Saturday, November 20, 2010

The week in review...

We are still trying to recover from all our travels and have yet one more short trip tomorrow to Tulsa for an early Thanksgiving with my brother's family and then to Joplin for a funeral.  After that, I hope to stay home awhile.  In fact, I stocked up on groceries yesterday in the hopes I won't even have to go as far as the grocery store.  It's getting chilly and I'm ready to get into my usual winter hibernating mode.  I plan to decorate for Christmas right after Thanksgiving (earlier than I usually do), put out a puzzle to work on, pull out a few board games, get back to the scarf I was knitting last year and watch all our old favorite Christmas movies. 

Over the past few weeks there have have been SO MANY news events and political stories I wanted to write about here at The Well-Groomed Hippie.  We watched the Stewart/Colbert Rally to Restory Sanity and/or Fear while in New Orleans and I had all sorts of things I wanted to say about that (like how totally awesome it was to see more than TWICE the number of reasonable folks show up than at Beck's rally and that they were MY vision of MY America).  There were the election returns we watched in "our bar" in New Orleans. (Have 70% of Oklahomans lost their freakin' minds???)  And the ridiculous, fabricated story that President Obama's trip to India cost more per day than we are spending to execute a war.  And on, and on it goes.  Way too much fodder for blog posts when I'm away from my computer. 

Since I still don't have time right now to fully address all the stories I'm following, I thought I'd share a few blog posts and articles from folks who have already done a bang-up job of it.  So here goes:

"Climategate":

This past week was the one-year anniversary of the story that had global warming deniers rubbing their hands in glee.  Never mind the fact that nothing in those illegally obtained emails offered any proof that climate change is a hoax.  It was a brilliant bit of organized propaganda, lies, and deceit - I have to give them that much.  Unfortunately much of the public is incapable of sifting through the mountain of b.s. and were only too happy to accept the right-wing pronouncement that "Global Warming is a Hoax!" so they can continue to drive their gas-guzzling monster trucks to Walmart to stock up on incandescent light bulbs.

Here are excerpts from a couple of well-written posts on the issue.  I urge you to click on the links and read the whole posts.

The Real Story of Climategate:
"There are many examples of denial in our society, but perhaps the most powerful and pervasive is climate change denial. We’ve been hearing the movement’s arguments for years, ranging from illogic (“climate changed naturally in the past, so it must be natural now“) to misrepresentation (“global warming stopped in 1998“) to flat-out lies (“volcanoes emit more carbon dioxide than humans“). Of course, climate scientists thought of these objections and ruled them out long before you and I even knew what global warming was, so in recent years, the arguments of deniers were beginning to reach a dead end. The Copenhagen climate summit was approaching, and the public was beginning to understand the basic science of human-caused climate change, even realize that the vast majority of the scientific community was concerned about it. A new strategy for denial and delay was needed – ideally, for the public to lose trust in researchers. Hence, the hack at CRU, and the beginning of a disturbing new campaign to smear the reputations of climate scientists."
The first anniversary of 'Climategate', Part 1: The media blows the story of the century: 
An excellent review of some significant scientific papers and presentations on climate which were largely over-shadowed by "Climategate" miscoverage this past year.  It's a bit lengthy but well worth the read.


"CONCLUSION:  Unrestricted emissions of greenhouse gases threaten multiple catastrophes, any one of which justifies action.  Together, they represent the gravest threat to humanity imaginable.  The fact that the overwhelming majority of the mainstream media ignored the overwhelming majority of these studies and devoted a large fraction of its climate ‘ink’ in the last 12 months to what was essentially a non-story is arguably the single greatest failing of the science media this year." 
 At least one Republican has some sense on this issue.  Too bad he's no longer in office:




Best line: "They slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night, and they’re experts on climate change."
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Westboro Baptist Church Wackos:

These nutjobs were recently in Oklahoma to protest at a military funeral.  Because they obviously haven't a shred of decency in their bones.  However, they underestimated the folks in McAlester.  Someone slashed the tires of the WBC vehicles and you know what?  No one in town would repair them or sell them new tires.  That is, until Walmart received corporate instruction to do so.

This little incident didn't sit well and now WBC has Oklahoma in their cross hairs.  According to their website, "God hates Oklahoma" and God is "now avenging himself on your state, cutting off your kids & crashing your planes."

They plan to return to McAlester December 10th to protest in various locations around the city.  You know, one of the things on my list of "101 Things in 1001 Days" is to attend a protest.  This just might be my opportunity.  If you have any good ideas for protest signs, please share. 

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NPR response:
Today, good judgment prevailed as Congress rejected a move to assert government control over the content of news. 
The proposal to prohibit public radio stations from using CPB grants to purchase NPR programming is an unwarranted attempt to interject federal authority into local station program decision-making. Furthermore, restrictions on the authority of CPB - a Congressionally chartered, independent non-profit organization - to make competitive grants to NPR, or any other public broadcasting entity, is misguided. 
For more than forty years, the federal government has provided financial support for public broadcasting - to serve the public interest with essential educational, news and cultural programming that commercial interests neglect.

America's independent, locally governed and managed public radio stations have always had the freedom to make programming decisions based on the needs of their audience and local community. The separation between funding and funders and content decisions is a widely respected, long held and fundamental standard of a free press.
 In an increasingly fractious media environment, public radio's value in fostering an informed society has never been more critical. Our growing audience shows that we are meeting that need. It is imperative for federal funding to continue to ensure that this essential tool of democracy remains available to all Americans and thrives well into the future.
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And I just have to share this fabulous little video:



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