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Showing posts from March, 2010

Always Blame the Other Guy

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He Who Screams Loudest



A competitor walks into your store and pees on the floor. Then he immediately screams, "There's pee on your floor! You people are filthy! This store is a scumbag place! I'm calling the Board of Health!"


That is precisely the tactic being used by Republicans like Eric Cantor who are trying to blame the crazed verbal and physical violence from right wingnuts on the Democrats. Or the national debt on everyone but George W.

Fee FiFo Fum; I smell the stink of hypocrisy-dumb.

Or is that a wafting draft of Big Lie propaganda technique?




pix credit

The Climate Change Denial Industry

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... And Who's Paying for It

Koch Industries, that's who.

Guess who blew the whistle? Good old Greenpeace! Whatever you think of their war on whalers (I love it), you've got to admire their courage.
Greenpeace's latest attack is on one of the most powerful, secretive, and rich companies in the world. In an admirable piece of investigative work, they have documented who pays the (huge) tab on denying climate change. And guess what, they are oil men! Surprise!

Here are the boys running Koch Industries:



Koch is a huge, privately-owned company that has nearly a hundred billion a year in revenue. Since it's a private company, they can keep a very low profile. And under that low profile, they outspend ExxonMobile by three-to-one trying to debunk the truth of climate change. (And you thought Exxon was the bad guy.)

So if you ever wonder how such loony-tunes stuff keeps popping up from climate change denialists, it's because these guys are pumping millions and million…

Another Big Climate Change Study

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THE SECOND SCARIEST STUFF ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE

The FIRST scariest is the incessant bleating of the "deniers," egged on by the hydrocarbon industry. I read in the Washington Post a Heritage Foundation denialist called climate change "the greatest non-crisis facing mankind." That's high level denying.That's scary.

That SECOND scariest part is the truth itself. Here's an excerpt from a report in Science Daily:

"A new study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Wyoming predicts that by the year 2100, many of today's familiar climates will be replaced by climates unknown in today's world, if current rates of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions continue. The new global climate models for the next century forecast the complete disappearance of several existing climates currently found in tropical highlands and regions near the poles, while large swaths of the tropics and subtropics m…

Hey (Fellow) White Folks!

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Are We More Gullible?

As an addicted poll reader, I note that (some) polls say that white people are much less likely to say that the health care reform law will help them personally than say people of differing shades.

One question: Have you never run afoul of your insurance company? Would you like those parasites to still have the power to cancel your insurance when you need it most? Would you like to be unable to buy health insurance if you change - or worse, lose your job - because of a "pre-existing condition?" That happened to me, because I had (treatable, controlled) hypertension. Do you like your premiums going up at two or three times the rate of inflation? Blue Cross just popped my wife's premiums 29% - no recourse, no appeals, no changing insurance companies because she has a - guess what? - pre-existing condition! Do you like having to haggle with some insurance company clerk for legitimate claims? Do you oldies just love the "donut hole?" If…

Why Healthcare Costs Are Out of Control

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Ten Times Retail Markup?!?

Healthcare costs are skyrocketing. Why, Lord, why?

- Is it all those scans prescribed by the docs who own the scanners?
- Is it all those CYA tests to protect the docs from lawsuits?
- Is it the meds that cost 300% more in the U.S.A. than anywhere else in the world?
- Is it the weak regulations on keeping our food safe?
- Is it the $500 a minute specialist fees?

YES! All that and insane overcharges for everything from the famous dollar-per-aspirin some hospitals charge to things like THIS...

THE STORY

A close pal breaks her ankle. She goes to a podiatrist. The Physician gives her a simple, off-the-shelf ankle brace for temporary support. The bills trickle in.
Cost for that brace? $490!

Whoa, we say. So we look up the cost of this device. Check it out:




= $490 charged by the Podiatrist















= $49.95 charged by Smart+Medical











Identical product. Identical manufacturer. Identical reimbursement code.

Keep in mind #49.95 is a retail price, available to you and me. There is …

HALLELUJAH!

Way to Go, House
Not finished, but partially irreversible, health care reform cleared a giant hurdle.
To the brave men and women in Congress who voted for US, even in the face of intimidation, I thank you.
To those who fought this bill as though what its detractors in the insurance business and their surrogates said was actually true, take a deep breath and see what this really means to you, your fellow citizens and American small business in general, then see if you're still mad.
I am grateful, in the prayerful sense.

The Worst Kind of News

Another Leadership Stumble

Just another slap in the face from Reality. This morning's NY Times whacked me with this:

China Drawing High-Tech Research From U.S.

Oh, darn. Not just (almost all) our manufacturing base, but now our innovation base.

The story is about how Applied Materials, a VITAL part of our technological manufacturing base, is moving much of its R&D to China.

So what's wrong with us? Is it our laws? (Yep. "Free trade" = "OK, move out.") Are our taxes too high (Yep, for the corporations which don't give a flip for anything but their bottom lines.) Are we running short of good engineers? (Yep, our decaying education system) Does a good part of our population sound like idiots? (I shouldn't say.)


I'm feeling grouchy.

Is America Losing the Biggest Races?

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Those Darn Socialist Europeans

If you've been paying attention to what the Right has to say negatively about almost anything we're trying to get done in American, you have heard the word "Socialist" about a thousand times. The Stimulus, health reform, energy independence, environmental progress, education... on and on ... it's ALL Socialism!Just like Europe!

Well, in area after area, those darn Socialists are kicking our butts.

Take a look:

VAST SOLAR PROJECT IN THE SAHARA DESERT TO PUMP ELECTRICITY TO EUROPE







This huge project linking solar power from the Sahara to energy users in Europe and North Africa could create 240,000 German jobs and generate 2 trillion euros ($2,822 billion) worth of power by 2050,executives from blue chip companies such as Siemens, E.ON, RWE and Switzerland's ABB along with firms from southern Europe and northern Africa will be at the inaugural meeting.

Energy groups plan for European 'super-grid'




An ambitious plan for an electric…

Letter to Hormel

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I actually felt pretty good about Hormel before now, even though I'm no fan of processed food. Pretty good corporate citizen, I thought.


Now I hear Sean Hannity crowing that Hormel is a new sponsor. Dang! I wrote this letter to Hormel:

"Your decision to become a sponsor for Sean Hannity leads me to the decision to cease buying any Hormel product.

Hannity - in my opinion - is a propagandist of the worst sort, dealing in half truths. He is bad for America."

I think he's almost as bad as Limbaugh for stretching, bending, distorting and downright avoiding the truth. He's welcome to his opinions, but I get really grouchy when people knowingly lie for political motives.

Sorry, Hormel, I'm just saying.....

But hey, they answered promptly with:
March 05, 2010


Mr Duff,
Thank you for contacting us regarding the radio advertisement.I will forward your message to our marketing area responsible for this.Nancy

Consumer Response Specialist
(I bet Mr. Marketing is a …

My Very Own Ice Dam!

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....Or a Mini Glacier, Maybe

I have long been fascinated – what would you expect from a sci-fi fan? – with the megafloods .Catastrophic floods have carved canyons, rivers, lakes and even seas.Imagine the spectacle of billions of gallons of water, acre feet per second, thundering across the landscape with inconceivable force, making tsunamis seem tame.These colossal events have happened at the end of every ice age when giant lakes of melt water are unleashed by the failure of the large ice dams that created them.











That is some scientist’s conception of what the ice dam looked like that released the flood that created the Western Washington badlands.Big deal flood.Not as big as the one that created the Mediterranean or the huge one that flushed out the Great Lakes, but pretty darn big.
Anyway, fascinating, no?Biblical at least.
Now I have my very own ice dam.







Hard to photograph, at least for me.But after over 70 inches of snow over two months, the melt/re-freeze process on my roo…