Friday, June 29, 2012

At Least They Admit It
From Texas GOP 2012 platform--

Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

So now they admit they are opposing critical thinking? huh? It explains a lot, doesn't it?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Again, Get Off My Lawn!
Yes, there will never be jobs created if we go to Green Standards. We all know this. Think of all the cancer surgeons that might be put out of work.

Same old crap we always get about how changing the world will absolutely destroy things as we know them. Go to alternative energy, ruin the coal industry, blah, blah, blah.

What they really mean is that this will challenge our wealth.
 And nothing ever good happens when you challenge the coal industry.


Move Along, Nothing to See Here
What could go wrong with this? People never make mistakes.

Please notice that this practice has caused earthquakes in the past. How much different is this from fracking, where the goal is to break shale layers to free the gas. It is done by a liquid, which actually can lubricate broken rock. I mean what could go wrong?

Move along, nothing to see here.
All Hail Scientific Detachment!

You have to love the detachment of scientists. There is a huge disparity in their models that propose to show the size of the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. One will end being more accurate, adjustments , made, blah, blah, blah.
How about all the dead animals? I am guessing they are not too detached about this. We know the cause and solutions--too much fertilizer, bad agribusiness practices, leaking septic systems and discharge limitations on wastewater plants that are too lenient. Rather than have the will to deal with that, we argue over who is more accurate. Kind of like fiddling while Rome burns.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Today in Water News
who would have ever thought that all the water rights could be sold and claimed, forgetting about aquatic habitat in Somalia, err, Texas. Yes, Libertarian paradise.
and in this article, the cover photo sez enough. Nothing like having a trash playground IN THE OCEAN!
This one is not surprising. Wells are a source of water in many communities, especially rural communities. and as everyone who had ever worked at lake Rest knows, septic systems never fail and leak into source waters. Actually, this problem is prevalent everywhere. In CO, you cannot build even a well water system now without a 4 log removal of pathogens, normally meaning chlorination. Europe uses other chemicals then chlorine. Yet, when I moved to CA, I was amazed that so many communities with rivers and abundant water sources used wells with out any disinfectant. Nebraska too. Cheaper is not always better and while I dislike chlorine, it sure beats Norwalk virus or cholera. What is surprising is governments stating proper public health preventative care is too expensive. Really.
and for X File fans. or this.

Sleep tight and dream of superbugs and invasive species.


Sunday, June 03, 2012

An Election Cycle and an Apology to my Children!

So here we go--

into the election cycle where we will hear all about debt and the failing economy and why you need to ruin the country like a business. I wonder how much stuff like this will be covered in the media--

"Honeywell used offshore subsidiaries and tax loopholes to pay a negative tax rate between 2008 and 2010, according to the report.

The company reported $5 billion in domestic profits and received $1.75 billion in federal tax subsidies, making its effective tax rate negative 0.7 percent the group reported, citing 2010 10-K reports for the company."

With the advent of "Corporations are people" why wouldn't Honeywell invest $1B (yes, billion with a B) to get their guy elected in one election knowing he will be beholden to them, increase the tax loopholes, so they can make more than $2B annually in loopholes. What part of how wrong Citizens United is don't we understand at this point. I was recently in Ohio and there are so many anti-Sherrod Brown ads running already you would think it was the last week of the election. Unless everyone gets the same say, rights are not equal. Can I run the same amount of ads asking Dick Cheney be tried as a war criminal or that BP executives be tried for the deaths of the men on the platform in the gulf? No.

What part of level playing field (in theory) is really part of the American Dream, or are we all supposed to be cynical, selfish and amoral in our pursuit of happiness.

I was going to write today apologizing to my children that we have not left the country in better shape for them. Yes, rivers don't burn anymore and water is safe to drink. There are some endangered species actually making comebacks. Sexual orientation is less of a issue in some geographical areas. You can actually date and marry people outside of your racial and ethnic backgrounds now in most areas of the country. The N word is not used in polite conversation. But, the country has moved so far to the right that Reagan and Nixon would be Democrats now. If the next election goes to Romney, the Supreme Court will be stacked and can overturn laws, making any gains of the past 50 years immaterial. As it is, education and the chance to further yourself are barely affordable. An example, $10,000 in student loans gets my daughter a $10-12/hour job with no benefits. What's the benefit here?

And people don't think their votes count. sad. It is the dearest right we have as American citizens, followed by paying taxes to pay for roads, education, etc. No one likes to pay money, but I would rather pay more and know that there is a social safety net and that anyone's children will not have to mortgage their future to pay for an education. I can sleep at night them knowing I did my part as a CITIZEN of this country.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Different Ways to Feel Sacred

How do you mount your deities? How do you give proper reverence? With what sort of wild astonishment do you bow and breathe? I don't really believe in churches, in guilt and shame and forsaking your identity to some scowling judge, in staring up at a horrific image of a bloody body nailed to a stick, full of sin and shame, taught that I can never actually attain sacredness. Why such horror and fear? Why not just dance? 

But to attempt a wild, drunken, conscious, devout seeking-out of the sacred in all things in all moments? To destroy illusion and defeat ignorance? Full of consciousness in every breath, smile, song, handshake, lick, suck, touch, word, column, eyeblink, cocktail, dreamstate, marriage, divorce, wound, ecstasy, trauma, death? That I can do. Or rather, that I can strive for, breathe toward, wink at. After all, the gods, they just love to wink back.

from Mark Morford, SF Gate