Archive - Nov 2010
I thought this was an interesting passage from an article by Rudy Baum in C&E News titled "Sustainable Growth Is An Oxymoron" in which he highlights a point made by Bill McKibben:
The fact is that, eventually, we have to learn to live off the sun in real time. That’s not going to be easy. Fossil fuels aren’t just fossilized sunshine; they’re concentrated fossilized sunshine. As McKibben points out in “Eaarth,” 1 barrel of oil yields as much energy as 25,000 hours of human manual labor—more than a decade of human labor per barrel. The average American uses 25 bbl per year (some estimates are quite a bit higher), which, he writes, is like finding 300 years of free labor annually.
I was shocked by the following passage from a recent article by Richard Hughes (Professor of Religion at Messiah College), the third article in his series on the Christian Right (link):
In 1958, four years after the Supreme Court handed down its landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, outlawing racial segregation in America's public schools, Falwell thundered from his Thomas Road Baptist Church pulpit, "If Chief Justice Warren and his associates had known God's word and had desired to do the Lord's will, I am quite confident that the 1954 decision would never have been made. ... The facilities should be separate. When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line."
Later, he rejected the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as "civil wrongs," distributed FBI-generated propaganda defaming the character of Martin Luther King Jr., and attacked King as a Communist in a sermon he preached from the pulpit of his Thomas Road Baptist Church in 1964.
Then, in 1966, he side-stepped Brown v. Board of Education by establishing Lynchburg Christian Academy which the Lynchburg News described as "a private school for white students."
Falwell's school was one of literally thousands of segregationist academies established by white Christians in the American South to avoid compliance with federal law regarding racial integration.
Apparently Falwell's views evolved significantly during the subsequent decades, but I was ignorant of his shameful reaction to the civil rights movement.
You may have heard about the It Gets Better Project. For example, here is the contribution by my favorite policy wonk Ezra Klein:
Last week The Daily Show made PSA in reference to John McCain's evolving stance regarding DADT and it's implications for his legacy:
When I flew to Salt Lake City and back last week, I didn't experience any physical and emotional abuse from the TSA. Maybe it was so traumatic that I've blocked it out of my memory. More likely, Midland and SLC hadn't implemented the more aggressive pat-downs and body scans. Maybe if they had and I experienced them first-hand I'd have a better understanding of why everyone seems to be in such an uproar over the new TSA policies...but I doubt it.
I'm as embarrassed by my body as the next guy, but I really don't care at all if a TSA employee has a peek at my kibbles and bits for the sake of safer air travel. Am I worried about the potential danger due to scanner radiation? Nope. You subject yourself to 1000 times more radiation during a transcontinental flight than you do during the scan. Wouldn't I feel violated by the enhanced pat-down? I don't feel violated when my doctor touches my junk in a strictly professional manner. I'm not sure why I should feel any different if a TSA employee were to do so.
On TDS last night, Lewis Black put it this way (video embedded below):
...the one thing people won't stand for: the government interfering with our travel plans. I see. So in the name of fighting terrorism we're willing to start wars, waterboard people, and kill civilians with unmanned drones...but the one line we won't cross is our waistline!