'll just say this up front. I'm tired of my choices being between two rich, white, older men. I'm just saying.) Atrios is probably correct; Lieberman's an incumbent and I won't be surprised if he Diebolds his way to the top of the ticket. Atrios is smarter about this stuff than I am, partly because I always wind up thinking that what I want to have happen will, in fact, happen.

But I got to thinking today that, if Lamont wins, it will be because he out-Roved Lieberman. I'm thinking, in particular, of The Kiss Float. What's Joe Lieberman's' greatest strength? His incumbency. His reputation for being "bipartisan." His connections with the patriarchal power structure, including, and especially, President Bush. So what did the Lamont people do (and I realize that the guy who created the float and then followed Lieberman all over the state with it may not be officially associated w/ the Lamont campaign, but they certainly didn't beg him to stop or sneak into his garage at night and tear it apart so that he couldn't follow Joe everywhere with it)? They made The Kiss Float which struck directly at Joe Liberman's strength. Even Joe Lieberman understands that, if he does go down, it will be because the Lamont people were able to turn a vote for Joe Lieberman into a vote for George Bush. If Lamont doesn't win, he certainly, at the least, made Lieberman distance himself from George Bush and fired a warning shot over the bow of quite a few other campaigns: Run with Bush -- you're in trouble. The Kiss Float was simple and concise. Just like "flip flopper" and as easily glued to the candidate.

I hope, regardless of whether Lamont wins on Tuesday night or not, to see the Democrats do lots more of this in the 2006 campaign. What's George Allen's biggest strength? How can it be exploited to his detriment?

You Have A Brave Sense Of Humor

You Are Almost Everything by Rob Brezsny

You taste delicious.

Animals understand you.

Your importance is unusual.

The funny faces that you make are interesting to look at.

You fight for power in all the right ways.

Gratitude pours out of you.

You have strong feet.

No one can overflow as well as you can.

You are famous with God.

A lost tribe salutes you from the other side of the veil.

You belong to yourself.

Sunday Akhmatova Blogging

Grey-Eyed King (1910)

Hail to thee, o, inconsolate pain!
The young grey-eyed king just yesterday was slain.
That autumnal evening was stuffy and red.
My husband, returning, had quietly said,
"He'd left for his hunting; they carried him home;
They found him under the old oak's dome.
I pity his queen. He, so young, passed away!...
During one night her black hair turned to grey."
He picked up his pipe from the fireplace shelf,
And went off to work for the night by himself.
Now my daughter I will wake up and rise --
And I will look in her little grey eyes...
And murmuring poplars outside can be heard:
Your king is no longer here on this earth.