Archive for May, 2011

Scientists’ Report Stresses Urgency of Limiting

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

– Would you, dear readers, be more impressed if I also went back and provided links for the last three or four times that such warnings have been issued; each with more stridency?    I could, you know.

– I/we just keep watching these warnings go by.

– And then one day, we’ll all hear it said, “Why didn’t anyone tell us?   Why didn’t anyone do anything to prevent all this?”  Why, indeed.

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The nation’s scientific establishment issued a stark warning to the American public on Thursday: Not only is global warming real, but the effects are already becoming serious and the need has become “pressing” for a strong national policy to limit emissions of heat-trapping gases.

The report, by the National Research Council, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, did not endorse any specific legislative approach, but it did say that attaching some kind of price to emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, would ideally be an essential component of any plan.

“The risks associated with doing business as usual are a much greater concern than the risks associated with engaging in ambitious but measured response efforts,” the report concludes. “This is because many aspects of an ‘overly ambitious’ policy response could be reversed or otherwise addressed, if needed, through subsequent policy change, whereas adverse changes in the climate system are much more difficult (indeed, on the time scale of our lifetimes, may be impossible) to ‘undo.’ ”

The report, “America’s Climate Choices,” was ordered by Congress several years ago to offer “action-oriented advice” on how the nation should be reacting to the potential consequences of climate change.

But the answer comes at a time when efforts to adopt a climate-change policy have stalled in Washington, with many of the Republicans who control the House expressing open skepticism about the science of climate change. Other legislators, including some Democrats, worry that any new law would translate into higher energy prices and hurt the economy.


– Research Thanks to Robin S.

Health Insurers Making Record Profits as Many Postpone Care

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

– Oh, American healthcare, you make me so sad.  300 million people trapped in a system that has, itself, been captured by corporate interests who care for nothing but the maximization of their own profit.

– Dennis

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The nation’s major health insurers are barreling into a third year of record profits, enriched in recent months by a lingering recessionary mind-set among Americans who are postponing or forgoing medical care.

The UnitedHealth Group, one of the largest commercial insurers, told analysts that so far this year, insured hospital stays actually decreased in some instances. In reporting its earnings last week, Cigna, another insurer, talked about the “low level” of medical use.

Yet the companies continue to press for higher premiums, even though their reserve coffers are flush with profits and shareholders have been rewarded with new dividends.


– Research thanks to Cara H.

About Bin Laden…

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

If killing Bin Laden is going to decrease the violence and the Al Qaida activity, then it’s probably a good thing. I personally don’t think it’s going to make much of a difference. And there was something disturbing to me about the cheering crowds and the national bloodlust/revenge mentality that ensued. Violence is violence. It’s a sad thing. They had to shoot him and kill him because there would be no way they could hold him in any kind of jail without the entire Muslim world either trying to spring him or making him a living martyr, or the white redneck right wing trying to execute him in ten thousand ways every single day. It would have been a public relations nightmare and a wordwide disaster. And not releasing the gruesome photos is a good decision. As Obama said, we don’t need to spike the football (or wave his scalp in front of the Muslim extremist world). The fact is the U.S. and the oil companies took over the Middle East many years ago and shoved in their own dictators and ‘Shahs’ and power brokers and pissed all over those ignorant ‘sand niggers’, ‘camel jockeys’, ‘diaper heads’, and ‘rug pilots’, and fucked them for years. Even up until today almost half the Egyptian population was living on $2.00 a day while Mubarak made off with a 70 billion dollar fortune. Hussein was a hero when he was on our side, but we killed him when he got too big for his britches and wanted Kuwait. But now those people have computers and TV and can see how the rest of the world lives and that women are not garbage, and that people in other countries have ‘human rights’ and don’t have to put up with the shit they have had to put up with for all these years. So, despite all the ‘altruism’ and flag waving and Bible thumping and cheering, at bottom the whole stinking mess comes back down to oil, power, greed (gas is right back up to $4.00 a gallon, as you may have noticed), corruption, and good old MONEY. (And I’m sure that if the Muslim world had had the power and technology, and the U.S. had the oil and the ignorance they would have fucked us the same way we have been fucking them, despite their ‘Koran’ and religious bullshit. People are people, unfortunately.)
And so it goes…………..”Civilization is the long process of learning to be kind”, as someone intelligent once said. And we have a hell of a long way to go.


– This piece is by my friend, Van. An excellent writer and thinker who I think should have a blog of his own. But, until he does, I’ll be happy to repost his stuff here.

Personal – 8 May 2011

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

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I’m back from a month’s trip to the USA from New Zealand. While I was there, I saw many friends and family as I traveled up and down the west coast from Los Angeles to Seattle.

Sharon and I also competed our divorce while I was there and the process was fairly amicable. So, after 20 years of marriage and of being best friends, we’ve ended our legal ties to each other. I sincerely hope we can remain friends as we move onto what lies ahead of both of us now.

Here in New Zealand, the earthquake damage in Christchurch continues to get sorted out. Yesterday, for the first time since the days immediately after the February 22 quake, we were allowed back into my apartment. I was lucky with my unit. I’ve got a lot of large cracks in the drywall (or gib board as they say here in New Zealand) and some broken crockery. But some of the others I looked at are far worse. But, the good news is that they are apparently going to repair the complex rather than demolishing it.

I’m not going to say much else here of a personal nature. If anyone wants to know anything more, drop me a private line.