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Found 8 results

  1. Who but God could be messing up ONE party so much and giving the OTHER such a huge advantage ? God has got to be a liberal Democrat !
  2. Liberals love to bash conservatives as climate change deniers, but it feels like liberals are only slightly ahead of the curve on this one. Years ago, I read how society had to make dramatic cuts to our carbon emissions to avoid the "point of no return" that would create a planet that would be uninhabitable by humans. So we are talking about a risk of total human extinction here if we wait too long and do too little to reduce carbon emissions. What is too long? What is too little? There's a lot of debate, of course. Some scientists (and some people I know with genius-level I.Q.s) are convinced we have already gone too far and tripped too many environmental feedback loops, which will make human existence impossible within 50 - 150 years. The notion we've gone too far, that our extinction is now mathematically certain, is still a fringe view. In between the climate change deniers, and those who feel we've already gone too far so that any efforts we make now are pointless, we have the rest of us -- people who agree that if we do not do enough to change, and do it quickly enough, we WILL have gone so far that our extinction will be inevitable. For those of us holding this "middle" view, it's hard because there's no clear answer to how much we have to change, or how quickly, to avert our extinction. I found a 2012 news article discussing a study that said 2017 was the point of no return if we did not drastically reduce carbon emissions (note, we have not reduced carbon emissions drastically, if at all, since 2012). Unfortunately, the uncertainties about this issue seem to pave the way for the majority -- including most liberals -- to just shrug and accept minor changes that are not even concrete. President Obama's big climate change plan involves a target of 30% reduction by 2030. Note, these "targets" can easily be missed. What do you do if you tell companies to reduce carbon emissions and they instead increase them? Impose a fine? Great, but it does not really make up for the resulting human extinction, does it? Do we really want to trust our very existence to large businesses toeing the line to strictly adhere to governmental environmental mandates? Their track record on this is woefully bad. Perhaps even more importantly, even if we reach this target, no scientist I know of has actually said that a 30% reduction in 15 years will avert certain doom for humanity. Everything I've read (excluding material from conservative lap dogs) suggests this is too little, too late. I feel like there is an astounding disconnect going on here. If a cage full of spiders at the zoo breaks open and one of them stings you, and the zoo people tell you that the spiders are deadly poisonous, but he's not sure how long you have till it'll be too late, what do you do? Do you make a "target" of going to the hospital the day after tomorrow to get checked out and see about an antidote? Do you finish your tour of the zoo before heading off to the hospital? Of course not! You rush straight to the hospital as quickly as you can, not because you know you'll die if you don't, but precisely because you do NOT know how long you actually have. See, when you're life is on the line, and you are faced with an uncertain time-table, the only sane and logical decision is to act with all possible haste. So, if that's how we act when our life is on the line, how should we act when our human survival is on the line? Set target deadlines decades away for modest carbon reductions? Even though there are plenty of scientists saying that'll be too little, too late? That's insanity, that's suicidal. In the face of uncertainty as to the extent of change, and the time table for change, that is needed to avert our extinction, we need to act like we are dying and rushing to the emergency room in an ambulance, running red lights, exceeding the speed limit, etc. It's kind of funny when you think about the comparative harms of making a mistake being too fast or too slow on this issue: What's the risk of we erroneously move to fast to cut carbon emissions, doing it with decades to spare? The normal growing pains when people have to rapidly change their way of life. That's it. On the other hand, what's the risk if we erroneously move to slow to cut carbon emissions? Human extinction. Hmm... Comparing these, should we really be talking about targets to cut carbon emissions fractionally in 15 years? Shouldn't we actually be talking about declaring martial law? Shouldn't we be having a serious discussion about having the government take over all factories that emit greenhouse gases with armed soldiers and shutting them down, only letting them open after they've been re-engineered to renewable energy? Shouldn't we be talking about making it a mandatory law that employers must require telecommuting for every employee who can possibly telecommute? Shouldn't we outlaw all fuel burning cars effective, say, Jan. 1, 2016? Heck, I'd even be willing to bail out the auto companies again for any financial loss they incur from having to move "overnight" to electric cars. Shouldn't we be talking about massive solar and wind energy projects, not by some vague laws that give some kind of incentives to private companies, but by just building the damn things as a government project so it just gets done? Shouldn't pass a law right now that guarantees free college tuition to every person who majors in environmental sciences, so we have as many minds as possible working on a cure? Is this overkill? Maybe... Just like it's overkill to speed to the hospital for a spider bite when you MIGHT have days or even weeks before the poison kills you. But, since you just don't know, overkill is the only sane approach. I'm a reasonably intelligent person, maybe not brilliant. I try to stay on top of important issues, when I can. I've tried honestly to read up on climate change to figure out what we need to do, by when, so I don't have to worry we are the generation responsible for committing global suicide. And I honestly cannot find any clear answer to how much we have to change, or how soon. And I think most people are in a similar state of uncertainty. However, I look around and it feels like the masses who share this sense of uncertainty are not driven by this uncertainty to a desire for urgent action. Instead, it feels like they think, "Gee, since I don't KNOW that we are taking action too slowly to avert our doom, I won't make waves, I'll just vaguely encourage my politicians to make the environment a priority... And that seems so crazy to me. You don't need certainty to act in response to a grave threat. If you give me a gun with 1,000 chambers and only one bullet, I won't point it at my head and pull the trigger. One in a thousand risk of death is too great. Every day we sit back and let the current inept and corrupt politicians quibble about minor climate change measures, I feel like we are pulling that trigger. And eventually there will be a bullet in that chamber, maybe as soon as tomorrow. Given the gravity of the situation, the question should not be "how much do we need to change, and by when?" Because that makes it sound like we are going to try to just squeak by with the minimum we have to do to survive. The question should be, "Are we doing everything conceivable and possible to reduce our carbon footprint and restore the atmosphere as fast as possible?" The answer to the latter question -- the better question -- is definitely "no." Which reflects a disconnect not just with government, but among the people who sit by and shrug it off. Can anyone give me definitive proof that we are doing enough to avert disaster? Because if not, then that proves we should be doing more. Ken
  3. The Constitution does not recommend or prohibit any economic system and this implies that any system may be used in a democracy if it is agreed upon. By not understanding the definition of democracy and replacing this with capitalism leads to a confusion that results in the inability for citizens to defend what they don't understand...democracy. When far right wing extremist capitalism takes over by declaring itself the one true and correct system, this gives them the authority to silence opposition and/or eliminate it. This opposes freedom and is anti-intellectual. When extremist right wing capitalism is allowed to forever proceed further to the right, the end result is ultimately a right wing fascist tyranny.
  4. On HBO’s “Real Time,” Bill Maher and author Sam Harris were making the case “that liberals need to stand up for liberal principles.” Maher pointed to such principles as freedom of religion and speech as well as equality for women, minorities and homosexuals. “These are liberal principles that liberals applaud for but then when you say in the Muslim world, this is what’s lacking, then they get upset.” Harris added that, “I would argue the liberals have failed us. The crucial point of confusion is that we have been sold this meme of Islamophobia where every criticism of the doctrine of Islam gets conflated with bigotry towards Muslims as people. That is intellectually ridiculous.” Guest panelist Ben Affleck interjected, “So you’re saying that Islamophobia is not a real thing.” “I’m not denying that some people are bigoted against Muslims as a people and that’s a problem,” Harris replied.” “That’s big of you,” Affleck shot back. When Maher asked Affleck why he was getting so hostile about the issue the actor replied, “It’s gross, it’s racist, It’s like saying you’re a shifty Jew.” Harris presented to Affleck an analogy of concentric circles. At the centre, jihadists who believe in martyrdom, wanting to kill apostates. Outside of them, Islamists, just as convinced of martyrdom, and wanting to foist their religion on the rest of humanity, but choosing to work within the system, working to change governments, in large part by using democracy against itself. Those two circles, according to Harris, constituted about 20% of the Muslim world. Outside of them he placed conservative Muslims, who deplore ISIS, but have reactionary views about human rights, about women and homosexuals, that are deeply troubling. Affleck continued to bow his head in a kind of disdainful forbearance as this was explained by Harris, as if it were an expression of bigotry, rather than a perfectly reasonable sociological and demographic analysis. Why? To quote Christopher Hitchens, responding in Vanity Fair to the Danish cartoon incident, which saw protests throughout the Muslim world in early 2006, (and its times like these you really miss Hitchens) “…the shady term ‘Islamaphobia’ is going to be smuggled through our customs. Anyone accused of it will be politely but firmly instructed to shut up, and to forfeit the constitutional right to criticize religion. By definition, anyone accused in this way will also be implicitly guilty. Thus the ‘soft’ censorship will triumph, not from any merit in its argument, but from its associations with the ‘hard’ censorship that we have seen being imposed over the past weeks.” Much of the West now has an irrational phobia of Islamaphobia. An argument frequently made recently is that mainstream Islam is loudly condemning ISIS, but the media isn’t covering it. Indeed, there has been a fair amount of public condemnation from Muslim religious authorities, organisations and councils: The head Shia and Sunni religious leaders in Iraq have all condemned – and called for war against – ISIS. Saudi Arabia’s highest religious authority has condemned the armed groups Islamic State and al-Qaeda as apostates. Iyad Ameen Madani, the Secretary General for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, representing 57 countries,distanced Islam from the actions of ISIS, saying they “have nothing to do with Islam and its principles that call for justice, kindness, fairness, freedom of faith and coexistence.” Representatives from both the Sunni and Shia groups in the UK met at the Palace of Westminster and relayed their message that the militant group does not represent the majority of Muslims. The 100 Sunni and Shiite religious leaders produced a video denouncing the Islamic State, saying they wanted to “come together to emphasise the importance of unity in the UK and to decree ISIS as an illegitimate, vicious group who do not represent Islam in any way.” Slamet Effendy Yusuf, executive council chair of The Nahdlatul Ulama, one of the largest Islamic organizations in the world, said, “The public have to be critical. This is not about [establishing] a Caliphate [islamic State]; but [a group] working for its own cause and gains from a sectarian issue.” Secretary Abdul Mu’ti of Muhammadiyah, an organization with 29 million members, said ISIS does not represent Islam. The International Union of Muslim Scholars spoke out against ISIS’s expulsion of Christians in Mosul. The group claimed the rejection served to “violate Islamic laws, Islamic conscience and leave but a negative image of Islam and Muslims.” The Arab League Chief denounced acts committed by the Islamic State in Iraq as “crimes against humanity,” demanding that they be brought to justice. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the largest Muslim group in the U.S, called ISIS “un-Islamic and morally repugnant.” The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) released a statement condemning “the barbaric execution of American Journalist James Foley by ISIS.” This is all commendable; but its far too top down. Senior clerics, organisation spokespeople, executive council chairs…there is an eerie disconnect between their rhetoric has not translated to mainstream populist expression. The media lauded the representatives of both the Sunni and Shia groups in the UK meeting at the Palace of Westminster and relaying their message that the militant group does not represent the majority of Muslims; but isn’t it just as fair to criticise the minuscule turnout, relative to the size of the community and the magnitude of the current events that prompted the gathering in the first place? 2,660,116 Muslims live in England, 5% of the population, according to results from the United Kingdom Census of 2011. Europe’s population was 6% Muslim in 2010 according to the Pew research center. Surely it is reasonable to expect some marches – mainstream Muslim community demonstrations, congested streets, banners with boldly humanist slogans proclaiming tolerance and rejecting extremism, Muslims of all ages, from the professional and working classes, mothers pushing babies in strollers, members of religious youth groups, the nominally as well as the devoutly religious, expressing a collective rejection of the perversion of the Muslim faith by ISIS, and solidarity with the bereaved, and the forces of moderation and tolerance. The Danish cartoon controversy produced mass demonstrations in Iraq. In Egypt, thousands of protesters demonstrated in cities across the country. Some 3,000 protesters marched through Malaysia’s largest city, Kuala Lumpur. In Pakistan, there were labor strikes, and 5,000 people protested in Islamabad. In Bangladesh, more than 5,000 Muslims demonstrated in Dhaka. There were a multitude of similar protests elsewhere, including London, where hundreds of British Muslims gathered outside the Danish embassy, holding placards bearing slogans including “behead the one who insults the prophet” and “free speech go to hell”. Yes, there are tens of thousands of decent and courageous Muslims taking on ISIS in military engagements everyday, risking their lives to express such values; but what about the multitudes away from the front lines? Why is it unreasonable, or culturally insensitive, or an act of false equivalence to point out the general absence of marches and peaceful demonstrations of solidarity, of moderate Muslim rejection of extremism and the perversion of real Islam, on at least one tenth the scale, world-wide, of the demonstrations in reaction to the publication of offensive cartoons in a Danish newspaper? FROM: http://sheppardpost.com/
  5. How a social media complement to feel-good TV ads promoting a company’s wholesome American image ended up focusing people on the company’s ethical lapses and fringe politics—and left its trademark search page dominated by a picture of the gates to Auschwitz http://www.buzzfeed.com/wearekochs/unbelievably-epic-social-media-mega-fail-weareko-wj8v In all seriousness, is it even possible to imagine a worse marketing fail than having your "from the American heartland" BS end up at Auschwitz. Koch Industries was served its just desserts.
  6. Congressional members should sign public service pledge that prevents them from owning,selling,or accepting IPOs during their term in office. Paul Ryan has already refused to sign because as he said "making money is why I got into politics"
  7. Oh right.... there are none. No inventions, no discoveries no cure for diseases. Yet society has the audacity to preach that women are of equal intelligence to men pffft. More on the subject matter here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkeADv5nRbc

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