Politics

Gore and U.N. Panel Win Peace Prize for Climate Work

Published: October 13, 2007

OSLO, Oct. 12 — The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded today to Al Gore, the former vice president, and to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for its work to alert the world to the threat of global warming.

The award is likely to renew calls by some of Mr. Gore’s supporters for him to run for president in 2008, joining an already crowed field of Democrats. Mr. Gore, who lost the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush, has said he is not interesting in running but has not flatly rejected the notion.

Mr. Gore “is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted,” the Nobel citation said. The United Nations committee, a network of 2,000 scientists, has produced two decades of scientific reports that have “created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming,” the citation said. Continue reading

Categories: Environment, Politics | 1 Comment

Ronald Reagan on Shrub

From the recently published Reagan Diaries. The entry is dated May 17, 1986.

A moment I’ve been dreading. George brought his ne’er-do-well son around this morning and asked me to find the kid a job. Not the political one who lives in Florida. The one who hangs around here all the time looking shiftless. This so-called kid is already almost 40 and has never had a real job. Maybe I’ll call Kinsley over at The New Republic and see if they’ll hire him as a contributing editor or something. That looks like easy work.

Categories: Great Quotes, Humor, Politics | 2 Comments

Charley, Frances, and Jeanne

When my brother enticed my mother to move down to Florida, he told her that Cape Canaveral was chosen as the NASA launch site because this section of Florida was hit by the fewest hurricanes. That was his selling point. He worked at NASA, 235px-hurricane_katrina_august_28_2005_nasa.jpgand thought it a nifty factoid.

Mom moved down, and for many years the worst we had to cope with was the occasional tropical storm, and we had already weathered many of them (pardon the pun) when we lived in the Virgin Islands.

In 1999, Hurricane Floyd scared us. It was heading straight for us, prompting the government to issue evacuation orders for the coastal areas, and even though we’re 20 minutes from the coast, we thought it best to leave. So did everyone else. We sat in traffic for hours and hours, trying to get to my brother’s house in Kissimmee. The 1.5 hour trip took nearly 5, and then Floyd veered north, so it was a lot of hullabaloo for nothing.

Then in 2004, Hurricane Charley threatened. We watched as it made landfall on the other side of the state, at Cayo Costa, with winds of 150 mph, then hours later hit the mainland portion of the state at Punta Gorda. Continue reading

Categories: Environment, Nature, Politics, Social Justice | 2 Comments

“Death to Americans United for Separation of Church and State!”

By Frederick Clarkson | talk2action.org | Wed Aug 15, 2007 at 11:52:29 PM EST

So says Rev.Wiley Drake, the former Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC); current pastor of First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park, California; and current darkhorse candidate for president of the SBC — who has called for “imprecatory prayer” against Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (AU), especially communications staffers Joe Conn and Jeremy Leaming, and executive director Barry Lynn. In a press release, Drake invoked the 109th Psalm and called them “enemies of God.”

The occasion for Drake’s calling the wrath of God down on AU and its staff was an AU complaint filed against Wiley’s church for endorsing Mike Huckabee (also an SBC minister) for president — on church letterhead, in flagrant violation of the federal tax laws. Drake followed-up with his endorsement on his church-connected radio show with a Huckabee representative on hand. Drake singled out Conn and Leaming because their names appear on the press release announcing AU’s action. The bizarre and sensational actions by Rev. Drake are already making national news.

In light of the recent attack from the enemies of God I ask the children of God to go into action with Imprecatory Prayer. Especially against Americans United for Separation of Church and State. I made an attempt to go to them via Matt 18:15 but they refused to talk to me. Specifically target Joe Conn or Jeremy Learing. They are those who lead the attack.

(You can see their press release attack at http://www.au.org.) Continue reading

Categories: Christianity, Politics | 1 Comment

Reluctant Citizens Gear Up for First Election

by SONYAH FATAH | The Globe and Mail

August 11, 2007

THIMPHU, BHUTAN — Monarchies have inspired bloody revolutions, internal dissent and anti-royalist demonstrations. But not in the remote, Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. Here, it’s the King who is trumpeting democracy and calling for a one-person, one-vote system.

So far, the citizens have resisted the call. The consensus among the Bhutanese is that democracy is a bad idea. Bhutan will become another India, people say, pointing to the host of internal conflicts in the neighbouring country. They also fear democracy might widen class differences and increase social conflict.

Under the benevolent eyes of the monarchy, peace has been Bhutan’s inheritance, they say. Continue reading

Categories: Buddhism, Politics, Social Justice | 4 Comments

Can George W. Bush Be Purged?

A propos of the news that Mayan priests purified a sacred archaeological site to eliminate “bad spirits” after President Bush’s visit, SF Gate columnist Mark Morford has this to say:

Can George W. Bush Be Purged?

Mayan priests purified their sacred land after Shrub scurried off. Can we do the same?
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist Friday, March 16, 2007

Sage is always good. Or maybe lavender. Pine is nice, too. Dried, bundled, tied with string, burned with hot, divine intent. Would it work? Do we have enough to go around? This is the question.

I speak, of course, of ritual. Purging and cleansing and purifying and, truly, burning a nicely dried, blessed smudge stick can be a terrific slice of personal magic, to rid a space (or perhaps even your own body) of negative juju or vicious spirits or just to make way for the new and the moist and the good. You can smudge a room. You can create a divine smoldering cloud and then move through the smoke, invoke change, purge the negative, invite hot licks of yes. It is a thing to do.

But here’s the thing: Can you smudge an entire nation? Do we have enough lavender for 300 million? It is, all things considered, a big goddamn country. Windy. Rocky, in places. Could be tricky. Not to mention, you know, hazy. From all the smoke. Think of the potential traffic accidents. Coughing.

Important considerations, really, because it is becoming increasingly evident that a great national purifying ritual is just about exactly what we need. Continue reading

Categories: Christianity, Politics, Shamanism, Worthwhile Reading | 9 Comments

Priests to Purify Site After Bush Visit

by JUAN CARLOS LLORCA | AP | March 9, 2007 12:20 AM EST

GUATEMALA CITY — Mayan priests will purify a sacred archaeological site to eliminate “bad spirits” after President Bush visits next week, an official with close ties to the group said Thursday.

“That a person like (Bush), with the persecution of our migrant brothers in the United States, with the wars he has provoked, is going to walk in our sacred lands, is an offense for the Mayan people and their culture,” Juan Tiney, the director of a Mayan nongovernmental organization with close ties to Mayan religious and political leaders, said Thursday.

Bush’s seven-day tour of Latin America includes a stopover beginning late Sunday in Guatemala. On Monday morning he is scheduled to visit the archaeological site Iximche on the high western plateau in a region of the Central American country populated mostly by Mayans.

Tiney said the “spirit guides of the Mayan community” decided it would be necessary to cleanse the sacred site of “bad spirits” after Bush’s visit so that their ancestors could rest in peace. Continue reading

Categories: Politics, Shamanism | 2 Comments

World Scientists Near Consensus on Global Warming

This was the surprising headline in today’s New York Times article. Scientists from all over the world are meeting at the U.N.–sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in Paris this week to hammer out the details on an authoritative report on global warming. Its findings will project centuries of rising temperatures and sea level unless CO2 emissions are drastically cut.

The first section of the report will be released on Friday. The scientists are finding consensus around several points:

  • The Arctic Ocean could largely be devoid of sea ice during summer later in the century.
  • Europe’s Mediterranean shores could become barely habitable in summers, while the Alps could shift from snowy winter destinations to summer havens from the heat.
  • Growing seasons in temperate regions will expand, while droughts are likely to ravage further the semiarid regions of Africa and southern Asia.

As the scientists met on Monday, the U.N. Environment Program released its own report. They found that the most recent evidence from mountain glaciers showed that they were melting faster than before.

Of course, the world’s response is as it always is: self-interested political squabbling. The Times article goes on to say, “In the past year, international concern over what to do about global warming has grown along with concrete signs of climate change. Even so, political leaders are still groping for ways to tackle the phenomenon. Europe has adopted a program that caps the amount of emissions from industrial plants. But the world’s largest emitter, the United States, still is debating whether to adopt a similar policy, while developing countries like China are resisting caps on the ground that the industrialized countries contributed about 75 percent of the current volume of greenhouse gases and should make the deepest cuts.”

The international conference’s greatest contribution, to my mind, is their assertion that the science on global warming is “basic and undisputed.” It’s no longer a matter of whether these massive climate changes will occur, or when; it’s only a matter of whether we have the political will to fix it.

Thoughts? Comments?

Categories: Environment, Politics | 1 Comment

Pat Robertson Predicts “Mass Killing”

Here’s a recent newsy tidbit you may have missed.

Pat Robertson Predicts “Mass Killing”

Yahoo News, Wed Jan 3, 5:32 AM ET

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – In what has become an annual tradition of prognostications, religious broadcaster Pat Robertson said Tuesday God has told him that a terrorist attack on the United States would result in “mass killing” late in 2007.

“I’m not necessarily saying it’s going to be nuclear,” he said during his news-and-talk television show “The 700 Club” on the Christian Broadcasting Network. “The Lord didn’t say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that.”

Robertson said God told him during a recent prayer retreat that major cities and possibly millions of people will be affected by the attack, which should take place sometime after September.

Robertson said God also told him that the U.S. only feigns friendship with Israel and that U.S. policies are pushing Israel toward “national suicide.”

Robertson suggested in January 2006 that God punished then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with a stroke for ceding Israeli-controlled land to the Palestinians.

The broadcaster predicted in January 2004 that President Bush would easily win re-election. Bush won 51 percent of the vote that fall, beating Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts.

In 2005, Robertson predicted that Bush would have victory after victory in his second term. He said Social Security reform proposals would be approved and Bush would nominate conservative judges to federal courts.

Lawmakers confirmed Bush’s 2005 nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. But the president’s Social Security initiative was stalled.

“I have a relatively good track record,” he said. “Sometimes I miss.”

In May, Robertson said God told him that storms and possibly a tsunami were to crash into America’s coastline in 2006. Even though the U.S. was not hit with a tsunami, Robertson on Tuesday cited last spring’s heavy rains and flooding in New England as partly fulfilling the prediction.

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God Says Pat Robertson is “Totally High”

by Mark Morford

Pat Robertson welcomes in new year, offers prayers of hope, says you are all going to f–king die.

In quick and sighing response to beloved apocalyptic homophobic fearmongering ball of quivering godmeat Pat Robertson’s declaration on the vinegary “700 Club” that there would be “mass killings” of millions of godless gay-loving iPod-worshipping Americans sometime in 2007 because, well, God Himself visited Robertson in some sort of fever dream/spaghetti-gorging session and told him so, God has issued a rebuttal statement.

“Blessings and deep divine love to all beings everywhere. Pat Robertson is huffing Krylon,” smiled the Almighty, watching some rare, gorgeous black antelopes romp in the petrified forests of Australia in the year 2118, because She can do that sort of thing.

“I realize this is not news. But apparently, it must be reiterated each year: The only thing that visit Pat Robertson in the night and offer anything resembling prophecy are the assorted German fetish porn actors he ogles on grainy bootlegged DVDs and which he believes ‘speak’ to him after he has imbibed roughly 47 tiny bottles of bourbon from the minibar at the Colorado Springs Hyatt,” She added, all-knowingly.

“Three little words about Pat Robertson: ‘lederhosen ball gag.’ That’s all I’m saying.”

In related news, late Chief Justice William Rehnquist hallucinated and thought the CIA was out to get him, strange metal rocks fell from the sky over Jersey, numerous United Airlines employees who swear they all saw something very, very strange hovering in the night sky over O’Hare airport last fall are told by the government that they’re just being silly, Royal Caribbean paid a million dollars to the family of an apparently very drunk groom who mysteriously ‘disappeared’ from the ship one night as his wife was passed out down the hall and doesn’t remember a thing, and some people actually paid real money to see “Eragon.”

God just shrugged.

Categories: Christianity, Humor, Politics | Leave a comment

Election Day, T Minus One

When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer ‘Present’ or ‘Not guilty.’

Theodore Roosevelt

Leave a comment.

Categories: Great Quotes, Humor, Politics | Leave a comment

Betty Bowers Does It Again

Mrs. Betty Bowers’ Halloween / Election Newsletter 2006

If you aren’t already familiar with Mrs. Betty Bowers, known far and wide as America’s Best Christian, you’re in for a treat. She’s the alter ego of Paul A. Bradley, one of the lead writers for the bitingly satirical Landover Baptist Church and WhiteHouse.Org websites. Paul also posts under the name of Prophetess Juanita “Jazz Hands” Bynum on Datalounge, a web forum now celebrating “10 Years of Gay Gossip, Politics and Pointless Bitchery.”

Boo!

In case you haven’t picked up on this delicately nuanced sophistry in the relentless stream of earnest blather coming every 30 seconds from you TV, allow me to break it down for you, dears.

The GOP message basically boils down to this: We have created a world so unstable and hostile with our unbroken string of blunders and unnecessary provocations, can you really risk electing someone new who will squander two weeks learning the screen-names for all the sluttiest pages?

I have to chuckle at all of the fear-mongering ads this year. No, it’s not the ubiquitous, bland female voice, which would sound like a hammy attempt at “solemn” and “concerned” on the stages of even America’s least persnickety-at-casting community theaters. And it isn’t how often she earnestly intones, “Can we really afford to risk electing the other guy?” No, what makes me laugh is that congressmen who are throwing $200,000,000 each and every day down that insatiable drain called Iraq, money that could be spent on schools and health, have the temerity to ask us questions that start with “Can we really afford to . . .” Continue reading

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